The baby of the AMG-tuned Mercedes-Benz SUV line-up will bow at Detroit motor show this week, but the German brand is already giving us a first look at the production version on the road in official video.
Facing off against the coming Porsche Macan and Audi RSQ3, the GLA45 has added AMG wizardry to the GLA-Class crossover, with a lower-riding body on stiffer suspension -- with an even more hardcore ride as an optional extra.
It gets an angry-looking aerodynamic bodykit, 19-inch or optional 20-inch wheels with AMG-badged brake calipers, and the chance to dress things up further with more carbon-fibre. The interior also gets the sporty treatment with huggy seats and chunky wheel with F1-style paddle shifters.
Under the clamshell bonnet is the same handbuilt 256kW/450Nm 2.0-litre with twin-scroll turbocharged engine found in the A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG -- getting you to 100km/h in 4.8 seconds and on to a peak speed of 250km/h -- with a seven-speed DSG driving the front wheels for everyday use and all four as needed in a 50:50 torque split. The ESP is switchable to Sport or Off, and has torque-vectoring to apply imperceptible braking on the rear inside wheel to aid cornering.
The GLA45 AMG will hit showrooms in other markets after mid-2014, but arrival here hasn't yet been confirmed -- although with a growing buyer appetite for luxury crossovers, you can bet the local HG are already working on the business case spreadsheets.