Mercedes-AMG continues to work its magic on making standard Mercedes-Benz vehicles into fire-breathing, high-performance machines. The latest to receive the AMG upgrade is the GLA crossover.
After unleashing the GLA 45 last February, Mercedes-AMG has now released the slightly milder GLA 35. Still powered by a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four, the GLA 35 puts out over 300 PS, gets a sporty body kit, uprated suspension, and has a bespoke AMG cabin.
Starting with its design, the GLA 35 based its looks on the AMG Line version. This means the high-performance crossover gets an AMG-specific front grille painted black, a front splitter finished in silver, 19-inch five-spoke lightweight alloy wheels, a rear apron with an integrated diffuser, AMG-specific spoiler, and dual exhaust finishers.
Inside, the GLA 35 gets leather upholstery as standard, along with sport bucket seats that feature red contrast stitching. The interior trim makes use of piano black accents, carbon fiber, as well as neat touches of aluminum and metal adornments. But perhaps serving as the highlight of the cabin is the fully-digital displays courtesy of the MBUX infotainment system.
With it, both the instrument panel and touchscreen infotainment are displayed via huge 10.25-inch screens. As for in-car amenities, the MBUX supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, as well as managing some of the car's onboard systems. It also has intelligent voice control which can be activated by saying 'Hey Mercedes'.
At the heart of the GLA 35 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four. Derived from the A 35, the engine benefits from a high-strength, lightweight cast-aluminum crankcase, a twin-scroll turbocharger, multi-spark ignition, and the Camtronic valve train. The result is a healthy output of 306 PS at 5800 rpm along with an impressive 400 Nm of torque at 3000 – 4000 rpm.
Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox and 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. 0 – 100 km/h is achieved in 5.1 seconds and it has an electronically-limited 250 km/h top speed.
On normal driving conditions, the GLA 35 sends power mostly to the front wheels. An electro-mechanical multi-disc clutch integrated onto the rear axle differential is responsible for variable torque distribution between the front and rear wheels. As long as the electronic stability program (ESP) is turned on, the 4Matic system is set in Comfort Mode. However, once the ESP is turned off or switched to Sport, the all-wheel-drive system switches to Sport mode as well for more agile handling.
And speaking of modes, the GLA 35 has a total of five driving modes to choose from. These are Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual. From its namesake, Slippery adjusts the engine's powertrain in slippery road conditions by reducing power and delivering a flatter torque curve. Comfort, meanwhile, serves as the normal driving mode.
Sport and Sport+ unlocks the full potential of the GLA 35 by adjusting the engine and transmission for a sportier drive. Last but not least is Individual, which allows drivers to individually set the car's drive functions like steering, transmission, acceleration, etc.
Other key features that are standard on the GLA 35 include AMG Ride Control, an upgraded braking system, and an AMG sports exhaust system.
With the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 now available, those that prefer a more mild-mannered, high-performance crossover can now have one besides the more aggressive GLA 45. But will it be offered here just like the Mercedes-AMG A 35 and CLA 35? We're keeping our fingers crossed Auto Nation Group does offer it soon.