Mercedes-Benz just revealed what amounts to a jacked-up version of the CLA45 AMG and in no way is that boring.
The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot puts out 355 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to sling the small crossover to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. That’s a few fractions longer than the shorter CLA45, but still a brutal rate of acceleration considering that power is pumping from a force-fed four-cylinder engine.
A seven-speed dual clutch transmission handles gear shifts as power is sent to all four wheels through a standard AMG 4Matic all-wheel drive system that can send up to 50 percent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels. All that equipment sits atop Mercedes relatively new MFA platform, which underpins other front-wheel drive based brand siblings including the A-Class, CLA-Class and – of course – the GLA-Class ranging from the less exciting GLA250 to the crossover unveiled today.
Mercedes already packages the car with a performance-tuned suspension and exhaust system, although both of them can be upgraded for higher-performing versions. The standard pipes include an automatically controlled variable vane to compromise between long-distance driving practicality when the engine doesn’t need to breathe as heavily and high-stress situations where the added capability improves performance. Similarly, customers may choose a stiffer-sprung suspension if they prefer a sports capability to comfort.
The seven speed transmission mentioned above offers three shift modes: manual, sport and controlled efficiency. Stability controls found in the car also offer three modes for varying degrees of slip and all models come standard with the ability to independently apply braking to the rear inside wheel to counteract understeer.
Mercedes understands the idea behind more expensive derivative models and while pricing wont’ be announced until closer to the fall dealer arrival date, the brand isn’t being shy about talking options. Initially, the company will offer a special “Edition 1″ model, but customers will also be able to choose from a list of extras to customize the body and cabin.
A larger front splitter, rear spoiler and carbon fiber body pieces will all be available. There will also be something called the “night package,” which adds silver chrome radiator louvers, a black strip around the waistline high-gloss black pieces on the sides and rear and black rectangular trim around the tail pipes.
If you want to foot the extra bill, there’s also an available black nappa leather and alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, upgraded seats, carbon fiber trim pieces and upgraded leather upholstery on the options list. Overall, the cabin looks very much like what you’ve probably seen in the CLA45 AMG, but hopefully with a more spacious rear seat.
GALLERY: 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG
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