2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ is packing more horsepower under the hood

Mercedes-AMG is introducing a host of updates for its 2021 GLA 45 4MATIC+ crossover. To avoid confusion, the GLA 45 is available in standard and S versions. The standard model is now packing 387 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque from its 2.0-liter turbocharged powerplant. According to Mercedes-AMG, the new engine is currently the world's most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder in production.

However, the S version is packing a meaner punch. It now outputs 421 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque from the same 2.0-liter mill and produces 30 more horsepower than before.

Combined with a fully-variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system and an 8-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch automatic transmission, the newest Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 S rushes to 60 mph in 4.3-seconds and has a top speed of 168 mph. The non-S version achieves the same feat in 4.4-seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph, which is not bad for a family-oriented crossover.

Mercedes-AMG's latest version of 4MATIC+ now features AMG Torque Control, which is essentially a torque vectoring feature between the left and right rear wheels. Consisting of two electronically controlled multidisc clutches in the rear axle differential, the AWD system can selectively feed torque between the front and rear axles while variably distributing engine power between the rear wheels.

This electromechanical drivetrain is responsible for better handling, sharper steering, and faster cornering on all kinds of terrain – most notably on the racetrack. With the help of six AMG Dynamic Select driving modes and five AMG Dynamic settings, the 2021 GLA 45 4MATIC+ is a potent track weapon if need be.

It also has adaptive damping with AMG Ride Control, which continually adapts the driving forces for each wheel. This feature makes it effortless to shift the ride behavior from comfort to sporty or vice-versa. The base GLA 45 has ventilated discs and 4-piston monobloc calipers along with a single-piston floating caliper for the front and rear brakes. Meanwhile, the GLA 45 S comes with larger brake discs and red 6-piston calipers.

Appearance-wise, the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 and GLA 45 S both feature a large Panamericana front grille with vertical slats, LED headlights, larger air intakes, and a new front splitter to improve aerodynamic efficiency. Also standard are 19-inch wheels (20-inch rollers for the S version), larger quad exhaust pipes, a roof spoiler, and a new rear diffuser.

On the other hand, the interior features yellow highlights, a new AMG Performance steering wheel with steering-wheel buttons (standard on the S version), ambient lighting, and the latest version of MBUX with a widescreen cockpit. Also standard on the GLA 45 S is an AMG Track Pace data logger to analyze your lap times. Prices are still forthcoming, but the 2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 4MATIC+ will go on sale later in 2020.