In the past, 400 horsepower was a figure you'd see in sports cars and exotics. These days, however, you can get that much power in a small crossover. But who would come up with such an idea for a (relatively) high-riding pocket rocket? Well, that would be the folks from AMG.

Alongside the GLA 35, Mercedes-AMG has also launched the even more potent GLA 45 and GLA 45 S. What AMG has created is, perhaps, the most powerful small crossover you can get with a warranty.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S is a 421 HP German pocket rocket image

To be clear, it's the GLA 45 S that packs more than 400 PS, but the “base” GLA 45 already packs quite a big punch. Out of the box, it already puts out 387 PS and 480 Nm of torque. Making this feat even more impressive is that it comes from a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. While it has the aid of a turbocharger, to have nearly 390 PS from a compact engine and to have it fitted in a small crossover was unthinkable back then.

But the GLA 45 S ramps up that insanity. This version packs 421 PS and 500 Nm of torque, which is 34 PS and 20 Nm more than the already substantial standard model. It sources its power from the same 2.0-liter turbo from the GLA 45, but it has beefed up the internals to cope with that extra load and power. Both the GLA 45 and GLA 45 S use a performance-oriented version of the brand's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system and both shift with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S is a 421 HP German pocket rocket image

With that much horsepower and torque in a compact body, you can expect rapid acceleration times as well. According to factory claims, the GLA 45 can do the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in 4.4 seconds. Opt for the S package and it does the same task a fraction quicker at 4.3 seconds. As with most German performance cars, top speed is restricted to 250 km/h but the S raises that limiter to 270 km/h.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S is a 421 HP German pocket rocket image

Keeping it planted on the road is a unique suspension set-up that gives it a wider track and more stability. Shocks and springs have been stiffened and its suspension is connected to a Ride Control system which allows it to be adjusted on the fly. Stopping power comes courtesy of massive brakes on each corner with the GLA 45 S getting six-piston calipers at the front.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S is a 421 HP German pocket rocket image

Given that AMG models are offered here on an order basis, the odds of the GLA 45 and GLA 45 S coming to the Philippines are high. However, it might take a while since the all-new GLA hasn't arrived here yet. Once it's here, Mercedes-Benz Philippines might just start accepting orders for the high-performance crossover.