Mercedes-Benz continues the AMG-ification of its compact vehicle family with the all-new GLA 35 and GLA 45 high-performance crossovers.
The second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLA has not been unveiled yet but that doesn’t stop Mercedes-AMG from testing its own variants: the 35 and 45. Our photographers spotted both in Germany for the first time, thus confirming that these hot versions are indeed coming.
As with its boxy GLB sibling and other compact models, the main difference between the 35 and 45 versions is the grille. While the GLA 35 sports a normal sized grille with a horizontal trim piece splitting it half, the GLA 45 gets the larger, more aggressive-looking Panamericana grille with vertical slats.
We can spot other styling differences as well, despite the heavy camouflage. Those include the front bumper which gains additional air vents in the GLA 45 and the rear bumper which features quad exhausts on the top-dog model as opposed to the two round pipes in the GLA 35.
Mind you, the GLA 45 prototype in the photos does not feature the production rear bumper and exhausts which means development is still ongoing and the model will launch after the GLA 35 whose rear bumper is the finished item. As for the interior, it’s enough to look at the A-Class cabin to know what the 2020 GLA looks like inside.
Obviously, the main differences between the two models are the powertrains. The GLA 35 will get a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 302 hp (306 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque. The unit will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and standard 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.
The GLA 45 will get a more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine available in two states of tune: 382 hp (387 PS) and 354 lb-ft (480 Nm) in standard form and 415 hp (421 PS) and 368 lb-ft (499 Nm) in range-topping S guise. The seven-speed DCT and 4Matic AWD system will be standard as well.
Expect both the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 and GLA 45 to debut in late 2019 and early 2020, respectively.