The Mercedes GLA45 AMG has been revealed in concept form at the Los Angeles motor show. The c-word is hardly justified, though, as gaudy graphics and questionable number plate font aside, this is almost exactly what the GLA will look like when production starts in 2014.
With the GLA mini-SUV being part of the larger A-class family, a GLA45 to sit alongside the A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG was inevitable. It uses their 355bhp 2-litre turbo engine, the most powerful factory four-cylinder currently in production, driving Merc’s performance 4Matic all-wheel-drive system through a seven-speed paddleshift gearbox.
The GLA concept comes with matt black 21in alloy wheels; expect the production car to drop a rim size or two, while the rear wing is likely to be smaller or perhaps reserved for the Edition 1 launch version. Otherwise, the body kit – which incorporates a gloss black front splitter and rear diffuser – looks showroom ready.
The GLA45 is the first of four completely new AMG models due by 2017, cars additional to replacements of existing cars. Another is expected to be a new Porsche 911 battling sports car, which the more upscale SLS AMG makes way for next year, bowing out with the SLS Final Edition, revealed at LA alongside the GLA.