Published on February 26th, 2020 | by Subhash Nair0
All-New Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ with 421 hp
Mercedes-AMG has shown what a high-performance version of the latest GLA will look like. Previously, a mid-tuned GLA 35 was shown earlier but now we’ve got two very high-performance variants of the crossover SUV: the GLA 45 4MATIC+ and GLA 45 S 4MATIC+.
Both are fitted with the most powerful series production 2-litre in the world, with the base model producing 387 hp and 475Nm of torque and the ‘S’ model coming in with 421 hp and 500Nm of torque.
An AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G dual-clutch transmission sends power from the engine to all four wheels. Active, fully-variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive and AMG TORQUE CONTROL is present with a new rear axle differential featuring two multi-disc clutches.
Here’s the press release with more.
A brisk lap of the race circuit or a weekend trip to the mountains with your sports gear stowed in the back: the new GLA45 4MATIC+ and GLA45 S 4MATIC+ are the assured masters of a multitude of disciplines. When required, these compact all-rounders can unleash a level of dynamic handling to impress even sports car owners. The 2.0-litre engine is the most powerful series-produced four-cylinder turbo engine and is available in two output and torque versions. Even the base model delivering 285 kW (387 hp) is more powerful than the previous model. The S-variant rated at 310 kW (421 hp) jostles with considerably higher vehicle classes. The active, fully-variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive distributes the power to the rear axle wheel-selectively by AMG TORQUE CONTROL, so providing the basis for top traction in any driving conditions. This is made possible by a new rear axle differential featuring two multi-disc clutches – one for each rear wheel. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G dual clutch transmission apportions the power within a split second to suit the specific driving situation.
One new feature which makes a substantial contribution to the incomparable driving experience is the active, fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive: this system offers selective power distribution to the wheels on the rear axle via AMG TORQUE CONTROL. This means that the power is distributed to the left and right rear wheels flexibly and at different ratios, according to the given driving situation – resulting in optimum traction, whatever the road surface conditions and whatever course the route takes. This made possible by a redesigned rear axle differential featuring two multi-disc clutches, which selectively provide the flow of power to each individual rear wheel.
New four-cylinder turbo engine delivering superlative power
With an output of up to 310 kW (421 hp), the completely new Mercedes-AMG 2.0-litre engine is currently the world’s most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder manufactured for series production. Mercedes-AMG has improved on the output of the preceding engine by 30 kW (40 hp). Maximum torque has also increased, from 475 to as much as 500 newton metres.
The four-cylinder engine delivers extremely agile drive power in two output ratings: with 310 kW (421 hp) as the S-Model and with 285 kW (387 hp) in the base version. The new compact sports cars absolve the sprint from zero to 100 km/h in record time: the GLA45 S 4MATIC+ requires just 4.3 seconds, while the base model GLA45 4MATIC+ gets up to speed in 4.4 seconds. The top speed of the base model is electronically limited to 250 km/h, while the S-Model is allowed to leave the factory with a top speed of 270 km/h.
Apart from its pure performance figures, the new engine has an immediate response. To this end the torque curve was carefully balanced (“torque shaping”): The peak torque of 500 newton metres (480 newton metres for the base version) is available in a range of 5000-5250 rpm (4750-5000 rpm in the base version). With this configuration the AMG engineers have achieved a power delivery akin to a naturally aspirated engine.
Engine design featuring intelligent details
The new engine excels with numerous intelligent design features. In contrast to the likewise transversely installed four-cylinder in the 35-series models, the new engine has been turned around its vertical axis by 180 degrees. This means that the turbocharger and the exhaust manifold are now positioned at the rear, on the side of the firewall when viewed from behind. The intake system is therefore positioned at the front. This configuration allows the flattest possible and aerodynamically advantageous front section design. Furthermore, the new arrangement allows much improved air ducting with shorter distances and fewer diversions – both on the intake and exhaust side.
The new twin-scroll turbocharger combines optimum responsiveness at low engine speeds with a high power in the upper rpm range. The shaft of the compressor and turbine wheel is mounted for the first time on anti-friction bearings, so minimising mechanical friction in the turbocharger. The charger therefore responds even more readily and reaches its maximum speed of up to 169,000 rpm more rapidly. With a maximum charge pressure of 2.1 bar, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is also the leader in its segment in this respect. The electronically controlled wastegate (exhaust relief valve) allows the charge pressure to be controlled even more precisely and flexibly while optimising responsiveness, especially when accelerating from partial load. Numerous parameters are taken into account in this process.
Two-stage fuel injection for optimised performance
For the first time, the new high-performance four-cylinder has two-stage fuel injection. In the first stage the particularly fast and precisely operating piezo injectors supply fuel to the combustion chambers at a pressure of up to 200 bar. This is a multiple process at times, and is controlled by the engine management system as required. In the second stage there is additional intake manifold injection using solenoid valves. This is needed to achieve the engine’s high specific output. The electronically controlled fuel supply has an operating pressure of 6.7 bar.
Sophisticated cooling system for engine, turbocharger and charge air
The high output requires an intelligently conceived cooling system. This is so designed that the cylinder head and crankcase can be cooled to different temperature levels. This innovative measure allows a cold cylinder head for maximum output with efficient ignition timing, and a warm crankcase to reduce in-engine friction. Cooling of the cylinder head is ensured by a mechanical water pump, while cooling of the crankcase is via a second, electrically driven high-performance water pump. After a cold start, this pump remains passive until the engine has warmed up. In operation it is regulated by the engine control unit so that the crankcase is always cooled according to need.
Digital and smart assembly by hand: “One Man, One Engine”
The new engine is entirely assembled by hand. To this end a completely newly designed production line was constructed in the AMG engine production facility in Affalterbach, where Mercedes-AMG has raised the “One Man, One Engine” principle and Industry 4.0 processes to an innovative level reflecting the latest findings in ergonomics, material flows, quality assurance, sustainability and efficiency. On the road to implementing Industry 4.0, AMG’s hand assembly operation likewise follows the vision of “smart production”. This excels with high flexibility, and is transparent and highly efficient. It safeguards and improves the quality of the engines and production processes using innovative and digital technologies.
Agile AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G dual-clutch transmission
The 8-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G dual-clutch transmission likewise contributes to the agile and dynamic character. The gear ratios have been configured so that the driver experiences very spontaneous acceleration in all speed ranges, combined with fast shifting and optimum connections when shifting up. Depending on the selected AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving mode, the driver receives a specific drive configuration with different accelerator and gearshift characteristics.
The standard RACE-START function allows maximum acceleration from stationary and provides together with the drive sound with partial ignition interruption when changing up a gear, and the automatic double-declutching function when changing down for typical AMG driving pleasure. Neither is efficiency neglected: in “Comfort” mode the ECO start/stop function is active; the “gliding” function can be selected in the “Individual” driving mode.
AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive with AMG TORQUE CONTROL
The extremely dynamic driving experience in a completely new dimension is greatly assisted by the fully variable all-wheel drive included as standard. The secret is AMG TORQUE CONTROL in the new rear axle differential: this has two electronically controlled multi-disc clutches, each of which is connected to a rear axle drive shaft. In this way, the power can not only be variably distributed between the front and rear wheels, but also selectively between the left and right rear wheel. The result is consistently optimum traction, even in adverse road conditions and during extreme cornering manoeuvres, for example on the racetrack.
Highly responsive electromechanical control
Control of the drive torque to the front and rear axle, and between the two rear wheels, is electromechanical. The influencing factors for torque distribution are not only the driving speed, the lateral and longitudinal acceleration and the steering angle, but also the difference in rotational speed between the individual wheels, the gear selection and the accelerator position. The main advantages of electromechanical control over an electrohydraulic system relate to more refined driving dynamics – primarily due to the significantly faster response and speed-independent actuation of the discs over the entire adjustment range.
The characteristics of the all-wheel drive control are dependent on the driving mode and the AMG DYNAMICS setting. In “Basic” and “Advanced”, the 4MATIC system is in “Comfort” mode. In “Pro” and “Master” (standard for S-Model, included in the optional AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package for the base model) the 4MATIC system switches to “Sport” mode, for even more agile handling and an even higher threshold for the critical limits.
Specific suspension components for highly dynamic handling
The new AMG suspension provides the basis for high directional stability and highly dynamic cornering characteristics with low body roll. At the same time comfort has been improved compared with the preceding model. The longitudinal and transverse dynamics are perfectly coordinated. All suspension components have been thoroughly revised in order to achieve a higher maximum lateral acceleration together with easy vehicle control at the limits.
A McPherson strut design is used at the front axle. Suspension is taken care of by one transverse control arm below the wheel centre, one suspension strut and one tie rod respectively. The special axle geometry reduces torque steer for exceptional comfort and agile handling. The new wishbone in aluminium reduces the unsprung masses enabling a more sensitive response from the springs. The brake callipers at the front axle are radially bolted – a technology from motorsport that brings added stability. The front axle carrier is rigidly attached and thus additionally stiffens the front section.
The 4-link rear suspension is likewise rigidly connected to the body via a rear axle carrier, and therefore very torsionally rigid. There are three transverse control arms and one trailing arm plus specific bearings per rear wheel. This design ensures maximum driving stability and agility.
Adaptive damping system AMG RIDE CONTROL with three modes
The adaptive damping system AMG RIDE CONTROL enables the driver to choose between three different suspension control modes. The spectrum ranges from comfort-focused to sporty. The system operates fully automatically, adapting the damping forces for each wheel according to the driving situation and road conditions. This happens within milliseconds and is infinitely variable, with a wide spread of damping characteristics. The result is that ride comfort and agility are enhanced in equal measure.
Robust high-performance brake system
The high-performance brake system ensures fade-resistant deceleration and short braking distances. On the base model, the 4-piston monobloc fixed front callipers act on 350 x 34 millimetre brake discs, while at the rear axle, 1-piston floating callipers act on 330 x 22 millimetre brake discs. The discs are internally ventilated and perforated to better dissipate heat and prevent brake fading, even with extreme use. The grey-painted brake callipers have white AMG lettering.
The S-Model and the base model with the optional AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package are decelerated by an even larger brake system equipped with 6-piston fixed callipers and 360 x 36 millimetre brake discs at the front. In this case the brake callipers are painted red and bear a black AMG logo.
Steering with special rack and variable ratio
The electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive power steering supports a sporty driving style with its direct cornering properties. It has a special rack with a variable transmission ratio and two characteristic curves: depending on which drive program the driver has selected, it provides taut and sporty or more comfort-biased steering feedback. The rigid mounting in the integral carrier connects the steering even better with the body and thus increases steering precision.
Wide spread of drive programs
The six AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs “Slippery”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport+”, “Individual” and “RACE” (standard for S-Model, included in the optional AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package for the base model) allow a wide spread of vehicle characteristics, from comfortable to highly dynamic. Numerous relevant parameters are modified:
- Powertrain: Accelerator pedal characteristic, shift times and shift timing in the variants Reduced, Moderate, Sport or Dynamic
- AMG DYNAMICS: Agility functions such as all-wheel control, steering characteristics and ESP® functions in Basic, Advanced, Pro or Master variants (standard for S-Model, included in the optional AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package for base model)
- Suspension: in Comfort, Sport, Sport+
- Exhaust system: sound and nature of the sound functions, Balanced or Powerful
AMG DYNAMICS for enhanced agility and high stability
As a new feature in the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, the new GLA45 4MATIC+ comes with AMG DYNAMICS. This integrated agility control facility extends the stabilising functions of ESP® with agility-enhancing intervention in the all-wheel-drive control, steering characteristics and additional ESP® functions. When cornering at speed, for example, brief braking intervention at the inner rear wheel generates a defined yawing motion around the vertical axis for responsive and precise entry into the bend.
The spectrum ranges from extremely stable to highly dynamic. On the multimedia display, when a drive program is selected, the new AMG DYNAMICS symbol is displayed together with the corresponding additional information.
- “Basic” is assigned to the “Slippery” and “Comfort” drive programs. In this case the compact sport scars exhibit very stable handling with a high level of yaw damping.
- “Advanced” is activated in “Sport” mode. The 45-series models remain neutrally balanced. The lower yaw damping, lower steering angle requirement and enhanced agility support dynamic manoeuvres such as driving on winding country roads.
- “Pro” (short for “Professional”) belongs to the “Sport+” program. In “Pro” the driver receives even more assistance for dynamic driving manoeuvres while agility and feedback from the road when cornering are further enhanced.
- “Master” is linked to the “RACE” driving mode (standard for S-Model, included in the optional AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package for the base model). “Master” mode is aimed at drivers who want to experience dynamism and the driving enjoyment on closed-off circuits. “Master” offers a vehicle balance with slight oversteer, a low steering angle requirement and more agile steering. In this way, “Master” ensures maximum agility and fully exploits the dynamic potential. To activate “Master” mode, the driver must use the separate button in the centre console to switch the ESP® to ESP® SPORT Handling Mode or ESP®
In the “Individual” drive program, the driver can set the AMG DYNAMICS levels “Basic”, “Advanced”, “Pro” and “Master” themselves. The setting can also be directly selected using the AMG steering-wheel buttons.
Reinforced body shell
The AMG developers extensively 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 aluminium plate bolted underneath the engine, known as the “shearing plate”, increases the torsional rigidity at the vehicle’s front end. In addition, diagonal struts at the front and rear of the underbody further improve rigidity. The result: significantly reduced longitudinal and lateral torsional movement of the body shell and thus less rolling and pitching motion during cornering, braking and load changes.
Athletic and muscular exterior
The exterior of the new GLA45 also packs plenty of emotional appeal: the long bonnet with its powerdomes, the compact greenhouse and the muscular shoulders over the wheel arches clearly reveal the vehicle’s sports car genes. The AMG-specific radiator grille with the vertical slats identifies the newcomer as a member of the AMG Performance family. LED High Performance headlamps are provided as standard to illuminate the road ahead. The car’s strong presence is also enhanced by the flared wheel arches of its front wings and by the large air intakes with silver chrome inserts in the fins. The front splitter in silver chrome serves to optimise the airflow and thus aerodynamic performance.
In side view, the aerodynamically optimised 19-inch light-alloy wheels in a 10-spoke design (S-Model 20-inch wheels in a 5-twin-spoke design) and the door panels with inserts in silver chrome or high-gloss black (optional) are particularly striking. As an option, this compact Performance SUV can also be fitted with 21-inch light-alloy wheels.
The rear view is characterised by two round twin tailpipes (82 mm diameter) and the wide rear apron. The S-Model is distinguished by its larger, oval exhaust tailpipes with a diameter of 90 mm, which feature internal fluting and AMG lettering. The impression of width at the rear is emphasised further by the slim two-piece rear light clusters. The diffuser with four vertical fins contributes to the enhanced aerodynamic performance. The airflow break-away edge in the body colour on the roof spoiler rounds off the profile to the rear.
Close alliance between man and machine in the interior
With its sporty appointments and the MBUX infotainment system, the high-quality interior creates a close, personal alliance between man and machine. The driver and front passenger are seated in an active position on contoured sport seats with firm lateral support. AMG Performance seats may be ordered as an option. The standard upholstery in a combination of black ARTICO man-made leather and DINAMICA microfibre is timeless, and creates typical AMG highlights with double topstitching in red. The red designo seat belts are coordinated to match, as is the AMG carbon fibre-look trim element in the dashboard support. The chromed air vents are likewise upgraded with a red ring. As an alternative an upholstery in ARTICO man-made leather in neva grey/black with mid-grey double topstitching and light-longitudinal-grain aluminium trim is available. There is also an optional choice of four different leather upholsteries.
Yellow highlights emphasise the motor racing heritage
Yellow highlights feature throughout the interior on the S-Model, emphasizing the motor racing character of the more powerful models. Also included in the standard equipment are the AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre with contrasting yellow topstitching, a yellow 12 o’clock marking, AMG steering wheel buttons and AMG logo, plus ambient lighting.
In all models, the centre console in piano-lacquer look with a touchpad as standard has a further control array with additional switches for controlling the 3-stage ESP®, the manual transmission mode, the adaptive damping system AMG RIDE CONTROL and the optional AMG Real Performance Sound.
MBUX infotainment system expanded by AMG-specific displays
The combination of sporty design and sophisticated details is also featured in the MBUX infotainment system with its innovative operating and display concept. MBUX creates an even closer connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers. Emotively appealing presentations underline the clear control structure and feature brilliant maximum-resolution 3D graphics. Visually, the two displays under one shared glass cover blend into a Widescreen Cockpit and as a central element consequently emphasise the horizontal orientation of the interior design.
The customer can choose between the three AMG display styles “Classic”, “Sport” and “Supersport” for the instrument cluster. The “Supersport” mode is particularly striking with a central, round rev counter and additional information presented in the form of bars to the left and right of the rev counter: with a three-dimensional perspective, they reach far into the background to an artificial horizon. Via the AMG menu, the driver can call up various special displays such as gear speed indicator, Warm-up, Set-up, G-Meter, RACETIMER and Engine Data. With individual AMG displays such as visualisation of the driving modes or telemetry data, the touchscreen multimedia display likewise underlines the dynamic configuration.
And needless to say, the trailblazing voice control activated with the words “Hey Mercedes” is also on board. Thanks to artificial intelligence, MBUX recognises and understands nearly all sentences from the fields of infotainment and vehicle operation, even if they are expressed indirectly.
Standard in the S-Model: AMG Performance steering wheel with steering-wheel buttons
A perfect symbiosis between the driver and vehicle is ensured by the multifunction sport steering wheel in nappa leather with flattened steering wheel rim and perforated grip area, and depending on the upholstery, red, yellow or black topstitching and a facing in silver chrome. The galvanised steering wheel shift paddles allow an even sportier driving style with manual shift operations.
The S-Model is equipped as standard with the AMG Performance steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre (optional for base model). The AMG steering-wheel buttons (standard for S-Model, optional for the base variant in conjunction with the Performance steering wheel) allow the AMG drive programs to be accessed directly, and other AMG functions to be operated directly from the steering wheel.
Data logger for use on the race track: AMG TRACK PACE
AMG TRACK PACE, the virtual race engineer, is standard equipment for the S-model and otherwise available as an option (in conjunction with hard-disc navigation and the media display): The software is part of the MBUX infotainment system, and when negotiating a race circuit it continuously monitors more than 80 vehicle-specific data (e.g. speed, acceleration). On top of this, lap and sector times are displayed, as well as the respective difference from a reference time. Because specific display elements are shown in green or red, the driver is able to see at a glance without reading numbers whether they are currently faster or slower than the best time.
After putting in some fast laps, the driver can use the data to analyse and, if necessary, improve their driving skills. In addition, acceleration and deceleration values (e.g. 0-100 km/h, ¼ mile, 100-0 km/h) can be measured and saved. Thanks to a newly developed algorithm which determines the vehicle position as precisely as possible, AMG TRACK PACE even detects when the circuit has been left or it has been shortened. This is done using GPS data as well as the sensors available in the vehicle (acceleration, gyroscope, steering angle, wheel speeds).
The data are displayed on the multimedia display, in the instrument cluster and on the optional head-up display. Well-known race tracks like, for example, the Nürburgring or Spa Francorchamps, are already stored. Furthermore, it is also possible to record your own circuits. The map display can be switched from 2D to 3D and updated online.
The MBUX Augmented Reality function also allows the ideal line of a stored race track to be displayed on the multimedia display or optional head-up display, allowing the driver to improve lap times with a virtual instructor on board.
Sound and audio experience
The AMG exhaust system confirms the sporty yet day-to-day character of the new model. Depending on the choice of drive program, the sound signature ranges from harmonious and discreet (in the programs Slippery, Comfort and Sport) to emotive and sporty (in Sport+ and RACE). The sound characteristics are controlled by an exhaust gas flap, depending on engine speed and load. AMG Real Performance Sound is available as an option. With this technology, the sound designers at AMG have been able to capture the actual engine sound, using a specially developed sensor, and to channel this into the interior in order to be able to offer an even more thrilling audio experience.