Ever since the third generation of the A-Class, Mercedes-Benz offered an AMG version, and that idea was carried over to the next models based on the same platform, such as the GLA.
When the German automaker introduced the first GLA in 2013 (the X156), it proved that sometimes smaller is better. Then, the AMG version appeared, enhancing the lineup, and that was an undercover rally car fit for tackling gravel roads like there's no tomorrow. But then, the second generation of the GLA showed up in 2019, which was also granted with a Mercedes-AMG version refreshed in the Spring of 2023.
On the 2024 model-year Mercedes-AMG GLA 35, the compact crossover sported a new Panamericana grille at the front instead of the one with a single, horizontal bar that crossed the grille from side to side on the rest of the GLA lineup. Its redesigned LED headlights were shared with its stablemates, but the lower bumper looked different with its horizontal slats inside the side scoops and the lower grille. From its profile, the car boasted its standard 19" light-alloy wheels, while the automaker offered wheels of up to 21" in diameter. Finally, at the back, the redesigned taillights featured LED technology and a different layout than its non-facelifted sibling.
Inside, the five-seat GLA provided enough room for four adults or five on short jaunts. Its leather-wrapped cabin offered a sense of luxury enhanced further by the look of the illuminated turbine-like vents from the dashboard. But the upgrades didn't stop there and went a little bit more with the augmented reality MBAUX infotainment unit that boasted a 10.25" inch display.
For the drivetrain, Mercedes-AMG installed a turbocharged two-liter gasoline powerplant that sent its grunt in all corners via an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G (eight-speed, dual-clutch) transmission. In addition, an integrated starter-generator that worked on the 48v architecture added 10 kW (13 hp) to the package.
Based on the second-generation GLA-Class, the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 is the first of its kind, as it doesn't have a direct predecessor. Unveiled at the same time as the non-AMG GLA, the sporty crossover represents an entry-level model into the world of Mercedes-AMG SUVs and crossovers. The model is part of the Mercedes-Benz compact lineup, which has been increased to no less than eight members, five of which sharing Mercedes-AMG 35 and 45 versions.
Set to go against more established rivals, like the Audi SQ3 or the BMW X2 M35i, the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 is powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder that delivers 306 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque, sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed dual clutch transmission and a 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. Unlike the 45 models, there is no "drift mode" available, with the AWD system's torque distribution being variable from 100 percent to the front axle to a 50:50 percent distribution between the front and the rear. Design wise, the GLA 35 is largely based on the AMG Line, which is available on the regular GLA, but the overall look is model specific thanks to various custom details, such as the Panamericana engine grille or silver chrome louvers in the outer air intakes and front splitter.
Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 4MATIC (H247) 2.0L 4MATIC 8AT AWD (306 HP)
The compact-class program for Mercedes-Benz is now complete with the 2020 GLA 45 4Matic+ and 45S 4Matic+ versions. The AMG DNA can be seen clearly on the black engine grille with vertical slats and other special design details such as powerdomes on the hood and the rear spoiler. 21” light-alloy wheels are also installed, fitted as standard on the 45 and 45S.
AMG reinforced the body shell, as this provides the basis for the precise self-steering characteristics, as well as track and camber stability, even when driving at high speed. A lightweight aluminum plate bolted underneath the engine, known as the "shearing plate", increases the torsional rigidity at the vehicle's front end.
Power comes from a 2.0-liter engine, which offers 387 hp for AMG 45 and 421 hp for the AMG 45S. This is the most powerful 2.0-liter engine ever put on a production vehicle, with 40 more horses over the previous generation. Torque was also increased from 475 Nm (350 lb.-ft) to 500 Nm (368 lb.-ft).
Transmission is via an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G dual-clutch, to all four wheels. The rear differential is an electromechanical type and can redirect the torque to the left or right wheel, depending on the traction.
These upgrades give the GLA 45 a 0-100 kph (0-62 mph) sprint in 4.4 seconds and 0.1 seconds faster for the GLA 45S. The top speed for the S version is 270 kph, while the non-S version is limited to 250 kph.
Mercedes-Benz introduced the facelifted version of the GLA range in 2017, after four years since the model introduction, and it enhanced the 45 AMG version as well.
The GLA was the smallest crossover in the Mercedes-Benz family, and the AMG 45 was its most powerful version. The German carmaker didn't just stick a few badges on a regular GLA and some aero package. The GLA 45 AMG came with the whole nine yards from tip to toe.
For the 2017 model, only a keen eye could tell the difference between the facelifted and the non-facelifted version. Still, the newer version sported full-LED headlights fitted as standard. Another visible change was on the lower side of the front bumper, where the carmaker added a straight lip at the bottom instead of the curved one used on its predecessor. Also, the side-scoops were straight instead of angled. At the back, the carmaker added a chromed trim that surrounded the lower diffuser.
Inside, AMG prepared an upgraded interior with contrast stitching. In the instrument cluster, the carmaker changed the lettering on the dials. On the flat-bottom steering wheel, the carmaker added a twelve-o-clock mark. A new camera system provided a bird-eye-view of the car, useful during parking maneuvers.
Under the hood, AMG installed the same handcrafted, 2.0-liter engine, but with 380 hp. Mercedes-Benz dropped the previous 260 hp version.
Mercedes-AMG introduced in 2014 a beefed-up version of Mercedes-Benz's crossover GLA one year after the unveiling of the GLA 45 AMG concept car revealed at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.
After the world financial crisis ended, customers started to look again for high-performance vehicles. This time, though, they didn't have to limit their searches only to impractical two-seat vehicles. They could also choose a compact crossover such as the AMG GLA 45, a vehicle that could eat not-so-old supercars for breakfast while also being able to transport a family of four in comfort and with the safety of an all-wheel drive system.
AMG took the basic shell of a GLA and worked on it to make it look better. The car had to show its high-performance capabilities even when it was parked in front of a pub. For that, the front fascia received a new grille adorned with a double horizontal slat that supported the three-pointed-star badge in the middle. The bumper was redesigned and received the A-shaped lower grille specific for any AMG vehicle, while a pair of side scoops were added to cool the front brakes. In addition, a lower shield protected the bumper and the underbody. At the back, the GLA 45 featured a wider roof spoiler that incorporated the third stop-light as well.
Inside, AMG dropped the regular bucket seats from the options list and added high-bolstered ones. As an option, though, the German manufacturer included a set of sports seats with contrasting stitching. On the dashboard, the infotainment screen adorned the upper side of the center stack, while the center console hosted the gear stick, a couple of cup-holders, and a storage compartment.
The real magic performed by AMG was under the hood. There was an inline-four, two-liter engine helped by a twin-scroll turbocharger. At the time of launch, it was the most powerful unit.