Not too long ago we brought you a story on the release of the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLA small SUV (our original story can be found here). The company has now expanded the GLA line-up to include the high-performance Mercedes-AMG GLA45.

Read a Double Apex exclusive where we divulge power outputs of the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series.

The newest member of the GLA family stands out thanks to bespoke styling: a domed bonnet, different radiator grille, LED headlamps, reprofiled bumpers, quad exhaust outlets and a roof-mounted spoiler on the rear. Expect the newcomer to go on sale in South Africa before the year ends.

Follow Double Apex on Instagram and Facebook where we share more car content.

Under the hood

To earn its AMG stripes the Mercedes-AMG GLA45 has to pack a healthy dose of power, and thanks to the M139 2,0-litre turbocharged engine, it does.  This is the same motor as found in the A45 and A45S. Power remains unchanged in GLA fitment with 285 kW and 480 N.m for the ‘regular’ and 310 kW/500 N.m for S versions.

Click here to read about the A45 and A45S and click here to see South African pricing of the new hyper hatch.

With those outputs the GLA45 is said to sprint from 0-100 km/h in 4,4 seconds with a top speed limited to 250. S derivatives shave 0,1 of a second in the benchmark sprint time and 20 km/h more top speed. To slow from those speeds the GLA45 is fitted with 350 mm front discs clamped by four-piston calipers and 330 mm discs at the rear.

All-paw drivetrain

The force-fed engine is mated with an eight-speed dual-clutch automated transmission. If drivers prefer to choose their own ratios they can do so with steering wheel-mounted paddles. There is Mercedes’ launch control system, called Race Start, for full throttle pull-aways and rev-matching on down-shifts. The all-wheel drivetrain also uses AMG Torque Control. The rear differential is equipped with a pair electronically controlled clutch packs that moves power between the left and right rear wheels.

Unique interior

To make occupants feel special Mercedes-AMG GLA45 models feature front sport seats covered in an MB-Tex-with-Dinamica combination. Carbon-fibre inlays are used liberally to underline the go-faster theme. AMG Performance seats and contrasting safety belts are optional. GLA45 features the company’s MBUX infotainment system and digital instrument cluster as standard.