Destined to become the crown in the new Mercedes GLA SUV line-up, the all-wheel-drive compact SUV uses the same turbocharged 2.0-litre engine as the A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG, meaning outputs of 355bhp and 45.9kgm of torque.
The engine is mated to the AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed transmission, which allows drivers to choose from three performance profiles named Manual, Sport and Controlled Efficiency. The latter mode is geared towards maximising fuel efficiency, and also activates the car's stop/start function.
The GLA45 AMG is due to go on sale in mid-2014 alongside the standard GLA in the international markets, after a debut at next week’s Detroit motor show. The SUV has a claimed 0-100kph time of 4.8sec and a top speed limited to 250kph.
Additional AMG modifications over a standard GLA include sports suspension, high-performance brakes, an AMG sports exhaust system and an exterior body kit. Bespoke interior trim on the car includes a performance steering wheel, performance leather seats and carbon-fibre trim. The car grows the AMG SUV line-up to five models, with the GLA45 AMG sitting alongside the ML63 AMG, GL63 AMG, G63 AMG and G65 AMG.