Mercedes GLA 45 AMG spied

16 Jan, 2013 5:46pm Tom Phillips

The powerful Mercedes GLA 45 AMG has been spied testing in Scandinavia

These are the first pictures of the range-topping Mercedes GLA 45 AMG, which will head the new GLA SUV range later this year.

The standard GLA is tipped to arrive at the Shanghai Auto Show in April, with the AMG version expected to make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.

The new GLA 45 AMG will feature the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine as its sister car the Mercedes A45 AMG - which is set to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March - and will develop 349bhp and 450Nm of torque. It will use the manufacturer's latest 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system and will be fitted with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox as standard.

As well as its engine and drivetrain, the GLA 45 AMG features the same platform as the A45 and forthcoming CLA 45 AMG, too. And like those cars, the SUV will also feature lowered suspension, more aggressive damper tuning and uprated brakes to cope with the engine’s high power output.

In production form, the GLA 45 will get upgraded design features to match its performance intent, including flared wheelarches, large wheels and the new signature A-wing AMG grille that debuted on the facelifted Mercedes E63 AMG. Inside, expect sports seats and a chunky AMG gear selector like the one that features in the SLS AMG supercar.

When it arrives on UK roads, the new GLA 45 AMG will rival the forthcoming Audi Q3 RS, which will be powered by a 355bhp 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine.