The baby Mercedes Benz SUV just recently got a complete makeover and it has now received the performance touch of the “45 AMG” nameplate. It is the third Mercedes-AMG model to get the new M139 engine which is dubbed the most power 2.0 litre 4-cylinder engine in the world. The new Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S shares most of its performance figures with the A45 S AMG which is the car that it’s basically based on. They share similar design languages, the same platform and literally the same interior. Underneath it is also the same skeleton but then it’s not bad because already the A45 S is a kickass car.

The GLA 45 comes in two versions which is the normal version and the S version. Both are powered by the same 2.0 litre turbopetrol 4 cylinder. However, the GLA 45 punches out 382 hp (285 kW) & 480 Nm of torque and as a result it can do 0-100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds and has a limited top speed of 250 km/h. The hardcore GLA 45 ‘S’ produces even more power from the same engine at 416 hp (310 kW) & 500 Nm of torque taking it from 0-100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds with an increased limited top speed of 270 km/h.

Usually, when you pay more for an amped-up performance version of the normal performance car, you get just a mere improvement in power but with AMG though, you get quite a lot more for an extra buck on the S versions. The GLA 45 has been fitted with an 8-speed Dual-Clutch transmission coupled with a 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system (which doesn’t come with Drift Mode like on the A45 S AMG) and the suspension has been revised for a more sporty setup. You get active dampers which can alter the suspension’s reaction when you select from the three driving modes that are Comfort, Race, and Track. This ensures that you are well sort out for your driving conditions and you get instant satisfaction with the ride quality.

The exterior design looks like an AMG of course. A couple of design elements have been added like the noticeable Panamericana front grille, deeper front bumper, standard LED lights, and quad exhaust tailpipes. You need to get the AMG Aerodynamic Package for it to look this good which adds that huge boot spoiler plus some additional aerodynamic parts here and there. It is riding on the standard 19-inch AMG wheels but you can still opt for the larger 21-inch wheels. The interior looks pretty much similar to the A45 S with a Nappa leather steering wheel, dual screens on the dash with MBUX infotainment system, sports seats and piano black trim on the centre console.

The GLA 45 S will come to SA soon but then prices are yet to be announced. This car has no competition to be honest because most of the small performance SUVs are underpowered. So the GLA 45 S will dominate at every aspect that it is challenged with and most customers should appreciate that this is a major upgrade from the predecessor because it looks way better and it is more track-focused than ever.