Last week, at the Los Angeles International Auto Show, Mercedes-AMG showed off the Concept GLA 45 AMG, an idea for a brand new compact, high-performance SUV, powered by the most muscular four-cylinder engine in series production anywhere in the world – an AMG 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with an output of 360 hp and maximum torque of 450 nM.
Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, said: "With the Concept GLA 45 AMG, we are setting a stake firmly in the ground of the strongly growing market segment of compact SUVs. Our customers – a young target group who set great store by styling, dynamism and independence – can now start looking forward to a dynamic high-performance car. The most powerful four-cylinder engine in the world and the AMG Performance 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system add up to make the Concept GLA 45 AMG a unique proposition."
So it’s aimed at a young crowd, hence the acceleration from 0-62 mph in under five seconds, and this is further exemplified by the addition of both an AMG 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system and an AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission. The Sports kids will be very interested, as will those of an older age with a thirst for their youth!
AS you can see from the pictures here, the Concept GLA 45 AMG is not only a stunning piece of technical engineering, but also has the looks to turn heads – not easy in the SUV market. Painted black AMG forged wheels in a cross-spoke design with 255/35 R 21 tyres give it a presence on the road that can only be described as ‘muscular’, and add in the AMG wheel hub covers with centre lock-look, that’s a look that people are going to do twice, whether they really want to or not!
On the AMG front apron there is a large front splitter in high-gloss black which combines with the large cooling air intakes to make the car look like it belongs in motorsport rather than heavy traffic, something further reinforced by the start number "45" on the doors and the distinctive AMG logo at the upper edge of the windscreen.
You’ll also see a "twin-blade" radiator grille in silver chrome, hi-gloss black inserts on the side sill panels, front wing lettering that reads "TURBO AMG", and a large rear aerofoil.
Obviously, at the moment, on the Concept GLA 45 AMG, when it comes to specification, all we have are promises and speculation; but there is no escaping its look, and all of the above is there, PLUS a sporty silver grey/red foil wrap on the bonnet, vehicle sides, C-pillar and rear end all combining to leave a lasting impression on a viewer’s eyes, backed up by red highlights on the radiator grille, exterior mirrors, diffuser insert and AMG rear aerofoil.
The rear view - taking into consideration that 0-62mph, this may be the first view that many people see of the car – loses the red and is dominated by the diffuser insert with black trim element and by the twin-tailpipe design of the two rectangular, high-gloss black tailpipe trims of the AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap.
Mercedes-AMG seem to have thought long and hard about who this motor will be aimed at and the personal preferences of that target market – and it may well be that with the Concept GLA 45 AMG they have got it right.