Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 due in early 2020

New spy shots confirm that AMG has moved to the latter stages of testing for its next GLA 35 and 45 models, which are set to do battle early next year with the likes of Audi's RS Q3 using the same highly strung 2.0-litre as their hatch siblings. That means the range-topping top GLA 45 S will have 421hp from AMG's already fabled M139 turbocharged four-pot, while the regular 45 will come with 387hp and the less well-equipped 35 with 306hp. Despite being the practical offering of the 45 range, the quickest GLA will also be given drift mode.

Although the concept of a jacked-up performance crossover still receives a mixed reception in these parts, the last GLA 45 turned out to be a surprisingly good performer, offering the ballistic pace of the hatch with a softer, less brittle chassis. The latest 45 hatch has proven to be a much more forgiving on the road, suggesting the GLA versions might become somewhat supple options in the segment - at least when they're set to their softest damper modes.

That needn't come at the cost of handling, either, as evidenced by their still-sharp predecessor, an attribute likely to be heightened by Merc's drift mode, which comes standard on the S. It provides genuine rear-driven handling, sending the full power output to the back wheels - so it's even more extreme than the system employed by the old Focus RS - something that's been very effective on the hatch.

The AMG models will come around five months after the regular variants of all-new GLA, which are expected at Frankfurt next month, wearing the usual aesthetic additions to signal their performance. But, like the hatch, AMG's latest 35 and 45 models will also be spec-able in slightly less garish forms, meaning a rear wing and winglets won't be standard parts. Performance crossover or not, a discreet, somewhat practical and decent riding 412hp AMG doesn't sound too bad, does it?

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Comments (14) Join the discussion on the forum

  • the Carguy 09 Aug 2019

    Does anybody really need this in their life...?

  • eddharris 09 Aug 2019

    I see quite a few GLAs so I suspect the answer is yes, unless they're all stupid.

    I had the 250 as a courtesy car and quite enjoyed it, I'd imagine this will be a hoot to drive. That additional clearance will help in the winters here.

  • FaNtheMaN26 09 Aug 2019

    The outgoing model to me looked great as it didn't seem that much taller than the regular A glass and the big wheels and arches made it more aggressive to my eyes at least than the A45...

    This ones too big, as it's to take on the Audi etc more head on

  • moldy 09 Aug 2019

    Too much choice is never a bad thing, agree see lots about, With a dose of AMG installed whats not to like

  • wab172uk 09 Aug 2019

    the Carguy said:
    Does anybody really need this in their life...?
    Suppose it depends on what you need. Given I have a bad back, these are easier to get in and out of without the need to make a noise in the process.

    I don't have one of these or one of it's competitors, but I do see the need / want for these cars.

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