Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4MATIC (X156) 2013

Η Mercedes-Benz λίγο προτού ξεκινήσουν οι πρώτες παραδώσεις της GLA έδωσε τα αναλυτικά χαρακτηριστικά του νέου της μικρού crossover αυτοκινήτου. Μετρά 4,41 μέτρα σε μήκος, 1,80 μέτρα σε πλάτος και 1,49 μέτρα σε ύψος, όντας συνολικά μεγαλύτερη από την A-Class διατηρώντας ωστόσο το μεταξόνιο της. Εξωτερικά, διαθέτει ένα εξαιρετικά μυώδες και επιθετικό bodykit που πλαισιώνεται από αεροτομή, μεγάλες ζάντες, ράγες οροφής και διπλές απολήξεις της εξάτμισης στο πίσω μέρος. Ο αεροδυναμικός συντελεστής οπισθέλκουσας διατηρείται στο εξαιρετικό για την κατηγορία και όχι μόνο, 0,29Cd ενώ στο εσωτερικό, μπορούν να φιλοξενηθούν άνετα τέσσερις ενήλικες με τις αποσκευές τους, αφού ο χώρος αποσκευών ξεκινάει από τα 421 λίτρα και φτάνει τα 836 λίτρα με την αναδίπλωση των πίσω καθισμάτων. Όσον αφορά στον εσωτερικό διάκοσμο, αυτός είναι πρακτικά ίδιος με ότι έχουμε δει στην A-Class με μερικές διαφοροποιήσεις στα επίπεδα εξοπλισμού μεταξύ των δύο μοντέλων.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Erprobung (X156) 2013

Μηχανικά θα φορά την ίδια γκάμα κινητήρων βενζίνης και πετρελαίου που φορά η νέα A-Class. Έτσι αρχικά θα είναι διαθέσιμες οι εκδόσεις GLA 200 με τον 1.600αρη turbo κινητήρα απόδοσης 156 ίππων με 250 Nm ροπής, GLA 250 με τον 2,0-λιτρο turbo κινητήρα απόδοσης 211 ίππων με 350 Nm ροπής και μέση κατανάλωση 7,1 λίτρα/100 χλμ, η GLA 200 CDI με τον 2,2-λίτρων turbodiesel απόδοσης 136 ίππων και 300 Nm ροπής με μέση κατανάλωση 4,3 λίτρων/100 χλμ και η έκδοση GLA 220 CDI με τον 2,2-λίτρων απόδοσης 170 ίππων και 350 Nm ροπής.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG (X 156) 2013

Οι κινητήρες συνδυάζονται με μηχανικά και αυτόματα κιβώτια, τα οποία στέλνουν την κίνηση είτε στους μπροστά είτε και στους τέσσερις τροχούς. H GLA 200 είναι διαθέσιμη μόνο δικίνητη, ενώ οι άλλες τρεις εκδόσεις είναι διαθέσιμες και σε 4MATIC εκδόσεις, με το σύστημα τετρακίνησης να διαθέτει το σύστημα Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) και off-road λειτουργία του κιβωτίου.

Μοντέλο GLA 200 GLA 250/ GLA 250 4MATIC GLA 200 CDI/ GLA 200 CDI 4MATIC GLA 220 CDI/ GLA 220 CDI 4MATIC
Αριθμός κυλίνδρων / διάταξη 4 σε σειρά 4 σε σειρά 4 σε σειρά 4 σε σειρά
Χωρητικότητα (cc) 1595 1991 2143 2143
Ιπποδύναμη (kW/hp at rpm) 115/156 στις 5300 155/211 στις 5500 100/136 στις 3400-4000 125/170 στις 3400-4000
(Nm at rpm) 250 στις
1250-4000
350 στις
1200-4000
300 στις
1400-3000
350 στις
1400-3400
Μέση κατανάλωση από (l/100 km) 5.9 S 6.0/6.5 S 4.3/4.9 D 4.4/4.9 D
Μέσες εκπομπές CO2 από (g/km) 137 141/151 114/129 115/129
Κατηγορία ενεργειακής απόδοσης C C A A
Επιτάχυνση 0-100 km/h (s) 8.9 7.2/7.1 10.0/9.9 8.3/8.3
Τελική Ταχύτητα (km/h) 215 235/230 205/200 215/215
Τιμή Ελλάδος 29.400 (27.970 με απόσυρση) 38.300/40.600 (35.500/37.800 με απόσυρση) 46.400/41.150 41.750/44.150

Αργότερα θα προστεθεί στη γκάμα και ο 1.500αρης diesel κινητήρας της Renault. Η έκδοση GLA 180 CDI, θα γίνει η entry-level έκδοση του μικρού crossover της Mercedes, με τον κινητήρα της να παράγει 109 άλογα, έχοντας μέση κατανάλωση κοντά στα 4 λίτρα/100 χλμ.

Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4MATIC (X156) 2013

 Φυσικά υπάρχει και η GLA 45 AMG. Φουσκωμένα φτερά, πιο έντονους προφυλακτήρες, μυώδη side skirts και μεγαλύτερες ζάντες ελαφρού κράματος είναι όλα στο μενού ενώ το πακέτο συμπληρώνουν οι τετραπλές απολήξεις της εξάτμισης στο πίσω μέρος.

Η γρήγορη GLA όμως δεν είναι “all show and no go”. Την ισχύ, παρέχει ο γνώριμος από την A45 AMG και CLA 45 AMG τετρακύλινδρος, υπερτροφοδοτούμενος δίλιτρος με τα 360 άλογα και τα 450 Nm ροπής που συμμορφώνεται φυσικά με το Euro6. Η δύναμη περνάει από το 7-τάχυτο AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT αυτόματο κιβώτιο διπλού συμπλέκτη και καταλήγει και στους τέσσερις τροχούς μέσω του 4MATIC συστήματος τετρακίνησης.

Mercedes-Benz GLA Erprobung (X156) 2013

Τα 100 χλμ/λωρα από στάση έρχονται σε 4.8 δευτερόλεπτα ενώ η τελική ταχύτητα (ως είθισται) περιορίζεται ηλεκτρονικά στα 250 χλμ/ώρα. Για αυτούς που τους ενδιαφέρει η κατανάλωση και οι εκπομπές ρύπων σε ένα τέτοιο αυτοκίνητο, να ενημερώσουμε πως η GLA 45 AMG καταναλώνει κατά μέσο όρο 7,5 λίτρα ανά 100 χλμ και εκπέμπει 175 γρ/χλμ CO2.

Φυσικά, η AMG δεν έβαλε τον ισχυρότερο δίλιτρο κινητήρα που διαθέτει χωρίς να εξασφαλίσει πως η οδική συμπεριφορά είναι ανάλογη της εμφάνισης και της ισχύος. Έτσι, η ανάρτηση είναι σαφώς πιο sport στις ρυθμίσεις και οι αντιστρεπτικές παχύτερες της ενώ το σύστημα πέδησης είναι σαφώς αναβαθμισμένο με τρυπητούς/χαρακτούς δίσκους και στους τέσσερις τροχούς και καλύτερες δαγκάνες.

GLA 45 AMG Edition 1 (X 156) 2013

Οι επεμβάσεις στο εσωτερικό είναι αντίστοιχες με αυτές που έγιναν στο εξωτερικό. Τα καθίσματα είναι επενδυμένα με έναν συνδυασμό δέρματος και Dinamica microfiber με κόκκινες ραφές και ζώνες ασφαλείας για αντίθεση. Το τριάκτινο τιμόνι είναι επίσης επενδυμένο με δέρμα Nappa ενώ ο πίνακας οργάνων είναι φυσικά της AMG.

Όσοι πελάτες δεν είναι ικανοποιημένοι με την βασική GLA 45 AMG, μπορούν να επιλέξουν από πληθώρα extras τόσο για το εξωτερικό (αεροδυναμικό πακέτο, carbon fiber διακοσμητικά, κόκκινες δαγκάνες φρένων, πίσω αεροτομή κ.ά.) όσο και για το εσωτερικό (πιο sport bucket καθίσματα, carbon fiber διακοσμητικά, διαφορετικό τιμόνι κ.ά.).

Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4MATIC (X156) 2013

Αρχικά τόσο η GLA όσο και η GLA A45 AMG θα είναι διαθέσιμες στην Edition 1 έκδοση. Η Mercedes-Benz GLA Edition 1 θα είναι διαθέσιμη για 12 μήνες σε 4 χρώματα για το εξωτερικό: Cirrus White, Mountain Grey Metallic, Orient Brown Metallic και Designo Magno Mountingrau. Φορά ζάντες ελαφρού κράματος 19 ιντσών της AMG, διαθέτει bi-xenon φώτα, φιμέ παράθυρα και μαύρα διακοσμητικά. Στην οροφή, ξεχωρίζουν οι αλουμινένιες ράγες ενώ τα προστατευτικά και οι απολήξεις της εξάτμισης είναι χρωμιομένα.

Mercedes-Benz GLA (X156) 2013

Όσον αφορά στον εσωτερικό διάκοσμο, επικρατεί το δέρμα στα καθίσματα, στο ταμπλό και στις πόρτες, το τριάκτινο τιμόνι με το επίπεδο κάτω μέρος κοσμείται από αλουμινένια διακοσμητικά, ενώ από το ίδιο υλικό είναι κατασκευασμένα και τα πεντάλ. Συναντάμε επίσης νέα πατάκια, κρυφό φωτισμό και φωτιζόμενα μαρπσιέ.

Η GLA Edition 1 είναι διαθέσιμη με τον 1.600αρη κινητήρα απόδοσης 156 ίππων, τον 2.0-λίτρο απόδοσης 211 ίππων, και τον 2,2 λίτρων diesel απόδοσης 136 και 170 ίππων. Η τιμή της Edition 1 είναι κατά 6.307€ ακριβότερη από αυτήν της αντίστοιχης «απλής» GLA.

GLA 45 AMG Edition 1 (X 156) 2013

Η Mercedes GLA 45 AMG Edition 1 θα και αυτή διαθέσιμη αποκλειστικά τον πρώτο χρόνο πωλήσεων της. Είναι βαμμένη σε λευκό “Cirrus White” χρώμα με ματ γκρι διακοσμητικές λωρίδες κατά μήκος τους, έχοντας επίσης αρκετές κόκκινες και μαύρες λεπτομέρειες στο υπόλοιπο σώμα του.

Τα παράθυρα της έκδοσης είναι φιμέ και το αυτοκίνητο φορά νέο αεροδυναμικό bodykit αποτελούμενο από μπροστά splitters, αεροτομή, πλαϊνά skirts, και πρόσθετα αεροδυναμικά βοηθήματα στον μπροστά και πίσω προφυλακτήρα.

Mercedes-Benz GLA (169)

Στο εσωτερικό φορά τα AMG Performance καθίσματα από Artico δέρμα και Dinamica μικροίνες σε μαύρο χρώμα με κόκκινες ραφές και λεπτομέρειες. Από τα ίδια υλικά είναι επενδυμένο και το πάνω μέρος του ταμπλό, ενώ οι αλλαγές ολοκληρώνονται με το Nappa δερμάτινο τιμόνι επενδυμένο και αυτό με Dinamica μικροίνες, τον επιλογέα Select με το λογότυπο AMG και το ειδικό σηματάκι “Edition 1″.

Mercedes-Benz Accessories, Collection GLA-Klasse

Φυσικά δεν θα μπορούσαν να απουσιάζουν και τα επίσημα αξεσουάρ, μεταξύ των οποίων βρίσκονται ζάντες, μπαγκαζιέρες, μπρελόκ και μπάρες οροφής. Περισσότερες λεπτομέρειες μπορείς να βρεις στο δελτίο τύπου που ακολουθεί.

[Πηγή: Mercedes-Benz]

Δελτίο Τύπου

Fit for off-road excursions

Multi-talented: The new Mercedes-Benz GLA

Progressive in design, serene in day-to-day motoring and with good off‑road capability: a wanderer between automotive worlds, the Mercedes‑Benz GLA reinterprets the compact SUV segment in convincing style. It lightfootedly masters all day-to-day challenges and is also robust enough for off-road excursions.

The first Mercedes-Benz in the fast-growing compact SUV segment is highly manoeuvrable around town (length x width x height: 4417 x 1804 x 1494 millimetres), lively on country and pass roads and dynamic and efficient on the motorway (Cd figure 0.29). The high-quality appointments, developed with a loving attention to detail, and the flexible interior clearly position the GLA as a compact premium SUV.

As the first Mercedes SUV, the GLA is optionally available with the new generation of 4MATIC all-wheel drive featuring fully variable torque distribution.

The new GLA rounds off the extensive SUV portfolio from Mercedes-Benz. With five model series (GLA, GLK, ML, GL and G), the company offers the widest range of any European premium manufacturer and meets all the individual mobility wishes of its customers. At the same time the GLA-Class is the fourth of a total of five new compact models from Mercedes-Benz. The sales figures amply demonstrate how well the new compact models are received by customers: in 2013, worldwide 371,399 vehicles from the A and B-Class and the new CLA Coupé were delivered (+64%). Especially gratifying is the high conquest rate of the new A-Class: around 50 percent of the buyers in Europe come from other brands.

As a serene day-to-day companion the GLA has a flexible and variable interior. The rear seat backrests can not only be folded down completely, but are also adjustable for angle if required. The large luggage compartment (421 – 1235 litres) is well laid-out and can be loaded without difficulty thanks to the low loading sill and the wide tailgate, which opens and closes automatically as an option.

The particularly rigid body structure provides a reliable basis for a wide range of applications. Initially the power range of the 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol engines will extend from 115 kW (156 hp) in the GLA 200 to 155 kW (211 hp) in the GLA 250.

The two diesel engines excel with dynamic torque and outstanding efficiency: The GLA 200 CDI develops 100 kW (136 hp), has a displacement of 2.2 litres and maximum torque of 300 Nm. It emits only 114 g of CO2 per kilometre. The GLA 220 CDI likewise has a displacement of 2.2 litres and develops 125 kW (170 hp) and 350 Nm.

All the engines feature the ECO start/stop function and comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard.

With the three lines “Style”, “Urban” and “AMG Line”, the “Night” package and “Exclusive” package as well as further optional extras, the GLA offers the broadest scope for individualisation.

Design: quality and self-assurance

Sensual purity as an expression of modern luxury – this was the focus for the designers, and is the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The aim is to create clear contours and smooth surfaces that communicate high-tech while exuding an all-embracing emotional appeal. The sensual purity is reflected in the core design values of tradition, emotion and progression. These make up the leitmotif which is accentuated differently depending on the model. Mercedes-Benz creates a bridge between modernity and the avant-garde, between tradition and progression. Each model series has an assigned role and a very specific character, depending on the attributes on which the design focuses. And yet a Mercedes-Benz is always recognisable as a Mercedes-Benz. Because in addition to incorporating new stylistic developments, in the interests of keeping tradition alive the designers draw from a gene-pool of styling features typical of the brand.

“With its striking features the GLA embodies our progressive thinking and enthrals with its off-road proportions,” says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG. “The clearly defined surfaces convey power and serenity, and we have managed to combine as much emotional appeal as possible with as much purity as necessary.”

As an SUV, the new GLA combines the key design values of Progression and Tradition, and is the SUV of the future. It is an all-rounder with hallmark Mercedes-Benz SUV genes, but more youthful, sculptural and full of subtle drama.

The low greenhouse, raised vehicle body and large wheel arches give the GLA great appeal. The clearly defined surfaces are supplemented with sharp lines that provide definition and precision, varying the sculptured contours of the vehicle body which is sensitively modelled and subtly dramatic.

The prominent and self-assured upright front end with a central star lends a muscular and superior impression to the GLA. Powerdomes structure the bonnet as sporty features, and the twin-louvre grille accentuates the vehicle’s width. An impressive front aspect is ensured by the headlamps and LED daytime running lamps. This iconic Mercedes-Benz design feature has been developed further using trifunctional fibre-optics, and gives the vehicle its characteristic light signature. The front bumper features diamond-pattern grilles in front of the cooling air intakes. The optional fog lamps are integrated into the front bumper. A simulated underguard at the front and contrasting dark-grey cladding all-round emphasise the SUV characteristics of the GLA. This cladding extends around the bottom edge of the vehicle like a frame and provides protection against stone impact.

The side view of the GLA likewise conveys power and serenity. Following the design philosophy, the “dropping line” emerges at the headlamp and extends to the rear wheel arch. The line of the beltline trim gradually rises from the rear door to the C-pillar. Together the light-catching contour on the curvature and the counter-line to the dropping line at side sill height create an interplay of lines that lends the car flowing dynamism and subtle drama. At the sides the cladding follows the contours of the wheel arches and side sill panels into the rear bumper. The side panel has depressions shaped like an excavator’s teeth to accentuate the SUV character. Standard-fit roof trim strips complete the impression; in combination with the “Style” line or the “Night” package, aluminium roof rails in high-gloss black are available as optional extras (black roof rails as standard in the Style line and the Night package, chrome-plated roof rails in the Urban and AMG lines). On request the GLA is fitted with tyres up to size 19-inch.

The muscular shoulders over the rear axle are further highlighted by the inward taper of the C-pillars. In combination with the divided tail lights, this emphasises the width of the rear end. It combines dynamic lines with an overall harmonious appearance.

This impression is heightened by the curved rear window and the sweeping chrome handle between the tail lights. Thanks to the divided tail lights, the loading hatch is pleasantly wide. The large, aerodynamically very effective roof spoiler is another eye-catching feature. It takes up the structure of the rear roof cladding and accommodates the third brake light and various aerials. In the area of the rear bumper cladding there are other SUV-specific features such as a robust external load sill guard and a simulated underguard available in silver, dark chrome or high-gloss black.

Interior: attractive design features and high perceived quality

The muscular and imposing appearance of the exterior is systematically continued into the interior. The interior has a particularly high feel of quality that is achieved by the contours, and the choice and combinations of high-grade materials. The heavy emphasis on horizontal lines, the dynamic design and the highly attractive design features are other high-quality attributes. The same applies to the great precision of joints and gap dimensions.

The dashboard consists of an upper and lower section, allowing surface structures that are different in look and feel. Matt and glossy 3D geometries (graining) create an attractive light effect. The three-dimensional trim section of innovative membrane, aluminium or wood lends a new, modern touch to the interior. The matt satin finish of the wood trim further underscores the modern character and makes the surfaces particularly pleasant to the touch.

Five round air vents are integrated into the dashboard. As an exclusive GLA feature, bezels are optionally available around these circular vents whose SUV-look echoes the underguard and side member claddings. The bezels can be galvanised as an option. The direction of the airflow can be varied by butterfly-shaped inserts which can be optionally galvanised in silver-shadow.

The large, free-standing display has a high-gloss display facing in piano-black and a flush-fitting surround in silver-shadow. This gives the display a particularly high-quality look. A 3-spoke steering wheel with 12 function keys and a galvanised chrome clasp feature as standard. On request a sporty instrument cluster version with two tubes is available.

In this case there is a small dial instrument in each of the large dial instruments. When at rest the needles are in the 6 o’clock position. The needle inlays are always in silver.

The wide choice of seat upholsteries in material (e.g. leather, fabric, fabric/leather) and colour combinations allows plenty of scope for individualisation. Sports seats with integrated head restraints are available as an optional extra.

The high quality of the sports seats is emphasised by the aperture in the lower section of the head restraint. On the rear of the front seats this aperture is framed by a surround in silver-shadow, and can have ambience lighting on request.

If the optional Load Compartment package is ordered, the backrest of the rear seat unit can be moved to a steeper position, the so-called cargo position. This enlarges the load compartment capacity by 60 litres, providing more space for bulky items while still allowing the rear seats to be used by passengers.

Set into a galvanised surround, the controls for the optional “electric seat adjustment with memory” are arranged on the interior door panels in typical Mercedes style – a unique feature in this segment. The interior door panels are likewise of extremely high quality. The soft, matt surfaces extend right from the beltline to the door pocket. In combination with the lines or the Exclusive package the door armrests have a high-quality chrome trim strip and, as an option, ambient lighting.

Aerodynamics: as sleek as they come

With the GLA, yet another model series is set to become the leader in its segment with respect to aerodynamic efficiency. It has a Cd value of 0.29. The drag area, Cd x A, which decisively affects fuel consumption from around 60 km/h, is also outstanding at 0.66 m2.

The good air flow characteristics, which are a major contributory factor to the vehicle’s low fuel consumption in everyday conditions, result from numerous aerodynamic optimisation measures. These include a low A-pillar step with suitable A-pillar geometry and aerodynamically optimised exterior mirror housings. The rear end is also streamlined. The measures here include the roof spoiler lip and the aerodynamically shaped tail lights. Rear spoilers at the sides ensure that the airflow breaks off for optimal aerodynamic efficiency. Seals in the front bumper (around radiator grille including headlamps) complement the aerodynamic measures.

Extensive underbody panelling, additional panelling in the middle area of the rear axle and an aerodynamically optimised rear silencer followed by a diffuser improve the flow of air beneath the underbody.

Numerous measures have also been taken to reduce wind noise in the GLA. These include a multi-level door sealing concept, additional sealing of the joint between the tailgate and the roof and side seals on the tailgate. Particularly rigid window frames prevent the airflow from pulling on the doors at higher speeds, and reduce vibrations. External noise has also been minimised by the low A-pillar step mentioned above and by exterior mirrors connected to the body by a stem.

Engines and transmissions: dynamic expression of leadership aspirations

The GLA can be driven at a fuel consumption of only 4.3 litres per 100 km, setting new standards in its segment. Modern four-cylinder engines with turbocharging and direct injection, as well as an ECO start/stop function as standard, make for superior efficiency. The new GLA-Class also takes the lead in its segment with its dynamic performance figures.

Initially the power range of the 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol engines will extend from 115 kW (156 hp) in the GLA 200 to 155 kW (211 hp) in the GLA 250. The GLA 250 4MATIC sprints from zero to 100 km/h in only 7.1 seconds, underlining the GLA-Class’s leadership aspirations on the dynamics front. It has a top speed of 230 km/h and a combined consumption figure of just 6.5 l/100 km (151 g CO2/km).

The two diesel engines excel with dynamic torque and outstanding efficiency: The GLA 200 CDI generates 100 kW (136 hp), maximum torque of 300 Nm and has a displacement of 2.2 litres. This engine has been reengineered for greater efficiency. The modifications include optimisation of the belt drive, a cylinder head package with different roller bearings and additional finishing, optimisation of the vacuum pump, aluminium pistons with optimised assembly clearances and a low-friction ring package, and the roller bearings of the Lanchester balancer shaft.

The GLA 200 CDI requires just 4.3 litres of fuel for 100 km, which equates to 114 g CO2/km. It is rated efficiency class A. The GLA 220 CDI with the same displacement of 2.2 litres generates 125 kW (170 hp) and 350 Nm.

All the engines feature the ECO start/stop function as standard. The engines are combined with a six-speed manual transmission or with the 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic transmission (standard for GLA 250, GLA 220 CDI and the 4MATIC models), which unites comfort and sportiness in a very special way.

Suspension: for guaranteed recreational fun

With the new GLA Mercedes-Benz is adding a new member to the successful SUV family. This compact model reinterprets the SUV concept in a new, modern way, because the GLA is less long-legged and imposing than previous SUVs, and therefore fits perfectly into the day-to-day urban lifestyle. At the same time the optional 4MATIC all-wheel drive, the robust body structure and the variable interior concept guarantee plenty of recreational enjoyment. Motto: away from the daily routine. Rough terrain – the beach, loose ground, unsurfaced gradients – all of these are no problem for the GLA.

The chassis of the CLA features a McPherson front axle and an independent multilink rear suspension. Three control arms and one trailing arm per wheel manage the incoming forces. This means that longitudinal and lateral dynamics are independent of one another. The wheel carriers and spring control arms are made of aluminium to reduce the unsprung masses. In the versions with 4MATIC, the rear axle carrier is isolated with rubber bushings for the benefit of ride comfort. In all, there are three suspension variants to choose from: the comfort suspension as standard, the dynamic handling package with suspension lowered by 15 mm and Sports Direct-Steer system, plus the off-road comfort suspension (optional).

Compared to conventional systems, the electromechanical power steering provides better feedback to the driver and makes an important contribution to the vehicle’s overall efficiency, as the servo assistance only requires energy when the vehicle is actually steered. It also allows various steering assistance functions that are initiated by the ESP® control unit. These include countersteering when the vehicle oversteers, steering corrections when braking on surfaces with different levels of grip, reducing the effects of front-wheel drive on the steering and compensation of cross-winds and road camber.

The GLA has an extremely rigid body, providing the basis for stable and safe handling characteristics both on and off the road, as well as a high level of NVH comfort. There are additional reinforcements e.g. to the B-pillars, front damper domes, side members and underbody.

High traction reserves: 4MATIC all-wheel drive

Mercedes-Benz offers the GLA with the new generation of 4MATIC all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution as an option. This all-wheel drive system excels with high traction reserves and outstanding agility, combined with superlative driving safety and energy efficiency.

The components of the new 4MATIC include the power take-off to the rear axle, which is integrated into the 7G-DCT automated dual clutch transmission, and the rear-axle gear unit with integrated, hydraulically actuated multi-disc clutch. This set-up allows fully variable distribution of the drive torque between the front and rear axles. Additional benefits of this design are a lower system weight than is available from the competition and high efficiency.

Confident on light terrain: off-road functions

Models with 4MATIC are equipped with DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation) and an off-road transmission mode as standard. DSR is activated by a control button in the centre console, and assists the driver on demanding downhill stretches by maintaining a slow, manually selected vehicle speed within the physical limits when negotiating downhill gradients. This is done with the help of the engine and transmission control systems, and by specific braking intervention.

When the off-road transmission mode is selected using the transmission mode switch, the shift points and accelerator characteristics are modified so that the requirements for driving on light off-road terrain, and particularly on loose surfaces, can be met. In combination with Audio 20 CD (standard) and COMAND Online (optional extra), the head unit can also be switched to an off-road display. The steering angle, the selected off-road transmission mode and a compass are displayed there. The roll angle in degrees, the gradient in percent and activation of Downhill Speed Regulation DSR are also indicated.

Smart safety: advanced assistance systems

Numerous driving assistance systems offer support in the GLA and reduce the driver’s workload. Standard-fit features for the SUV include ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection and radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist, which now helps to avoid collisions from a speed as low as 7 km/h.

This feature combines with DISTRONIC PLUS (optional extra) to become COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS. This incorporates an additional function: when a danger of collision persists and the driver fails to respond, the system is able to carry out autonomous braking at speeds of up to 200 km/h, thereby reducing the severity of collisions with slower or stopping vehicles. The system also brakes in response to stationary vehicles at a speed of up to 30 km/h, and is able to prevent rear-end collisions at speeds of up to 20 km/h.

Established assistance systems, such as the optional Lane Tracking package with Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist or Adaptive Highbeam Assist, are also available for the GLA. Active Parking Assist (optional) allows automatic parking in parallel and end-on parking spaces.

“Always on”: the multimedia systems

The latest multimedia generation deployed in the GLA boasts new functions, additional apps and a modified graphic colour scheme.

Daimler’s Digital Drive Style app concept, which together with the Drive Kit Plus for the iPhone® allows seamless integration of an iPhone® into the vehicle, has been extended. Highlights include Siri voice control and Glympse real-time location sharing. Glympse enables the user to share his or her current location with selected persons. Additional functions include Facebook®, Twitter®, internet radio, AUPEO!™ personal radio and the advanced navigation system from Garmin® with internet-based real-time traffic information, an online POI search function including Street View™ and a 3D map display.

The COMAND Online multimedia system has also been extended. The latest generation offers an improved map display, an additional Bluetooth® profile (to enable the internet to be accessed via iPhone®, for example), the display of images additionally in bmp and png formats and the real-time transfer of traffic data via LIVE TRAFFIC.

Here is an overview of the models and prices:

Model GLA 2001 GLA 2502/ GLA 250 4MATIC1 GLA 200 CDI1/ GLA 200 CDI 4MATIC2 GLA 220 CDI2/ GLA 220 CDI 4MATIC1
Number of cylinders/arrange-ment 4 in-line 4 in-line 4 in-line 4 in-line
Displacement (cc) 1595 1991 2143 2143
Rated power (kW/hp at rpm) 115/156 at 5300 155/211 at 5500 100/136 at 3400-4000 125/170 at 3400-4000
Rated torque (Nm at rpm) 250 at 1250-4000 350 at 1200-4000 300 at 1400-3000 350 at 1400-3400
Combined fuel consumption from (l/100 km) 5.9 S 6.0/6.5 S 4.3/4.9 D 4.4/4.9 D
Combined CO2 emissions from (g/km) 137 141/151 114/129 115/129
Efficiency class C C A A
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s) 8.9 7.2/7.1 10.0/9.9 8.3/8.3
Top speed (km/h) 215 235/230 205/200 215/215
Price (euros)3 29,303.75 35,283.50/ 37,496.90 32,130.00/ 36,509.20 37,038.75/ 39,252.15

 

1 Available from March 2014, 2 Available from May 2014, 3 Sales price in Germany, incl. 19% VAT

 

The Mercedes-Benz management team on the GLA

“Element of our strategy for the future”

“The success of our compact vehicles is an important element of our strategy for the future. Following the CLA, we are opening up another interesting market segment with the GLA. During the next few years the pace at which we introduce new products will remain high.” Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars

“We are continuing with the systematic implementation of our strategy to significantly broaden our offerings in the compact segment. With the GLA we are fulfilling the requirements of many customers who are looking to drive an emotionally appealing compact car featuring off-road capabilities combined with the typical qualities of a Mercedes-Benz: innovation, efficiency, safety and excellent value retention.” Prof Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development

“With its fascinating design and high everyday practicality, the GLA will fill many new customers with enthusiasm for the Mercedes-Benz brand. With the GLA we are expanding the comprehensive SUV range from Mercedes-Benz with an emotionally appealing variant and as such are exploiting the constantly growing compact SUV segment.” Ola Källenius, Member of the Divisional Board, Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales

“With its striking features the GLA embodies our progressive thinking and enthrals with its off-road proportions. The clearly defined surfaces convey power, poise and assurance, and we have managed to combine as much emotional appeal as possible with as much purity as necessary.” Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG

The model range

Many ideas for individualisation

With the three lines “Style”, “Urban” and “AMG Line” and the “Night”, “Exclusive” and “AMG Exclusive” equipment packages, the GLA offers broad scope for individualisation. In the first year after market launch a particularly exclusive “Edition 1” (see next section) also will be available. In addition, there are numerous optional extras to choose from, such as the large panoramic sliding sunroof, or the EASY-PACK tailgate, which can be opened and closed at the push of a button.

Striking 17-inch 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, a radiator grille with two silver-coloured louvres and chrome inserts as well as a chrome finish on the loading sill protector help to provide a stylishly dynamic appearance in the case of the “Style” equipment line. The interior features comfort seats in ARTICO man-made leather/Dourados fabric and also a multifunction steering wheel and shift lever in leather with silver-chrome highlights. The trim features a carbon structure.

The “Urban” line in turn includes a radiator grille with two silver-painted louvres and chrome inserts, 18-inch 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels and also a twin-pipe exhaust system with chrome-plated tailpipe trim integrated into the bumper. Further highlights are the loading sill protector and waistline trim strip in chrome as well as a simulated underguard in dark chrome on the front and rear bumpers. In the interior the sporty character is on display with sports seats featuring integral head restraints and a multifunction steering wheel in leather with perforated grip area. Details such as contrasting topstitching and wave-look trim round off the high-quality atmosphere.

Sportier handling and enhanced driving pleasure come courtesy of the “AMG Line” thanks to the dynamic handling package with suspension lowered by 15 mm and Sports Direct-Steer system. On the exterior, eye-catching features include the AMG bodystyling components with inserts in the front splitter and side sill panels as well as rear apron trim in matt titanium grey. Further highlights include 18-inch AMG light-alloy wheels and a twin-pipe sports exhaust system with chrome-plated tailpipe trim integrated into the bumper. The interior also boasts a sense of sportiness. Details include aluminium trim, sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre, the multifunction sports steering wheel with flattened bottom section and the gearshift lever in leather with silver-chrome highlights.

The packages: Night, Exclusive and AMG Exclusive

The Night package builds on the Urban line or AMG Line. It lends the GLA a sporty, expressive character with striking exterior equipment features. These include selected black design elements. The radiator grille sports two high-gloss black louvres and chrome inserts. Likewise in high-gloss black are the AMG 18- or 19-inch light-alloy wheels (based on the AMG Line), exterior mirrors, roof rails and waistline trim strips. Dark-tinted glass from the B-pillar to the rear protects against prying eyes and simultaneously emphasises the sporty character.

The highlights of the Exclusive package (available for all three lines) include heated sports seats with 4-way lumbar support for driver and front passenger, leather-covered, like the multifunction steering wheel and the gearshift lever. To match them, the instrument panel and door centre panels as well as the armrests in the doors and the centre console are trimmed with ARTICO man‑made leather. Contrasting topstitching and silver-chrome design elements also help to create an exclusive ambience. The instrument cluster with silver-coloured backplate in chequered-flag look and red dial needles underscores the high-class, sporty character.

Building on the AMG Line, the AMG Exclusive package for the interior offers maximum exclusivity, individuality and a sporty character. Features include the heated sports seats with 4-way lumbar support, whose black RED CUT leather upholstery with red contrasting topstitching sets striking highlights. The instrument panel and the armrest in the doors and the centre console are trimmed with matching ARTICO man-made leather. The multifunction sports steering wheel with flat bottom and perforated grip areas and the leather-trimmed gearshift lever emphasise the sporty character. Red contrasting topstitching is also to be found on all these elements, indicating a loving attention to detail. Further features include sports pedals in brushed stainless steel with rubber studs or the instrument cluster with silver-coloured backplate in chequered-flag look and red dial needles.

Additional optional extras: still more practical details

The panoramic sliding sunroof with its large glazed area provides for an especially bright and friendly ambience in the interior. It consists of a fixed panoramic glass roof in the rear section and a top-sliding power sunroof with net wind deflector in the front. In addition, two electric roller sunblinds provide shade for the passengers in strong sunlight. Numerous practical functions of the panoramic sliding sunroof ensure a high level of comfort on a journey. In tilt position the glass roof automatically adjusts to the current speed in three stages. At high speed the glass roof is lowered. This reduces the noise level and air circulation in the interior. Conversely, at low speed the glass roof is raised again. The open roof is closed when the air-recirculation switch is pushed or if it starts to rain (in conjunction with the optional). Light and Sight package).

 

The Light and Sight package creates a higher sense of perceived value in the interior and ensures the best possible visibility inside the vehicle. It comprises the function illumination, which enhances comfort and safety, and the ambient lighting for an enhanced interior atmosphere. Illumination of the door handles and footwells makes orientation easier. Other details include illuminated vanity mirrors in the sun visors, an illuminated interior mirror and separately switched reading lamps in the rear. The courtesy and warning lights for the driver and front passenger doors and the warning and background light in the tailgate serve to improve safety. The ambient lighting is controlled by means of a menu in the instrument cluster. The rear lighting and the integral reading lamps are operated by buttons in the overhead control panel. The electronically controlled rain sensor makes for more relaxed driving in poor weather by automatically ensuring the appropriate wipe frequency of the windscreen wipers depending on the amount of precipitation.

 

Net pockets on the left and right and a folding box make for a tidier and safer rear passenger area with the Load Compartment package. The backrests of the rear seats can be moved to a 15 degree steeper position, the so-called cargo position. In this way, the load compartment volume can be enlarged by 60 litres, from 421 to 481 litres. In the steeper backrest position the rear bench seat still can be used by passengers. Infant seats also can be fitted facing the rear. A 12V power socket in the luggage compartment completes this practical package.

To facilitate loading and unloading, the EASY-PACK tailgate can be easily opened electromechanically – either by pushing a button on the vehicle key, by means of a switch on the driver’s door, or by actuating the release handle of the tailgate. It can be closed by pressing a button on the bottom edge of the tailgate. The closing action ceases automatically if an object prevents closing. To avoid banging the tailgate against the ceiling of a low garage, for example, the tailgate motion can be stopped in any position. Limiting of the opening angle is activated by extended pressing of the closing button (with signal confirmation).

Under the microscope: GLA Edition 1

Special incentive at the start

For approximately one year after market launch of the GLA the particularly exclusive Edition 1 version will be available. The special model is recognisable by the “Edition 1” lettering on the front wings.

The Edition 1 of the GLA impresses with exclusive details both inside and out. The exterior is based on the Urban line with simulated underguard and roof rails in chrome. Further features include bi-xenon headlamps, 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels finished in high-gloss black, a black radiator grille louvre with chrome inserts, black-painted exterior mirrors, black waistline trim strips and dark-tinted glass starting from the B-pillars. The Edition 1 will be available exclusively in the paint finishes cirrus white, orient brown metallic, mountain grey metallic and designo magno mountain grey (from autumn 2014).

Interior highlights include the DESERT DUST interior with

  • seats which are only available in the Edition 1 upholstered in nut brown leather and Alvorada fabric with striking moccasin stitching
  • 3-spoke multifunction sports steering wheel in leather, with perforated grip area and flattened bottom section
  • sports pedals in brushed stainless steel with rubber studs
  • aluminium trim with trapezoidal grain
  • air vents with nozzle ring and cross element in silver chrome
  • cover over the stowage compartment in the centre console
  • cord floor mats with stitching in the appointments colour
  • black roof liner and Light and Sight package (single-tone ambient lighting; illumination of the stowage compartment in the centre console; illuminated make-up mirror for driver and front passenger; illuminated front door sill panels with Mercedes lettering; front and rear footwell lighting; interior mirror with additional lighting; rear lighting with integral reading lamps and locator lighting; windscreen wipers with rain sensor, courtesy and warning lights for driver and front passenger doors).

The design

Quality and self-assurance

As an SUV, the new GLA combines the key design values of progression and tradition, and is the SUV of the future. It is an all-rounder with hallmark Mercedes-Benz SUV genes, but more youthful, sculptural and full of subtle drama. The muscular and imposing appearance of the exterior is systematically continued into the interior. The interior has a particularly high feel of quality that is achieved by the contours, and the choice and combinations of high-grade materials.

Sensual purity as an expression of modern luxury – this was the focus for the designers, and embodies the design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz. The aim is to create clear contours and smooth surfaces that communicate high-tech while exuding an all-embracing emotional appeal. The sensual purity is reflected in the core design values of tradition, emotion and progressivism. These make up the leitmotif which is accentuated differently depending on the model.

Mercedes-Benz creates a bridge between modernity and the avant-garde, between tradition and progressivism. Each model series has an assigned role and has a very specific character, depending on the attributes on which the design focuses. And yet a Mercedes-Benz is always recognisable as a Mercedes-Benz. Because in addition to incorporating new stylistic developments, and in the interests of keeping tradition alive, the designers draw from a gene-pool of styling features typical of the brand.

“With its striking features the GLA embodies our progressive thinking and enthrals with its off-road proportions,” says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG. “The clearly defined surfaces convey power and serenity, and we have managed to combine as much emotional appeal as possible with as much purity as necessary.”

As an SUV, the new GLA combines the key design values of progression and tradition, and is the SUV of the future. It is an all-rounder with hallmark Mercedes-Benz SUV genes, but more youthful, sculptural and full of subtle drama.

The low greenhouse, raised vehicle body and large wheel arches give the GLA great appeal. The clearly defined surfaces are supplemented with sharp lines that provide definition and precision, varying the sculptured contours of the vehicle body which is sensitively modelled and subtly dramatic.

The prominent and self-assured, upright front end with a central star lends a muscular and superior impression to the GLA. Powerdomes structure the bonnet as sporty features, and the twin-louvre grille accentuates the vehicle’s width. An impressive front aspect is ensured by the headlamps and LED daytime running lamps. This iconic Mercedes-Benz design feature has been developed further using trifunctional fibre-optics, and gives the vehicle its characteristic light signature. The front bumper features diamond-pattern grilles in front of the cooling air intakes. The optional fog lamps are integrated into the front bumper. A simulated underguard at the front and contrasting dark-grey cladding all-round emphasise the SUV characteristics of the GLA. This cladding extends around the bottom edge of the vehicle like a frame and provides protection against stone impact.

The side view of the GLA likewise conveys power and serenity. Following the design philosophy, the “dropping line” emerges at the headlamp and extends to the rear wheel arch. The line of the beltline trim gradually rises from the rear door to the C-pillar. Together the light-catching contour on the curvature and the counter-line to the dropping line at side sill height create an interplay of lines that lends the car flowing dynamism and subtle drama. At the sides the cladding follows the contours of the wheel arches and side sill panels into the rear bumper. The side panel has depressions shaped like an excavator’s teeth to accentuate the SUV character. Standard-fit roof trim strips complete the impression; in combination with the “Style” line or the “Night” package, aluminium roof rails in high-gloss black are available as an optional extra (black roof rails as standard in the Style line and the Night package, chrome-plated roof rails in the Urban and AMG lines). On request the GLA is fitted with tyres up to size 19-inch.

The muscular shoulders over the rear axle are further highlighted by the inward taper of the C-pillars. In combination with the divided tail lights, this emphasises the width of the rear end. It combines dynamic lines with an overall harmonious appearance.

This impression is heightened by the curved rear window and the sweeping chrome handle between the tail lights. Thanks to the divided tail lights, the loading hatch is pleasantly wide. The large, aerodynamically very effective roof spoiler is another eye-catching feature. It takes up the structure of the rear roof cladding and accommodates the third brake light and various aerials. In the area of the rear bumper cladding there are other SUV-specific features such as a robust external load sill guard and a simulated underguard available in silver, dark chrome or high-gloss black.

Interior: attractive design features and high perceived quality

The muscular and imposing appearance of the exterior is systematically continued into the interior. The interior has a particularly high feel of quality that is achieved by the contours, and the choice and combinations of high-grade materials. The heavy emphasis on horizontal lines, the dynamic design and the highly attractive design features are other high-quality attributes. The same applies to the great precision of joints and gap dimensions.

The dashboard consists of an upper and lower section, allowing surface structures that are different in look and feel. Matt and glossy 3D geometries (graining) create an attractive light effect. The three-dimensional trim section of innovative membrane, aluminium or wood lends a new, modern touch to the interior. The matt satin finish of the wood trim further underscores the modern character and makes the surface particularly pleasant to the touch.

Five round air vents are integrated into the dashboard. As an exclusive GLA feature, bezels are optionally available around these circular vents whose SUV-look echoes the underguard and side member claddings. The bezels can be galvanised as an option. The direction of the airflow can be varied by butterfly-shaped inserts which can be optionally galvanised in silver-shadow.

The large, free-standing display has a high-gloss display facing in piano-black and a flush-fitting surround in silver-shadow. This gives the display a particularly high-quality look. A 3-spoke steering wheel with 12 function keys and a galvanised chrome clasp feature as standard. On request a sporty instrument cluster version with two tubes is available.

In this case there is a small dial instrument in each of the large dial instruments. When at rest the needles are in the 6 o’clock position. The needle inlays are always in silver.

The wide choice of seat upholsteries in material (e.g. leather, fabric, fabric/leather) and colour combinations allows plenty of scope for individualisation. Sports seats with integrated head restraints are available as an optional extra.

The high quality of the sports seats is emphasised by the aperture in the lower section of the head restraint. On the rear of the front seats this aperture is framed by a surround in silver-shadow, and can have ambience lighting on request.

If the optional Load Compartment package is ordered, the backrest of the rear seat unit can be moved to a steeper position, the so-called cargo position. This enlarges the load compartment capacity by 60 litres, providing more space for bulky items while still allowing the rear seat bench to be used by passengers.

Set into a galvanised surround, the controls for the optional “electric seat adjustment with memory” are arranged on the interior door panels in typical Mercedes style – a unique feature in this segment. The interior door panels are likewise of extremely high quality. The soft, matt surfaces extend right from the beltline to the door pocket. In combination with the lines or the Exclusive package the door armrests have a high-quality chrome trim strip and, as an option, ambient lighting.

Aerodynamics

As sleek as they come

With the GLA, yet another model series is set to become the leader in its segment with respect to aerodynamic efficiency. It has a Cd value of 0.29. At 0.66 m2 the drag area, Cd x A, which decisively affects fuel consumption from around 60 km/h, is also outstanding.

The good air flow characteristics, which are a major contributory factor to the vehicle’s low fuel consumption in everyday conditions, result from numerous aerodynamic optimisation measures. These include a low A-pillar step with suitable A-pillar geometry and aerodynamically optimised exterior mirror housings. The rear end is also streamlined. The measures here include the roof spoiler lip and the aerodynamically shaped tail lights. Rear spoilers at the sides ensure that the airflow breaks off for optimal aerodynamic efficiency. Seals in the front bumper (around radiator grille including headlamps) complement the aerodynamic measures.

Extensive underbody panelling, additional panelling in the middle area of the rear axle and an aerodynamically optimised rear silencer followed by a diffuser improve the flow of air beneath the underbody.

Numerous measures have also been taken to reduce wind noise in the GLA. These include a multi-level door sealing concept, additional sealing of the joint between the tailgate and the roof and side seals on the tailgate. Particularly rigid window frames prevent the airflow from pulling on the doors at higher speeds, and reduce vibrations. External noise has also been minimised by the low A-pillar step and exterior mirrors connected to the body by a stem.

The anti-soiling measures on the exterior mirrors, side windows and rear window have special importance as a safety feature in wet weather. Dirt deflection is achieved by suitable channelling of the dirt-laden water that impacts the windscreen, the A-pillars and the exterior mirror housings. The special design of the water deflector on the A-pillar prevents most of the water from flowing over onto the side window. The exterior mirror housings feature an aerodynamic design, with the result that only minimal soiling of the side windows, mirror glass and door handles occurs.

The body

Stable foundation

The GLA has an extremely rigid body, providing the basis for stable and safe handling characteristics both on and off the road, best-in-class NVH comfort and outstanding passive safety. Weighing around 400 kilograms, 73 percent of the bodyshell is comprised of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels. In the area of the side roof frame and the new C-ring structure in the rear, hot-shaped steels – the highest strength category possible for body steels – are used.

The specifications book for the GLA posed two special challenges to the body engineers: the optionally available glass sunroof, far and away the largest in its class – 64 percent of the roof surface is glazed in order to provide the passengers in all seats an airy sense of spaciousness and the large tailgate opening to facilitate loading of the GLA.

Given the torsional stiffness of the body, to achieve the same high level as with a closed steel roof the roof bows in this area had to be adequately replaced. This was achieved with a double-skinned roof frame to support the B-pillars, an enlargement of the cross-section at the D-ring (the rearmost member of the body), the use of hot-shaped steels, and with an extremely sturdy glass sunroof frame firmly bolted to and bonded with the body structure.

For the wide tailgate opening, which enables easy loading even with bulky objects, the engineers developed a new body structure. Along with the usual D-ring an additional C-ring finds use. These two closed ring structures form an extremely stable unit and ensure excellent torsional stiffness. They also compensate for the loads generated by the new spindle-type actuator of the optionally available automatic tailgate. Very large forces occur there especially when automatic opening begins.

In addition, the two rear shock-absorber strut fixtures are supported by the C-ring. This decisively improves the resistance to forces transmitted from the rear axle connection and thus the NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) characteristics in general.

The GLA body confirmed the success of these measures during the severe marathon “track & field endurance test” over 80,000 km.

Under the microscope: endurance testing

A vehicle lifespan at time lapse speed

Apart from purely road-based endurance tests, endurance testing of the new GLA-Class involved additional trials with stresses related to all-wheel-drive operations off paved roads. During the nine months of endurance testing, an entire vehicle lifespan from customer perspective is simulated at time lapse speed. In all, 24 GLA models completed this marathon and other endurance tests, racking up a total of 1.8 million kilometres in the process.

Like the GLK-Class before it, which was renowned for its robustness, the GLA‑Class successfully was put through a special endurance test: the Track&Field endurance test. This test, covering some 80,000 kilometres, is based on the road endurance tests and is supplemented with a number of special sections far off paved roads, a sprint programme at the Nürburgring Nordschleife and intensive trials in an Alpine environment. Following positive experiences with the GLA and GLK the Track&Field endurance test will be the final examination for all compact Mercedes-Benz SUVs.

Compared to the ML, GL and G-Class models, which fulfil the requirements for the most extreme off-road applications, the Track&Field endurance test represents the performance profile that customers expect from a compact SUV: the main area of usage is on the road, however there are considerable expectations of the skills off the beaten track. For this reason the track & field endurance test was elaborated, exactly mirroring the performance spectrum of a compact SUV based on the use profile of the customers. But this does not mean the GLK and GLA are softies fit solely for boulevards: the demands made by the track & field endurance test are very harsh, as demonstrated for example by the off-road endurance runs conducted on a tank crew training ground.

During this nine-month GLA marathon the focus of the tests is on the durability and reliable operation of the new 4MATIC all-wheel drivetrain, the suspension and the comfort, control and assistance systems. In addition, the track & field test ensures the strength and durability of the entire structure of the SUV body structure.

Documentation: collection of comprehensive data provides insights and enables projections

Simulating the entire lifespan of a vehicle within nine months requires a defined load scenario which the testing engineers realise with different “load collectives”. The track & field endurance test includes extensive drives on country roads, motorways or in inner-city stop-and-go traffic – disciplines familiar from the conventional road endurance testing programme covering 150,000 kilometres. In part, these stretches are covered by the GLA test vehicles towing a trailer with the maximum allowable towing capacity; this is intended to further intensify the structural loads on the body. But the distance of 1.8 million kilometres covered by the 24 GLA long-distance runners only partially reflects the scope of the test disciplines. In the track & field endurance test the test drivers also check all the controls and operating devices according to an exactly defined procedure.

Always on board with the test driver: the computer to record all the data. It continuously records 190 different measured variables for the standard-fit monitoring and control systems and some 50 variables for additionally installed sensors. To safeguard and evaluate the data they are transmitted to the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center (MTC). Subjective impressions of the experienced drivers help to further enhance production maturity.

All information is managed with Daimler’s own development tool FINAS (Vehicle Information and Administration System). Here the complete vita of the GLA prototypes with all measured data and vehicle-specific information such as stage of development, equipment, chassis, tyres or engine are saved, and pending or performed service or repair work is entered.

Aggravated conditions: Nürburgring, Alps, tank practice grounds

One kilometre at racing pace on the Nürburgring North Loop is equivalent to the load experienced during 20 kilometres in the real life of an automobile. The GLA has to complete 240 laps or about 5000 kilometres in the test. This adds up to the equivalent of 100,000 “workaday” kilometres. The endurance tests in an Alpine environment are similarly demanding. One stretch in the Italian Alps covers a distance of 154 kilometres, includes nine Alpine passes and winds through 450 bends. The vehicles have to cover differences in elevation of 4300 metres, and the total test distance after 20 laps on this surface is 3080 kilometres. The numerous winding bends impose a particular strain on both the chassis and the 4MATIC drivetrain as the vehicle accelerates out of the bends, and ensure that the dynamic handling control systems have their work cut out.

In view of its lineage, Mercedes-Benz requires that the new compact SUV also prove its mettle off surfaced roads. After all, in deference to the G-Class – the grandfather of all SUVs and cross-country vehicles with the star – only those vehicles that also meet certain minimum requirements off-road may carry a “G” in their name. To ensure this, the track & field endurance test includes a run that very freely construes the term “primitive road” – the so-called tank ring road of a military training area of the German Armed Forces in southern Germany. Where 62-tonne tracked monsters normally tear up the terrain, the GLA had to complete 1000 kilometres and thereby prove that it is capable of withstanding even such adverse conditions on a sustained basis.

The sequence of tests plays an important role in the track & field endurance test. Here, too, the track & field endurance test is aligned with the real-life demands on an SUV owned by the customer. The individual on- and off-road disciplines are broken down into test cycles which are completed in varied patterns according to a defined distribution. For instance, a drive over country roads can be followed by an off-road excursion, or a city drive can be followed by a long stretch of motorway, just like in real life.

To cover various load scenarios for a customer-owned vehicle, in addition a number of disciplines involve different loads. For this purpose, either steel bars are firmly screwed to the vehicle floor in the rear, or the test drivers are accompanied by “water boys”: water-filled plastic torsos weighing 82 kilograms, strapped to the seats with standard seat belts.

Finale: complete disassembly and detailed evaluation

After completing track & field endurance testing the GLA models are disassembled and their individual components are spread out like an automotive puzzle. Behind closed doors the specialist departments the development and test engineers subsequently evaluate all vehicle components, focussing on those areas where any anomalies have been observed during the endurance tests. If no further nonconformances are found in these sections, their fitness for series production can be certified.

However, if further problems or previously undiscovered problems arise, the engineers become active again until they find a perfect solution. If in doubt, GLA endurance test subjects are sent on their rounds again and the tests on devices such as the body testing facility or the road simulation test rig are intensified. After the closed-door meetings over the disassembled GLA, further assessments follow: in the appropriate development units the engine, transmission and 4MATIC drivetrain then are completely disassembled, measured and scrutinised.

Track & field endurance test: one of many

The track & field endurance test rounds off the extensive endurance testing programme carried out worldwide by Mercedes-Benz. This endurance testing programme differs fundamentally from the development and tuning runs performed on new models; these are done additionally. Whereas on these runs the characteristics laid down in the specifications book are verified, programmes like the track & field endurance test verify the reliability and durability of new models.

Other endurance tests:

  • World endurance test: 50,000 km worldwide in extreme climatic and topographic conditions
  • Trailer endurance test: 25,000 km with a special loaded trailer
  •  Rough road endurance test: 2000 km over extremely rough roads (“Heide” endurance test)
  • Corrosion endurance test: 12-week testing in climate and corrosion chambers and on real-life routes
  • Function tests: Checking of control systems and dynamic handling control systems on load-specific routes
  • Hockenheim endurance test: 6000 km on the Grand Prix circuit at racing speed
  • Full-load endurance tests over 30,000 or 50,000 km on cordoned-off high-speed tracks such as Nardo (southern Italy) or the Mercedes-Benz testing grounds in Papenburg, northern Germany

Active safety

Helpful assistants

Numerous driving assistance systems offer support in the GLA and reduce the driver’s workload. Standard-fit features for the SUV include ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection and radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with adaptive Brake Assist, which helps in the GLA to protect against collisions from a speed of 7 km/h. Models with 4MATIC are equipped with DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation) as standard.

The radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST system provides the possibly distracted driver with visual and acoustic warnings of identified obstacles and prepares Brake Assist for precision braking. This braking is initiated as soon as the driver firmly presses the brake pedal. When an impending danger of collision is identified, COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST calculates the precise braking force ideally needed to avoid an accident and makes the best possible use of any distance remaining.

DSR: support on downhill stretches

Models with 4MATIC are equipped with DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation) and an off-road transmission mode as standard. DSR is activated by a control button in the centre console, and assists the driver on demanding downhill stretches by maintaining a slow, manually selected vehicle speed within the physical limits when negotiating downhill gradients. This is done with the help of the engine and transmission control systems, and by specific braking intervention.

Hill-Start Assist (standard feature of all GLA models), on the other hand, is able to prevent the vehicle from rolling back unintentionally when moving off on an uphill slope.

Electronic helpers: all the other assistance systems at a glance

Active Parking Assist, available as an optional extra on the GLA-Class, helps the driver to manoeuvre into and out of parking spaces. Twelve ultrasonic sensors located in the front and rear bumpers measure potential parallel and end-on parking spaces to the right and left of the road. As standard, a search is made on the right; on the left only if the direction indicator is activated. If a suitable space is found, after stopping the vehicle and engaging reverse gear the driver can activate the automatic parking aid using the control panel of the multifunction steering wheel. The system computes a suitable entrance path which requires a maximum of seven moves to park the vehicle. The driver is assisted while parking by activation of the electromechanical steering. However, the driver is still required to operate the accelerator and brake and select the gear. The parking speed is limited to 10 km/h. Parking on slight bends also is supported.

Automatic steering to exit the parking space is a new subfunction. If the vehicle has been parked using Active Parking Assist, the vehicle can be steered out of the longitudinal parking space in which the vehicle had previously been parked. For this the driver has to engage reverse and actuate the turn indicator before activating – via the control panel on the multifunction steering wheel – the automatic assistance function for manoeuvring out of parking spaces. Here, too, the driver has to operate the accelerator, brake and gearshift. As soon as the vehicle has assumed a sufficient angle to exit the parking space in one straight move, the wheels are set to the straight ahead position, the process ends and the driver assumes steering control again. The process is completed at the latest when the vehicle is at an angle of 45 degrees relative to the starting position.

A series of further assistance systems can be added to this:

  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist: when vehicles are detected ahead of or oncoming to the vehicle, this system automatically dips the beams and adjusts the range of the headlamps appropriate to the distance. The driver benefits from a longer dipped beam range and does not generally need to switch manually between main and dipped beam.
  • Intelligent Light System (ILS): with five light functions, automatically adapts to the weather and light conditions and the driving conditions. ILS comprises bi-xenon headlamps with variable light distribution and dynamic range adjustment for country roads, motorways and heavy fog, Adaptive Highbeam Assist, active curve light, LED daytime running lamps and headlamp cleaning system.
  • Blind Spot Assist: detects vehicles in the critical zone by means of two radar sensors located at the sides at the rear of the vehicle and warns the driver by displaying a red triangle in the exterior mirror. If the turn indicator is actuated the red triangle begins to flash and a warning tone is emitted.
  • Lane Keeping Assist: a camera behind the windscreen detects carriageway markings and can recognise if the car is about to leave a detected lane unintentionally.
  • Attention Assist (standard): provides a warning when typical signs of drowsiness are detected. The system’s highly sensitive sensors observe the driver’s behaviour and can recognise – especially on the basis of how the steering wheel is being moved – if the driver is becoming drowsy or inattentive.
  • Speed Limit Assist: a camera fitted behind the windscreen detects speed limit signs at the roadside and compares this data to information contained in the GPS system or the digital map. The relevant speed limit is then displayed in the instrument cluster.
  • Hold function of brake (standard): when stopping, for example at traffic lights, the driver merely has to press the brake pedal slightly more firmly once (and can then take his or her foot off the brake) to keep the brake engaged until moving off again. The brake is released automatically when the driver steps on the accelerator.
  • Reversing camera: integrated in the handle strip on the tailgate, the reversing camera features a wide-angle lens. When reverse gear is engaged, the image from the camera is transmitted to the screen of the Audio 20 system or the COMAND system. Static and dynamic guide lines assist the driver during manoeuvring.
  • DISTRONIC PLUS: radar-based adaptive cruise control supports the driver at speeds between zero and 200 km/h by automatically adjusting the distance from the vehicles in front. In doing so it is able to apply the brakes to bring the vehicle to a complete standstill and also accelerate it again. As a result, the system is also particularly convenient in stop-and-go traffic. If the system detects that the distance is being reduced too quickly, it warns the driver with both visual and audible signals.
  • Cruise control with Speedtronic: the cruise control maintains the preset speed. The additional SPEEDTRONIC function ensures that the saved speed is not exceeded. Both functions come as standard with the 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission and are optionally available for the models with manual transmission.

Passive safety

A protection programme for every eventuality

“One star is all you need” – the Mercedes-Benz safety philosophy also applies to the new GLA-Class. Its safety equipment includes belt tensioners and belt force limiters for the rear seats, too, the PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system and the active bonnet for pedestrian protection. The line-up also features seven airbags as standard and the Mercedes automatic emergency call system.

The new GLA-Class has passed the brand’s rigorous programme of crash tests. This includes not only some 30 different impact configurations, which are laid down as requirements for safety ratings and international type approval, but also nine proprietary crash tests, such as the roof-drop test or the pole impact test, developed by the brand itself. In the tests, as a matter of principle Mercedes-Benz uses the engines from which one can expect the highest loads on the body.

The bodyshell structure provides the basis for the high standard of passive safety, both in terms of material and with regard to its structural design. Key features of the front-end structure are the systematic implementation of an available crash length, load distribution over several planes, the new bulkhead and floor concept and the subframe as a deformation element.

A total of three longitudinal member planes – consisting of the straight front longitudinal members with inserted crash boxes made from extruded aluminium box sections, a second, upper plane as an extension of the load-bearing structure at the A-pillar node in the mirror triangle sector and a third plane at the bottom in front of the subframe – enable the controlled reduction of impact energy.

The subframe provides the torque support for the transverse engine/transmission block and serves to attach the components for the front axle and steering. It consists of several steel plates, some in ultra-high-strength steel, and a hydroformed tube. In order to optimise its deformation properties, the subframe is connected via two aluminium struts leading forward to the aluminium radiator mount located under the front end. In the event of a frontal impact, forces can be discharged at an early juncture into the subframe via this third load path, in order to ensure the best possible energy dissipation.

A plastic crash wedge which is fitted at the rear of the front wheel arches helps to ensure that the wheels do not slide under the front doors in the event of a high-impact crash, irrespective of the turning angles. This means that it will be possible to open the doors, even after a serious accident.

The bulkhead also incorporates a special feature: so-called “skate runners” in front of the two middle longitudinal members discharge forces into the floor. The continuous floor structure consists of a total of four straight longitudinal members. The tunnel roof reinforcements at front and rear combine with the tunnel to provide a further closed profile supporting the front end.

Protection in side-on crashes through controlled deformation

Rigid side structures and defined deformation management help to safeguard the survival space for occupants in the event of a side impact. Elements here include a member fitted diagonally in the rear footwell between centre tunnel and floor side wall which is intended to prevent the floor from being torn open in the event of side impact with a tree.

In the upper sector of the B-pillar high strength steels are used in order to ensure that as little intrusion as possible occurs, and that the passenger cell remains as intact as possible in the event of a side impact. In the lower sector, on the other hand, the B-pillar is designed to be softer, in order to enable energy reduction. In this manner, deformation is directed to a few critical areas beneath the seating surface and transferred to the other vehicle side via the tubular structures in the front seats, transversal members and massive transmission bridge in the main floor.

Extensive pedestrian protection measures including active bonnet

The protection of those road users who are most at risk has always been a top priority during the development of Mercedes passenger cars. The new GLA-Class features numerous protective measures designed to help lessen the risk of injury to pedestrians. For example, in order to reduce the loads which arise in the event of a pedestrian impact on the bonnet of the vehicle, the deformation space between the bonnet and the components beneath it has been optimised. This is achieved in part through the appropriate positioning of components such as control units or fluid reservoirs in the engine compartment.

The GLA-Class also features an active bonnet. In the event of a collision with a pedestrian, sophisticated sensors combined with intelligent algorithms trigger pyrotechnical actuators in the area of the bonnet hinges. These raise the bonnet by 60 millimetres. The additional space which this creates between the bonnet and the components in the engine compartment means that a pedestrian’s head is subject to comparatively low internal acceleration forces on impact.

The deformation characteristics of the bonnet have been developed specifically to meet these requirements. Reductions in the impact loads can be achieved by using aluminium and reinforcing the inside face of the bonnet.

Intelligent restraint systems

The GLA-Class protects its passengers with up to nine airbags. The standard complement comprises driver and front-passenger airbag, a kneebag for the driver, large thorax-pelvisbags incorporated in the seat to protect the chest, stomach and pelvis area, and windowbags. The windowbags extend over both rows of seats to the A-pillar triangle. They serve to protect the occupants’ heads from hard contact in the event of side impact and can also help to keep limbs inside the vehicle in an accident. The driver and front passenger airbags operate in two stages, according to the expected severity of impact. The gas generator first of all fills the driver’s airbag with 80 and the front passenger’s airbag with 60 percent gas. If a more severe impact is forecast, the second stage of the gas generator will additionally be activated after a delay and the airbags will be filled at a higher pressure level. Sidebags for the rear are optionally available.

The high safety expertise of the GLA-Class’s developers is reflected in a host of details. . The deformable steering column yields by up to 100 millimetres when the driver exerts pressure on the airbag as a result of forward displacement in an accident, for example. The comfort features also reveal a fine touch: the driver’s airbag is connected to a vibration absorber in the steering wheel to reduce vibrations, for example.

Comprehensive precautionary measures in the rear

In developing the new GLA-Class, the Mercedes-Benz safety experts have also attached great importance to the safety of the rear-seat occupants. The new model therefore meets the relevant requirements of the Japanese and Chinese NCAP institutes, which also take account of factors such as the ease of use of the rear seat belts. Experts believe that Euro NCAP will extend its rating programme to include rear-seat safety in the medium term. The GLA-Class is already prepared for this and is a role model in this respect – both within and beyond its own vehicle category – with features such as standard-fit belt tensioners and belt force limiters for the outer rear seats. A torsion bar in the roller mechanism twists when the load on it exceeds a defined level. In this way the belt force is limited and with it the load on the seat occupant.

The GLA-Class’s features also include the standard-fit ISOFIX child seat securing system on the outer seats. Child seats can additionally be fixed to the vehicle by means of special anchorage points with top tethers.

PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system

The PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system is available in the GLA-Class as an option. This represents a further step in the ongoing democratisation of this innovation, which was premiered in the S-Class in 2002.

PRE-SAFE® from Mercedes-Benz uses the time between detection of a potential accident situation and a possible collision to initiate preventive protection measures, thus reducing the loads exerted on the occupants in the event of a crash by up to 40 percent.

Core features of PRE-SAFE® are reversible belt tensioning, the closing of side windows and sliding sunroof when critical lateral dynamics are detected and adjustment of the fully electric front passenger seat with memory function to an ideal position for maximum effectiveness of the restraint systems.

PRE-SAFE® is activated when one of the following parameters is met: emergency braking, panic braking, pronounced over- or understeering, critical steering movements or heavy support by adaptive Brake Assist.

Automatic Mercedes-Benz emergency call

In combination with COMAND Online, the new GLA-Class is equipped with the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system. As long as COMAND Online is connected to a mobile phone, the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system can rapidly automatically alert the emergency services in the event of a serious accident.

After the airbags or the pyrotechnical belt tensioners are triggered, the vehicle’s exact GPS position and vehicle identification number (VIN) are sent by SMS to a special emergency centre, with positional data also being transmitted using the DTMF method (dual-tone multi-frequency) at the same time. Even if the occupants are unconscious or unsure of exactly where they are because they are on a holiday trip, for example, the emergency services alerted by the emergency centre will be notified quickly with accurate information. The driver can also make the emergency call manually as “MB emergency call” is always the first entry in the system phone directory.

On receiving the call, the emergency centre establishes voice contact with the vehicle occupants in a matter of seconds. A particularly practical aspect in an emergency is that communications are conducted not in the language of the country where the accident has occurred but in the language which the driver has preset in COMAND Online.

Other than any mobile phone communication charges, which would only arise in the event of an actual emergency call, no charges are incurred by the driver for the emergency call facility and no contractual relationship – other than the regular mobile phone contract – is required.

The engines

Four and 4×4

Initially the power range of the 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol engines will extend from 115 kW (156 hp) in the GLA 200 to 155 kW (211 hp) in the GLA 250. The two diesel engines excel with dynamic torque and outstanding efficiency: the two choices are the GLA 200 CDI with 100 kW (136 hp) and the GLA 220 CDI with 125 kW (170 hp). With the exception of the basic petrol engine, all engines can be combined with 4MATIC all-wheel drive. All the engines feature the ECO start/stop function and comply with the Euro 6 emissions standard.

The basis for the two petrol engine variants in the new GLA-Class is the all-aluminium M 270 engine with two chain-driven overhead camshafts and four-valve technology. In the new GLA-Class the M 270 is available in two output ratings. The GLA 200 with a displacement of 1595 cc develops 115 kW (156 hp) and maximum torque of 250 Nm, which is available from 1250 to 4000 rpm. It sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 8.9 seconds and has a top speed of 215 km/h, but gets by on an average of 5.9 l/100 km of fuel, meaning CO2 emissions of 137 g/km.

The GLA 250 is powered by the top engine variant with a displacement of 1991 cc. The engine develops 155 kW (211 hp) and maximum torque of 350 Nm from 1200 to 4000 rpm. The GLA 250 is optionally available also as 4MATIC version. Performance is at sports car level, with acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 7.2 (7.1) seconds and a top speed of 235 (230) km/h (figures for 4MATIC version in brackets). Nonetheless it has the best fuel consumption in this class at 6.0 (6.5) l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 141 (151) g/km.

Agile right from low speeds: the diesel engines

Dynamic in its handling, extremely efficient and of exemplary cleanliness: the GLA 220 CDI, available exclusively in combination with the 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission. The 125 kW (170 hp) top diesel variant, with a displacement of 2.2 litres and peak torque of 350 Nm, features a weight-optimised crankshaft and, with its individual bearing covers bolted from below and four counterweights, weighs around six kilograms less than an OM 651 of the same displacement, in the longitudinal-installation variant. The GLA 220 CDI is equipped with a multi-path exhaust gas recirculation system which reduces nitrogen oxide emission levels.

With 115 (129) g CO2 per kilometre and a combined fuel consumption of 4.4 (4.9) litres per 100 km, the GLA 220 CDI sets new standards in its segment (figures for 4MATIC version in brackets). Performance characteristics: 8.3 (8.3) seconds for the standard sprint and a top speed of 215 (215) km/h.

At 2.2 litres, the engine has a relatively large displacement, which makes it agile right from low speeds. Mercedes-Benz engine experts call this combination of large-displacement engine and low engine speeds “downspeeding”. As a result it has been possible to make the ECONOMY mode of the 7G-DCT transmission decidedly economical and comfortable. If the driver selects transmission mode “S”, gearshifts are performed much faster and the ratio spread uses the rpm reserves of the engine for dynamic performance.

The engine of the GLA 200 CDI has the same displacement, while the maximum output is 100 kW (136 hp) and the maximum torque 300 Nm. This engine has been reengineered for greater efficiency. The modifications include optimisation of the belt drive, a cylinder head package with different roller bearings and additional finishing, optimisation of the vacuum pump, aluminium pistons with optimised assembly clearances and a low-friction ring package, and the roller bearings of the Lanchester balancer shaft. The combined fuel consumption of 4.3 (4.9) litres of diesel per 100 kilometres is outstanding in this output class (figures for 4MATIC version in brackets).

 

All models at a glance:

Model GLA 2001 GLA 2502/ GLA 250 4MATIC1 GLA 200 CDI1/ GLA 200 CDI 4MATIC2 GLA 220 CDI2/ GLA 220 CDI 4MATIC1
Number of cylinders/arrange-ment 4 in-line 4 in-line 4 in-line 4 in-line
Displacement (cc) 1595 1991 2143 2143
Rated power (kW/hp at rpm) 115/156 at 5300 155/211 at 5500 100/136 at 3400-4000 125/170 at 3400-4000
Rated torque (Nm at rpm) 250 at 1250-4000 350 at 1200-4000 300 at 1400-3000 350 at 1400-3400
Combined fuel consumption from (l/100 km) 5.9 S 6.0/6.5 S 4.3/4.9 D 4.4/4.9 D
Combined CO2 emissions from (g/km) 137 141/151 114/129 115/129
Efficiency class C C A A
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s) 8.9 7.2/7.1 10.0/9.9 8.3/8.3
Top speed (km/h) 215 235/230 205/200 215/215

 

1 Available from March 2014, 2 available from May 2014

The transmissions

Shifting comfort combined with efficiency

The 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission and the six-speed manual transmission enable a driving style that is both comfortable and dynamic. Both transmissions are extremely compact and share a series of components with each other.

The 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission is extremely compact, extremely variable with regard to adaptation of the engine speed thanks to seven gears, and incorporates an electric oil pump for start/stop capability. It shifts gears without any interruptions in tractive power and combines the comfort of an automatic with the efficiency of a manual transmission. The GLA 250 and GLA 220 CDI are equipped as standard with the 7G-DCT transmission, which is optionally available for the GLA 200 and GLA 200 CDI.

The manual transmission, designed along similarly compact lines as a three-shaft transmission, is a close relative of the DCT. Extremely easy gear shifting, low shift forces, low internal friction and a low weight are among its most important characteristics.

The 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission: dynamic and efficient

Thanks to its seven gears it offers an exceptionally large spread of up to 7.99. This means that a very short transmission ratio is available when moving off on an uphill slope with a high payload, for example, while during cruising the engine speed can be lowered considerably.

At a length of 367 millimetres and a weight of 86 kilograms, the 7G-DCT is more compact and lighter than the transmissions in this torque class which have been available on the market to date. The clutches take the form of oil-cooled multi-disc clutches. The specially developed hydraulic fluid is actively cooled, thus ensuring correct functioning of the transmission even under extreme conditions, despite the comparatively low filling level of six litres. Excess engine heat can also be transferred to the transmission, which improves its efficiency.

For the first time in this type of unit, the transmission is supplied with oil by two oil pumps – one mechanical and one electric. The electric pump maintains the oil pressure when the engine is switched off via the start/stop function. This means that the transmission is immediately operational when the engine is restarted and the vehicle can move off again without any delay. In addition, the electric pump is able to support the mechanical pump when peak loads apply, enabling a more compact and efficient design for the mechanical pump.

Another new feature is electric activation of the hydraulics for the parking lock, which is locked by mechanical means. This “park by wire” function enables the transmission selector lever to be positioned as desired: it is located in the form of a steering column lever on the right behind the steering wheel in the GLA-Class. In combination with the electric parking brake, additional space has thus been created in the centre console for additional stowage facilities.

Drivers have four transmission modes at their disposal:

  • ECONOMY: the transmission performs gearshifts fully automatically and comfortably. The gears are selected with due regard to a particularly economical style of driving at low revs.
  • SPORT: the transmission performs gearshifts fully automatically. The gear-change and response times are shortened, while the shifting speeds (revs) are increased.
  • MANUAL: the driver operates the transmission manually using the gearshift paddles behind the steering wheel. The shifting speeds (revs) can be selected as desired.
    • OFFROAD (standard in combination with 4MATIC): In this mode, the shift points and accelerator characteristics are also adapted in such a way that the requirements for driving on light off-road terrain and particularly on loose surfaces can be met.

In ECO or Sport mode, the driver is still able to intervene manually in the gear-shifting process via the shift paddles. The transmission reverts to the selected automatic mode after the paddles have remained inactive for twelve seconds, or after a longer delay when driving downhill or on winding roads. The gear selected is displayed in the instrument cluster and a shift recommendation is made for a fuel-saving driving style.

A key factor contributing to the overall efficiency and dynamism of the GLA-Class is the closely coordinated operation of the transmissions and engines. A continuous exchange of data between the control units ensures that the engines run at the ideal operating point at all times. The 7G‑DCT transmission is manufactured at Daimler’s Stuttgart-Hedelfingen plant.

The six-speed manual transmission: convenient manual gear-shifting

The three-shaft transmission is also very compact (length 345 mm) and light (dry weight 46 kg) and incorporates a number of special features for particularly pleasant gearshifting. An integrated magnet on the gearshift shaft is detected by a Hall sensor. The idle position is identified in this way, making the start/stop function possible. The signal for reverse gear activates the reversing lights.

The large spread of 6.7 allows a reduction in engine speed while at the same time ensuring that sufficient tractive power is available when moving off with a fully laden GLA-Class and trailer up to a gross weight of 3.4 tonnes. The clutch is operated hydraulically and the gears are actuated via cables.

The overhead camshaft with third and fourth gears and the reverse gear do not run in the oil bath. This reduces drag torque, thus facilitating gear shifting at low temperatures in particular. The three-cone synchronisation of the first two gears serves the same purpose, while the following gears are provided with two-cone synchronisation. The weight-optimised cast aluminium shift forks are installed on anti-friction bearings on the shift rods, in order to reduce the shift forces.

Under the microscope: 4MATIC

Added traction

As the first SUV, the GLA is optionally available with the new generation of 4MATIC all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution.

The most innovative components of the new 4MATIC include the power take-off to the rear axle, which is integrated into the 7G-DCT automated dual clutch transmission, and the rear-axle gear unit with integrated, hydraulically actuated multi-disc clutch. This set-up allows fully variable distribution of the drive torque between the front and rear axles. Additional benefits of this design are a lower system weight compared with the competition and also high efficiency. As with their front-wheel-drive counterparts, all 4MATIC models also boast good energy efficiency.

Integrated power take-off unit (PTU) channels power to the rear axle

The new 4MATIC is combined with the 7G-DCT seven-speed automated dual clutch transmission. The power flow to the rear drive train is provided by a compact power take-off unit (PTU) which is fully integrated into the main transmission and supplied with lubricant from the latter’s oil circuit. This configuration gives rise to substantial weight advantages over competitor systems that branch off power by means of an add-on component with its own oil circuit. In conjunction with the friction-minimised tapered roller bearings, the PTU thus achieves an excellent level of efficiency.

The low system weight of the 4MATIC system is not attributable solely to the PTU. Other weight-stripping measures include a compact rear-axle gear unit, inductively hardened, weight-optimised rear-axle side shafts and weight-optimised drive shafts. The system weight of this 4MATIC is up to 25 percent lower than in the all-wheel-drive versions offered by the competition.

The two-piece drive shaft is vibrationally decoupled. An axially moving joint at the front compensates for longitudinal movements of the engine transmission unit, while an elastic flexible coupling reduces the intrusion of high-frequency gearing vibrations at the rear-axle gear unit. To minimise crash loads, the drive shaft is fitted with an extendable element.

Completely new development with torque-on-demand rear axle

The electrohydraulically actuated multi-disc clutch integrated into the rear-axle gear unit is responsible for fully variable torque distribution. Fundamental operating principle: when the multi-disc clutch is open, the car is driven exclusively by the front axle. When the clutch is closed, the rear axle comes into play. However, the drive torque can be shifted in fully variable mode between front and rear axle according to the given situation (torque on demand).

The system pressure to activate the rear axle is supplied in milliseconds by the gerotor pump that is integrated into the rear-axle gear unit. The pump is activated automatically as soon as only minimal speed differences arise between front and rear axles, and pressure control and therefore torque control to the rear axle is performed by means of a proportioning valve integrated into the rear axle.

Motoring enjoyment thanks to intelligent control systems

The 4MATIC is activated according to the basic principle of “as often as necessary, as rarely as possible”. This means that when the underlying conditions allow, the all-wheel drive compact models run in particularly economical front-wheel drive mode. As soon as the driving situation requires, drive torque is channelled to the rear axle as appropriate. The reverse process takes place just as quickly: as soon as additional drive torque is no longer necessary at the rear axle – e.g. in case of heavy braking manoeuvres with ABS intervention – the rear drive train is deactivated and torque is reduced to zero.

In case of impending understeer or oversteer under load, the drive torque is first of all distributed in such a way as to stabilise the vehicle. Only if these measures fail to have a stabilising effect do the control systems adapted to the conditions of 4MATIC, such as ESP® or 4ETS, intervene and keep the vehicle on course.

With this strategy, the developers have managed to combine two key requirements defined in the performance specifications: optimum energy efficiency coupled with maximum dynamic handling and driving safety.

Suspension

The right set-up for every use

With the new GLA Mercedes-Benz is adding a new member to the successful SUV family. This compact model reinterprets the SUV concept in a new, modern way, because the GLA is less long-legged and imposing than previous SUVs, and therefore fits perfectly into the day-to-day urban lifestyle. There are three chassis and suspension set-ups to choose from.

The chassis of the CLA features a McPherson front axle and an independent multi-link rear suspension. Three control arms and one trailing arm per wheel manage the incoming forces. This means that longitudinal and lateral dynamics are independent of one another. The wheel carriers and spring control arms are made of aluminium to reduce the unsprung masses. In the versions with 4MATIC, the rear axle carrier is isolated with rubber bushings for the benefit of ride comfort.

In all there are three chassis and suspension set-ups to choose from:

  • In the standard-fit comfort suspension the setting of the McPherson double-tube shock absorbers has been selected so that the tension and compression forces at the front axle are at a ratio of 3:1. This reduces the dynamic wheel load fluctuations, benefiting the driving dynamics and driving safety of the vehicle. Small rolling and pitching motions and a reduced tendency to understeer at higher levels of lateral acceleration additionally improve vehicle control.
  • The lowered suspension (in combination with the AMG Line[1] or the Dynamic Handling package) combines agility with ride comfort. Compared with the standard suspension the springs and dampers feature firm and sporty tuning and the level of the car is lowered by 15 millimetres. This reduces rolling motions and enhances driving stability.
  • With the off-road comfort suspension (optional) the body is raised by 30 mm. This results in improved off-road capability owing to higher ground clearance, a higher seat position and more striking off-roader looks. This suspension variant also features a distinctive steering system set-up.

Compared to conventional systems, the electromechanical Direct-Steer system provides better feedback to the driver and makes an important contribution to the vehicle’s overall efficiency, as the servo assistance only requires energy when steering actually takes place. It also allows various steering assistance functions that are initiated by the ESP® control unit. These include countersteering when the vehicle oversteers, steering corrections when braking on surfaces with different levels of grip, reducing the effects of front-wheel drive on the steering and compensation of cross-winds and road camber.

As an optional extra, in the Dynamic Handling package a Sports Direct-Steer system with speed-sensitive power assistance and a variable steering ratio is available. The ratio of the Sports Direct-Steer system in straight-ahead position is the same as that of the basic steering system, and becomes around 20 percent more direct between 5 and 90 degrees steering angle. Straight-line stability is thus retained and agility and manoeuvrability are even further enhanced. Comfort during manoeuvring likewise is improved as the full steering angle already is reached with 1.2 turns of the steering wheel.

With all engine variants the GLA features disc brakes all round. The floating callipers on the rear axle as well as the brake booster are made of aluminium. An especially convenient feature is the HOLD function familiar from the larger model series: when stopping, for example at traffic lights, the driver merely has to press the brake pedal slightly more firmly once to keep the brake engaged until moving off again. The brake is released automatically when the driver steps on the accelerator. In versions with manual transmission the Hill-Start Assist function is able automatically to prevent the vehicle from rolling back unintentionally when moving off on an uphill slope.

The GLA is equipped with an electric parking brake, which operates by means of actuator motors acting on the callipers of the rear axle. The parking brake is activated via a button under the light switch on the left of the dashboard, freeing up space on the centre console where the handbrake lever would normally be. If the button is pressed when travelling faster than 4 km/h, the parking brake functions as an emergency brake: all four wheel brakes are activated by the ESP® hydraulic unit.

In conjunction with the 7G-DCT automatic transmission, the parking brake offers a particularly convenient mode of functioning: when the driver accelerates sufficiently after fastening his seat belt, the parking brake is released automatically.



[1] The AMG Line is also available with comfort suspension and without Sports Direct-Steer system. In addition, the AMG Line can also be had with the off-road comfort suspension.

Multimedia features

Always well informed and entertained

Two audio systems are available for the GLA, depending on the buyer’s budget: Audio 20 CD (standard) and the fully integrated COMAND Online multimedia system. The radio aerials are integrated in the rear spoiler. The Drive Kit Plus for the iPhone® and the Digital Drive Style app allow seamless integration of an iPhone® into the vehicle.

The standard specification includes the Audio 20 CD system. It features a twin tuner, mp3-capable CD player and a USB connector in the centre console. The colour display has a diagonal of 14.7 centimetres. Thanks to a “cover art” function, the title images of the music albums currently being played are shown when their details are stored in the audio file.

An upper line in the Audio 20 CD’s menu navigation makes orientation easier and can be operated via the controller. The settings for the air conditioning system are also displayed on the telematics screen (when in use), as is the fuel consumption over the past 15 minutes. There is a host of Bluetooth® functions as well: the mobile phone’s directory can now be automatically transferred en bloc when connected, and wireless music reproduction is possible from Bluetooth®-capable devices. Text messages can also be shown. Six loudspeakers with a total output of 100 watts are also part of the standard specification.

As an optional extra, Audio 20 CD can be combined with a 6-disc CD changer, Media Interface, harman/kardon® sound system, Convenience Telephony in the armrest, digital radio (DAB) and the Becker® MAP PILOT entry-level navigation solution. The Becker® MAP PILOT makes a low-cost navigation function, which can also be retrofitted, available for the Audio 20 CD. Its advantages over aftermarket solutions include integrated operation via the central controls, voice output via the vehicle’s loudspeakers, display on the Audio 20 screen, a concealed location in the glove compartment and updating via an internet portal.

Mercedes-Benz developed the “Logic7” surround-sound system together with audio specialists harman/kardon®. This high-end system delivers three-dimensional sound as a natural 360-degree musical experience for all passengers. The audio signals are distributed via a 450-watt multi-channel DSP amplifier connected to twelve high-performance loudspeakers. In conjunction with COMAND Online a multichannel listening experience with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS is possible.

The Media Interface is available as an optional extra. The universal interface enables mobile audio devices such as an mp3 player or iPod® to be connected to the vehicle’s telematics system. These devices are then operated via the head unit, the central control unit or the steering wheel buttons. By making use of USB 2.0, the new generation of the Media Interface provides a quicker display and an expanded data selection.

Drive Kit Plus: seamless integration of the iPhone® into the vehicle

Daimler’s Digital Drive Style app concept together with the Drive Kit Plus for the iPhone® allows seamless integration of an iPhone® into the vehicle. Highlights include Siri voice control and Glympse real-time location sharing. Glympse enables the user to share his or her current location with selected persons. Additional functions include Facebook®, Twitter®, internet radio, AUPEO!™ personal radio and the advanced navigation system from Garmin® with internet-based real-time traffic information, an online POI search function including Street View™ and a 3D map display.

COMAND Online: fast hard-disc navigation with 3D display

The high-end multimedia system is called COMAND Online. The latest generation offers improved map display, an additional Bluetooth® profile (to enable the internet to be accessed via iPhone®, for example), the display of images additionally in bmp and png formats and the real-time transfer of traffic data.

COMAND Online provides internet access. Customers can either browse freely when the vehicle is stationary or call up a Mercedes-Benz app with pages that load extremely quickly and are also easy to use while driving. The integrated apps include Google™ Local Search and weather as well as the option of downloading a route previously configured on the PC using Google Maps and sent to the vehicle. Apps for Google™ Street View and Google™ Panoramio also are available. With Street View, places all over the world can be viewed from a 360-degree perspective and at street level. Panoramio provides access to millions of photos taken at places around the globe by other users and made available by them. Street View and Panoramio enable users to collect comprehensive information about destinations and points of interest before the journey begins. With the News app, news from politics, business and technology can be obtained online in the vehicle. The news is displayed in a way that makes it particularly easy to read. Via the Mercedes online shop (www.shop.mercedes-benz.com) further apps, such as stock market news or a parking space finder, can also be accessed.

The high-resolution colour display has a diagonal of 17.8 cm. The background colour of the central display is silver grey. The large screen can display photos and allows manual scrolling similar to a slide show. Where the audio equipment is concerned, too, new forms of visualisation bring a fresh look and more convenient operation. The CoverFlow function, for instance, sorts the cover images of the stored music albums in carousel-like form so that GLA‑Class drivers can easily scroll through their music collection. This collection may be very large as there are 10.8 gigabytes of memory available for compressed audio files mp3, wma, aac).

Greatest convenience is afforded by the Music Search function, which enables drivers and passengers to search the hard disc, SD memory cards, USB sticks, CDs and DVDs for specific music tracks and artists. The search can be according to various criteria, for instance album, music category or composer. If a name needs to be entered, the software will also tolerate spelling mistakes. The driver is therefore able to devote their full attention to the traffic. As a further advantage, the occupants are able to search all the connected media and devices simultaneously.

The fast hard-disc navigation of COMAND Online offers a 3D display with modelled city views. Also practical: driven routes can be recorded and retraced again later, specific personal destinations can be stored or imported via an SD card, plus four alternative routes can be displayed on the navigation map, including a particularly economical variant. Mercedes-Benz customers in Europe receive the latest map updates for their COMAND Online multimedia system free of charge for three years. Authorised Mercedes-Benz dealers will upload updates for navigation data in 39 European countries into the navigation system as part of a visit to the dealership.

In Europe, COMAND Online also comprises Speed Limit Assist, which receives its information for traffic sign recognition via a camera and the navigation database. COMAND Online also includes the LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system for audio, telephone and navigation. The new “one shot” input function for the navigation system is particularly convenient, allowing the place and road to be spoken directly after one another. This function is currently available in seven languages and significantly enhances ease of operation.

With COMAND Online and LINGUATRONIC, in the GLA-Class music can also be easily searched for using voice control. The system first asks in which category it should conduct the search (artist, title, year). The category is selected by speaking it out or by speaking the row number of the relevant category which appears on the screen. This is then followed by further questions about title, artist or album.

Under the microscope: Renewable raw materials

High-tech parcel shelf

All in all 46 components in the new GLA-Class with a total weight of 21 kilograms are made using natural materials. The load compartment cover is partially made from recycled paper and is only half as heavy as a conventional component weighs. A multi-patented material composition and its manufacturing process furthermore reduce CO2 emissions during production by 60 per cent.

The load compartment cover of the GLA consists of eight layers, the core being formed by a honeycomb structure made from recycled paper. A new process developed by Mercedes-Benz simplifies its manufacture significantly: the eight layers of the composite material are joined, formed, laminated and cut to size in one step. This consolidation of the production steps into a single operation and the use of recycled paper in the honeycomb core reduce CO2 emissions during the manufacture of the components by 60 per cent compared with the old process.

At the same time, with a weight of 1.2 kilograms the load compartment cover of the GLA has only around half the weight of a conventional component. This extreme lightweight design lowers the CO2 emissions during the use of the vehicle. Over the entire lifecycle this results in CO2 savings of about 13 kilograms, as the company’s experts determined in their analysis for the environmental certificate.

Mercedes-Benz has registered four patents in all for the innovative manufacturing process and the material composition. The invention has furthermore scooped the MATERIALICA AWARD “Best of CO2“. This component project is also among the winners of the “Environmental Leadership Award“, with which Daimler honours outstanding environmental projects in the group every year.

At Mercedes-Benz the use of renewable raw materials is concentrated primarily on the vehicle interior. In addition to the parcel shelf with a honeycomb core made from recycled paper, established natural materials such as coconut or wood fibres, wool and natural rubber are also used in the series production of the GLA. There are many good reasons for using these natural substances: compared with glass fibres, the use of natural fibres usually results in reduced component weight. Renewable raw materials help to counter the depletion of fossil resources such as coal, natural gas and crude oil. They can be processed using established technologies. The products which are made from them are usually easy to recycle. If recycled in the form of energy they have an almost neutral CO2 balance, as only as much CO2 is released as the plant absorbed during its growth.

The new GLA 45 AMG

 

All-rounder with Driving Performance

Mercedes-AMG is continuing its product initiative with rigour: with the new GLA 45 AMG the performance brand of Mercedes-Benz makes a dynamic statement in the strongly growing segment of the compact SUV. The combination of powerful-distinctive design, exclusive appointments as well as superior engine power and driving performance is unique: the most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine in the world puts 265 kW (360 hp) and 450 Newton metres on the road. The new GLA 45 AMG high-performance SUV also shines with low emission and fuel consumption figures.

With fuel consumption of 7.5 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC combined; CO2: 175 g/km) and compliance with EU 6 emissions standards, the GLA 45 AMG once again provides proof that at Mercedes-AMG maximum performance does not come at the expense of environmental compatibility. The GLA 45 AMG also holds the pole position with regard to driving dynamics: it accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds and reaches a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited). Thanks to the combination of standard-fit performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission, the GLA 45 AMG impresses with its equally sporty and efficient drive system concept.

Young target group: styling, dynamics and independence

In addition to the A 45 AMG and CLA 45 AMG, the GLA 45 AMG is the third vehicle with four-cylinder turbo engine to appeal to a young target group. The trend-oriented customers set great store by styling, dynamics and independence – traits that are perfectly embodied in the new high-performance SUV from Affalterbach. Meeting a wide variety of customer desires has always been one of the strengths of Mercedes-AMG. The GLA 45 AMG now expands the extensive SUV line-up to five models (GLA 45 AMG, ML 63 AMG, GL 63 AMG, G 63 AMG and G 65 AMG). Mercedes-AMG thus offers the widest range of SUVs among all high-performance premium brands.

Hallmark AMG features: the world’s most powerful series-produced four-cylinder engine

Best in class: the engine of the GLA 45 AMG fully lives up to this claim, as a look at the figures shows. The AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine is the most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine in the world. It produces 265 kW (360 hp) of power and develops peak torque of 450 Newton metres. A power density of 133 kW (181 hp) puts the AMG high-performance turbo engine on a par with the world’s most powerful super sports cars.

Key data at a glance:

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG
Displacement 1991 cc
Bore x stroke 83.0 x 92.0 mm
Output 265 kW (360 hp) at 6000 rpm
Max. torque 450 Nm at 2250-5000 rpm
Power density 133 kW (181 hp)
Fuel consumption, NEDC combined 7.5 l/100 km
CO2 emissions 175 g/km
Efficiency class D
Emissions standard EU 6
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 4.8 s
Top speed 250 km/h*

* Electronically limited

Development of the high-performance turbo engine, which is part of the BlueDIRECT family, placed emphasis on a sustainable reduction in particulate emissions. Consequently the GLA 45 AMG today already complies with the second stage of the EU 6 emissions standard which will come into effect in 2017. The AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine features spray-guided direct petrol injection via piezo injectors with an injection pressure of 200 bar, positioned centrally in the four combustion chambers. The combination of multiple fuel injection and multiple spark ignition improves fuel economy and significantly increases the thermodynamic efficiency, leading to low exhaust emissions. The injection system’s outstanding flexibility also ensures a high degree of freedom in terms of application. There are up to five injections per combustion cycle in the cold-start and warm-up phase, which is so crucial for emissions. One of the key factors for in-engine particulate reduction is a reduction of the individual injection quantities.

Further highlights of the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine:

  • Gravity-die sand-cast all-aluminium crankcase
  • Weight-optimised crank mechanism with forged steel crankshaft
  • Forged pistons with friction-optimised piston rings
  • NANOSLIDE cylinder liner technology
  • Air-to-water intercooling system
  • Alternator management
    • ECO start/stop function

Twin-scroll turbocharger and AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap

Mercedes-AMG addresses the basic challenge with regard to the throttle response of a small-capacity turbo engine by using a twin-scroll turbocharger, maximum dethrottling of the exhaust system and an innovative injection strategy. Twin-scroll technology provides for a more spontaneous build-up of charge pressure: utilisation of the exhaust back-pressure, exhaust-gas temperature and exhaust-gas pulse has a positive impact. This results in a faster build-up of torque already at low engine speeds. As a positive side-effect, fuel consumption and exhaust emissions also benefit from twin-scroll technology. With a maximum charge pressure of 1.8 bar, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine leads the field on this front, too.

The AMG sports exhaust system in the GLA 45 AMG features large pipe cross-sections and an automatically controlled exhaust flap: this technology reconciles the two conflicting goals of a dynamic driving experience and hallmark Mercedes suitability for long-distance driving. The flap in the rear silencer is continuously adjusted under map control according to the driver’s performance needs, load condition and engine speed. The two rectangular chrome-plated twin tailpipes on the AMG sports exhaust system emit a fascinating exhaust note, which is particularly impressive during powerful acceleration. An AMG Performance exhaust system, also equipped with an exhaust flap, is available as an optional extra. Customers opting for this system will experience an even more appealing and distinctive engine sound.

Engine production – a tradition of hand-built excellence

The AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine is assembled purely by hand in accordance with the traditional AMG philosophy of “one man, one engine”. Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative production quality, the AMG engine badge bearing the engine fitter’s signature also attests to the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance brand.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission in the GLA 45 AMG features three distinct transmission modes, a double-declutching function dependent on the transmission mode and a RACE START function for optimum acceleration. The strengths of the dual-clutch transmission include spontaneous gear shifts without loss of tractive power, a tailor-made control strategy based on the AMG SPEEDSHIFT functions, extremely smooth gear shifts, and a high level of efficiency.

The shift times in manual mode “M” and in sport mode “S” are similarly sporty in character to those of the SLS AMG GT super sports car. Quick and precise retardation of the ignition interruptions and suppressing injection under full load lead to even faster gear shifts in “M” and “S” modes, with a more thrilling sound. The transmission control fully utilises the benefits of the direct injection technology right up to the physical limits: the quicker engine response ensures that injection is suppressed with even more precision. As a result, the shift speed and an emotional sound experience hold a very special fascination. Another special feature designed to enhance dynamic performance and driving pleasure is the so-called “Momentary M mode” – as seen in the SLS AMG Coupé Black Series super sports car.

In “C” mode (Controlled Efficiency), smooth transmission and engine characteristics support a fuel-efficient and comfort-oriented driving style. In addition, the ECO start/stop function is active in “C” mode.

 

Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard

The GLA 45 AMG comes with variable AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive as standard. In developing this all-wheel-drive system, the focus was firmly on performance and dynamic spirit. The all-wheel-drive system provides for an ideal transfer of engine power to the road to provide perfect traction – regardless of the weather conditions. It also elevates driving dynamics to the highest level.

The entire drive unit boasts a weight-saving and compact design: the power take-off unit (PTU) is fully integrated into the 7-speed sports transmission and takes care of power transfer to the rear drivetrain. A two-part propeller shaft sends the engine power to the rear axle as well. In the interests of favourable weight distribution, an electrohydraulically controlled multiple-disc clutch is integrated with the rear axle differential. The multiple-disc clutch control detects slip at the front axle. A hydraulic pump instantaneously presses the discs together and channels the engine torque to the rear wheels as necessary. All this takes place without the driver noticing. Power distribution is fully variable: during normal driving the GLA 45 AMG uses front-wheel drive for optimal efficiency. When required by the driving situation, the variable all-wheel drive system splits the torque between the front and rear axles up to a ratio of 50:50 percent.

Typically for AMG, the Electronic Stability Program is configured as a three-stage ESP®. The three modes “ESP ON”, “SPORT Handling Mode” and “ESP OFF” enable the driver to vary dynamic performance according to individual requirements at the push of a button. ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is likewise included as standard. During dynamic cornering, imperceptible braking intervention on the rear inside wheel creates a defined yaw moment about the vertical axis. As a result, the GLA 45 AMG steers precisely and under control at all times, the problem of understeer is banished.

AMG sports suspension and AMG high-performance braking system

One of the keys to agile handling is the axle technology: for enhanced driving dynamics, the McPherson front axle on the GLA 45 AMG is fitted with stiffer steering knuckles and new elastokinematics. The four-link rear axle has also been newly developed. Stability and precision of handling are enhanced by the optimised elastokinematics and the rigid connection between the subframe and the body. The AMG sports suspension with specially tuned spring/damper units and bigger anti-roll bars provides for high lateral acceleration and reduced body roll in fast double bends. The hallmark Mercedes comfort on long journeys is ensured all the same. An AMG performance suspension with firmer spring and damper tuning is available as an optional extra.

The AMG speed-sensitive sports steering with AMG-specific, speed-dependent power assist ensures high steering precision and agility. The AMG high-performance braking system with ventilated, cross-drilled brake discs all-round and grey-painted brake callipers provides for spontaneous and reliable deceleration. Red brake callipers are available as an optional extra.

Three attractive AMG light-alloy wheels to choose from

In the standard specification the GLA 45 AMG runs on 5-twin-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels painted titanium grey with high-sheen finish, mounted with tyres of size 235/45 R 19. As an optional extra from the AMG Performance Studio, customers can opt for larger 10-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels with tyres of size 235/40 R 20 – these are painted either titanium grey with high-sheen finish or matt black with high-sheen rim flange.

Design: sensual purity plus elements exclusive to AMG

The design of the GLA 45 AMG exudes fascination on account of its powerful and distinctive character. As the powerful AMG top-of-the-line model of the GLA-Class, the high-performance SUV combines the hallmark sensual purity of Mercedes-Benz as an expression of modern luxury with muscular, dynamic AMG design elements. The AMG front apron with front splitter and the AMG “twin blade” radiator grille provide athletic highlights – both are painted in matt titanium grey. Completely new is the distinctive AMG lettering at the side between the louvres of the radiator grille. This will make all new AMG models easy to recognise in future. Black flics (air deflector elements) above the large exterior cooling air intakes allude to motor sport. Bi-xenon headlamps come as standard.

When viewed from the side, the distinctive AMG light-alloy wheels in three design variants catch the eye. The side sill panels with titanium grey inserts, the “TURBO AMG” lettering on the front wings and the aluminium roof rails lend the GLA 45 AMG a special look. The rear end is dominated by the diffuser insert with titanium grey trim and by the rectangular, chrome-plated tailpipe trim of the twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap.

Interior design: high-quality, sporty, exclusive

As in all AMG high-performance automobiles, the interior of the GLA 45 AMG delights with its high-quality appeal, combined with sporty flair and exclusive equipment features. Sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with red contrasting topstitching and red designo safety belts are on board, as is the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The 3-spoke nappa leather multifunction sports steering wheel with flattened bottom section, red contrasting topstitching, perforated leather in the grip area and steering-wheel shift paddles allows for perfect vehicle control. The AMG instrument cluster with 2-tube design and central colour display, AMG main menu and RACETIMER is on hand to provide information to the driver. On opening the door, the driver is greeted by the AMG start-up screen. The trim of the instrument panel is of brushed aluminium and, in tandem with the brushed stainless-steel AMG front door sills, emphasises the high-grade, exclusive ambiance inside the GLA 45 AMG. The GLA 45 AMG “Edition 1” is a special option which will be available for one year from market launch. The expressive arrangement of exclusive exterior and interior details arouses pure fascination.

Further details about the standard and optional equipment and about the GLA 45 AMG “Edition 1” can be found in the “Design and equipment” section.

Web special allows people to interactively experience the GLA 45 AMG

The web special developed specifically for the GLA 45 AMG also allows people to interactively experience the new high-performance SUV from Mercedes-AMG. Furthermore, all visitors can view comments, films and pictures from fans of the AMG Twitter and Facebook pages on the site’s “social wall”, where they can also post their own statements. The web special can be accessed on the internet at www.mercedes-amg.com/webspecial/gla45

The sales release date for the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG will be 14 March 2014, and the market launch will start in July 2014. Prices for Germany (incl. 19% VAT):

GLA 45 AMG: € 55,870.50

GLA 45 AMG „Edition 1“: € 63,248.50

Mercedes-AMG management comments on the GLA 45 AMG

“A true AMG when it comes to driving dynamics”

“Currently there is no segment growing faster than that of compact SUVs. For Mercedes-AMG it is therefore a logical step to make a self-confident statement in this segment with the GLA 45 AMG. Not least on account of the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive, our new high-performance-SUV is a true AMG when it comes to driving dynamics.” Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes‑AMG GmbH

“The new GLA 45 AMG is already the third high-performance automobile to have the AMG 2.0-litre turbo engine. As the world’s most powerful production four-cylinder unit, it ensures exceptionally dynamic performance. It also leads the way when it comes to efficiency and emissions.” Christian Enderle, Head of Engine and Powertrain Engineering, Mercedes-AMG GmbH

“Powerful-distinctive design, exclusive appointments as well as unrivalled engine power and Performance – the new GLA 45 AMG is a true all-rounder with Driving Performance. The unique product characteristics and vast array of individualisation options allow us to attract new target groups.” Mario Spitzner, Head of Branding and Marketing, Mercedes-AMG GmbH

Engine

High tech from four cylinders

  • AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine with 265 kW (360 hp)
  • The world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine in series production
  • Exciting power delivery, high pulling power
  • Fuel consumption of 7.5 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC combined)
  • Compliance with the EU6 emissions standard right from market launch

When designing and developing the powerful AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine, the Mercedes-AMG experts drew inspiration from a wide variety of sources – including the technology of the AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine and the AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine. AMG’s four-cylinder in-line turbo engine – in-house designation M 133 – also incorporates several decades of motorsport experience.

With an output of 265 kW (360 hp) and a peak torque of 450 Newton metres, the high-performance unit belonging to the BlueDIRECT engine family is the world’s most powerful four-cylinder engine in series production. The AMG turbo engine also stands out from the crowd when it comes to power density: a figure of 133 kW (181 hp) per litre puts the four-cylinder in-line unit on par with the world’s most powerful super sports cars. With a maximum charge pressure of 1.8 bar, the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine leads the field in this respect, too. The M 133 likewise sets new standards in terms of efficiency and environmental compatibility: The GLA 45 AMG gets fuel consumption of 7.5 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC combined) and today already complies with the EU 6 emissions standard.

Driving pleasure, excitement, emotive appeal

The characteristics of the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine add up to driving enjoyment. Whether throttle response, flexibility, pulling power or engine sound – the GLA 45 AMG is an absolute thrill to drive right from the word go. One of the defining aspects of the driving sensation is the rich torque: a constant 450 Newton metres is on tap between 2250 and 5000 rpm. The spontaneous response to accelerator pedal movements and the lightning-fast run-up to the governed maximum speed of 6700 rpm leaves a lasting impression. Much of the emotive appeal is down to the engine sound – not least when combined with the optional AMG performance exhaust system with exhaust flap.

Key data at a glance:

Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG
Displacement 1991 cc
Bore x stroke 83.0 x 92.0 mm
Compression ratio 8.6 : 1
Output 265 kW (360 hp) at 6000 rpm
Max. torque 450 Nm at 2250-5000 rpm
Engine weight (dry) 148 kg
Maximum engine speed 6700 rpm
Power density 133 kW (181 hp)
Peak pressure up to 140 bar
Maximum charge pressure 1.8 bar
Fuel consumption, NEDC combined 7.5 l/100 km
CO2 emissions 175 g/km
Efficiency class D
Emissions standard EU6
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 4.8 s
Top speed 250 km/h*

* Electronically limited

The exciting engine characteristics and impressive technical data are largely down to the high-tech package put together by Mercedes-AMG. The M 133 displays many of the technical features of the AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine: the spray-guided direct petrol injection system includes the piezo injectors positioned centrally in the four combustion chambers and multiple injection with an injection pressure of 200 bar. In combination with the multiple spark ignition, it allows higher thermodynamic efficiency, which in turn leads to better fuel utilisation and a sustainable reduction in particulate emissions. The A 45 AMG thus already complies with the second stage of the EU6 emissions legislation that goes into effect in 2017. The injection system’s tremendous flexibility also ensures a high degree of freedom for the application. There are up to five injections per combustion cycle in the cold-start and warm-up phase, which is so crucial for emissions. Here, one of the key aspects for particulate reduction is the reduction of the partial injection quantities. The four-valve-per-cylinder design with continuously variable camshaft adjustment, alternator management and the ECO start/stop function are likewise familiar features from the eight-cylinder biturbo engine.

Twin-scroll turbocharger for spontaneous response

The spontaneous reactions to accelerator pedal movements and the excellent throttle response are down to a fast build-up of charge pressure and torque. Mercedes-AMG addresses the challenges concerning the response of small-displacement turbo engines by combining a twin-scroll turbocharger with maximum derestriction of the exhaust system and multiple injection. Unlike conventional systems, a twin-scroll turbocharger merges the exhaust gas ducts of cylinder pairs in the flow-optimised manifold. The advantages of the special twin-scroll manifold: exhaust gas back pressure, exhaust gas temperature and exhaust gas impulse ensure an optimum gas exchange. By the same token, the engine’s tendency to knock and the residual gas in the cylinders are minimised.

Twin-scroll technology not only enhances key engine characteristics – it also helps to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The optimised intake manifold with extremely short air paths and an exceptionally compact compressor housing additionally ensure spontaneous response and fast reactions to accelerator pedal movements. The wastegate valve integrated in the twin-scroll exhaust gas turbocharger is vacuum-controlled by an electropneumatic converter, allowing a reduction in exhaust gas back pressure and dethrottling under partial loads, which in turn lowers fuel consumption.

Pure high tech inside the engine, too

The inner workings of the engine are just as sophisticated and high tech as the turbocharger: one typical feature of powerful racing engines is the weight-optimised crank assembly with forged steel crankshaft and forged pistons with friction-optimised piston rings. These components were developed for motorsport and are also used in the SLS AMG super sports car; they reduce the oscillating masses and ensure exceptionally fast rev-up. Pressure-controlled oil-spray nozzles in the crankcase ensure efficient cooling of the highly stressed piston crowns.

Another innovation transferred from the SLS AMG is NANOSLIDE technology – a process which tribologically optimises the surfaces of the piston walls. A considerably harder surface is achieved compared to conventionally coated cylinder walls. The upshot is low friction and wear accompanied by outstanding durability.

A technology known as “spectacle honing” comes from the AMG 5.5-litre V8 naturally aspirated engine in the SLK 55 AMG: in this process, the cylinder liners receive their mechanical surface treatment when already bolted in place. As honing would no longer be possible with the cylinder head installed, a jig resembling spectacles is bolted to the crankcase. The cylinder liners distort as if the cylinder head were in place, and are only then given their mechanical surface treatment. As a result, any static distortion of the cylinder liners caused by tightening the cylinder head bolts can be completely eliminated. The positive effects of this process are: reduced friction losses, low oil consumption and improved fuel consumption.

Engine cooling with high-tech components

High power output combined with maximum stability – the demands on the cooling system of the four-cylinder turbo engine are high. The principle of effective air-to-water intercooling was adopted from the V8 and V12 biturbo engines. A cooler extending across the complete front level of the cooling module and situated behind the radiator grille is supplemented by an additional cooler in the right wheel arch. The principle: together with the intercooler, which is connected in series, a high-performance electric pump ensures the required flow through the water coolers located behind the large intake ports. This provides for ideal cooling of the highly compressed charge air, thereby contributing towards optimum engine performance. The transmission oil cooling is integrated into the water cooling circuit for the engine. The radiator positioned behind the front fascia is supported by the heat exchanger which is fitted directly on the transmission and supplied with cooling water as required by means of an auxiliary pump.

To ensure optimum stability, the twin-scroll turbocharger has a sophisticated engine-off cooling system: a separate water pump allows the coolant to continue circulating, thus preventing temperature peaks when the hot engine is switched off. Extreme loads of the kind that occur when driving on the racetrack do therefore not have a negative impact on service life.

For spontaneous deceleration and response, AMG’s four-cylinder turbo engine has electronically controlled fuel delivery with fully variable fuel pressure that can be controlled on demand between 100 and 200 bar. The fuel intake in the 56-litre tank has been optimised in line with the high performance: the pump integrated in the tank ensures reliable delivery even at high lateral acceleration levels.

Further highlights of the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine:

  • Gravity-die sand-cast all-aluminium crankcase with ventilation bore (optimises comfort and efficiency)
  • Variable camshaft adjustment (optimises output, fuel consumption and exhaust gas emissions)
  • Low-resistance air filter (optimises output)
  • Controlled oil pump (optimises fuel consumption)
  • Two-mass flywheel with centrifugal pendulum (optimises comfort)
  • Viscous vibration damper on belt drive (optimises comfort)

AMG sports exhaust system with automatic exhaust flap

The twin-pipe AMG sports exhaust system is equipped with an automatically controlled exhaust flap. This technology, based on the same principle as that used in the SLK 55 AMG, enables the engine sound to be changed depending on the driving situation: subtle and restrained when cruising or throaty and distinctive when accelerating and driving dynamically – acoustically, this technology perfectly reconciles the two apparently conflicting aims of tangible dynamic spirit and hallmark Mercedes comfort on long journeys. The exhaust flap is continuously adjusted by the engine control unit according to the power called up by the driver, the load status and engine speed.

An AMG Performance exhaust system equipped with an exhaust flap is available as an optional extra. This system gives the driver an even more emotive, fuller engine sound when driving under full load and when changing gears. The double-declutching function during downshifting and the interruption of ignition and injection during upshifting under load produce a particularly throaty sound with the AMG Performance exhaust system and create a level of emotionality which is otherwise the preserve of engines with more than four cylinders.

Sophisticated emission control system to ensure compliance with the EU6 emissions standard

Both exhaust systems have a ceramic catalytic converter mounted near the engine firewall, which ensures fast response and, therefore, low untreated emissions. In addition, the exhaust pipe between the turbocharger and the catalytic converter has special insulation and also helps to accelerate heating of the ceramic catalytic converter. The GLA 45 AMG already meets the requirements of the EU6 emissions standard, which does not go into effect until 2015. It also undercuts the particle concentration limit of 6 × 1011 particles/km that will be compulsory starting in 2017. The large exhaust pipe cross sections – diameter of 80 millimetres upstream and 75 millimetres downstream of the catalytic converter – minimise the exhaust gas back pressure and optimise both power and torque output.

Engine production – a tradition of hand-built excellence

“One man, one engine” – the traditional AMG philosophy also applies to the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. An exclusive assembly line has been set up for the new AMG engine at the Mercedes-Benz engine production plant MDC Power in Kölleda – where all four-cylinder engines are built for the GLA-, A-, CLA- and B-Class models. A characteristic feature of the “one man, one engine” production process is the AMG engine badge bearing the signature of the responsible engine fitter. Apart from serving as an AMG hallmark confirming superlative production quality, the AMG engine badge also attests to the peerless DNA of Mercedes-Benz’s high-performance brand.

Power transmission

Dynamic, variable and efficient

  • Performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive
  • Compact, weight-saving design
  • 3-stage ESP® with ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist
  • AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission
  • Three modes, double-declutching function and RACE START
  • “Momentary M mode” for further enhanced dynamic spirit and driving enjoyment

Performance, dynamic spirit and efficiency – Mercedes-AMG meets the highest standards when it comes to power transmission as well as engine technology. As standard the GLA 45 AMG is equipped with the performance-oriented AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive.

Perfect traction: the all-wheel drive system provides for the ideal transfer of engine power to the road – regardless of the weather conditions. It also elevates driving dynamics to the highest level. In developing this all-wheel drive system, the focus was firmly on performance and dynamic spirit. The power transfer to the rear powertrain is provided by a compact power take-off unit (PTU) which is fully integrated into the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission and is supplied with lubricant from the latter’s oil circuit. This configuration gives rise to substantial weight advantages in comparison to rival systems, which branch off power by means of an add-on component with its own oil circuit. Together with the friction-minimised tapered roller bearings, the PTU achieves an excellent level of efficiency. As an additional bonus, the system weight of the AMG all-wheel drive is up to 25 percent lighter than the all-wheel drive versions offered by the competition.

As is always the case with all-wheel-drive systems incorporating a transversely mounted drive unit, the power needs to be diverted by 90 degrees. On the AMG all-wheel drive, this is achieved by quite simple means: the differential gearwheel of the main transmission drives the spur gear of the PTU and a compact bevel gear stage diverts the power. The rear axle is driven via an output flange and a propeller shaft.

A two-part propeller shaft transfers the power from the AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine to the rear axle. In order to minimise crash-induced stress for passengers in a head-on or rear-end collision, the propeller shaft is fitted with a crash joint. In the interests of favourable weight distribution, an electrohydraulically controlled multiple-disc clutch is integrated with the rear axle differential. The multiple-disc clutch control detects slip at the front axle. A hydraulic pump instantaneously presses the discs together and channels the engine torque to the rear wheels as necessary. All this takes place virtually without the driver noticing. To enable particularly fast response, the pump is always active and does not require to be started up each time it is needed, as is customary with other systems. The pump is activated automatically even if there is only a small speed differential between the front and rear axle, with the pressure being regulated by a proportional valve controlled by the 3-stage ESP®.

Torque on demand: fully variable drive torque distribution

The drive torque can be shifted in fully variable mode between front and rear axle according to the given situation (torque on demand): during normal driving the GLA 45 AMG uses front-wheel drive for optimal efficiency. When the driving dynamics so require, the variable AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive splits the torque between front and rear axle up to a ratio of 50:50 percent. When there is a so-called friction jump, i.e. when only the front wheels briefly lose grip on an icy surface, the entire torque is transferred to the rear wheels almost instantaneously. The reverse process takes place just as quickly: as soon as additional drive torque is no longer expedient at the rear axle – e.g. in case of heavy braking manoeuvres with ABS intervention – the rear powertrain is deactivated and torque is reduced to zero. With this strategy, the developers have managed to combine two key requirements defined in the performance specifications: optimum energy efficiency coupled with maximum dynamic handling and driving safety. The variables influencing the power distribution ratio are vehicle speed, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, steering angle, speed difference between the individual wheels, selected gear and accelerator position.

Another feature of the AMG 4MATIC system results in a further increase in dynamic handling, guaranteeing even greater driving enjoyment without compromising driving safety. In case of impending understeer or oversteer under load, the drive torque is first of all distributed in such a way as to stabilise the vehicle. This ensures that traction and driving enjoyment are fully maintained in swift driving on winding stretches of road. Only if these measures fail to have a stabilising effect do the control systems adapted to 4MATIC conditions, such as 3-stage ESP® or 4ETS, intervene to keep the car stable.

The 4ETS electronic traction system forms part of the 3-stage ESP® and brakes the driven wheels individually when they go into spin. This provides for a high level of traction on slippery surfaces, on roads which are icy on one side or in continually changing conditions. In a nutshell: while 4ETS is responsible for maintaining the highest possible traction in all conditions, 3-stage ESP® serves as the higher-level control instance to ensure optimum driving stability.

3-stage ESP® with ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist

An exclusive feature is the interaction of the AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive with the 3-stage ESP® and ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist. The three ESP® stages enable drivers to vary the dynamics of the GLA 45 AMG according to their individual wishes at the push of a button. The safety-oriented “ESP ON” mode supports the driver in maintaining neutral handling characteristics. The system initiates braking intervention on one or more wheels and reduces the engine torque on detecting that the operating conditions are becoming unstable.

Briefly pressing the ESP® button activates “SPORT Handling” mode. This dynamically oriented driving mode applies appropriate control strategies for later ESP® intervention and increased drive torque at the rear axle. This means more fun at the wheel for drivers who are keen to exploit the vehicle’s potential. Pressing the ESP® button longer activates “ESP OFF”. In this mode, the ESP® functions are not available. ESP OFF should only be used by experienced drivers on cordoned-off racetracks. If the driver steps on the brake pedal in “SPORT Handling” mode or “ESP OFF” mode, all the safety functions of the ESP® system become available during braking.

ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist complements this system to perfection: during dynamic cornering, imperceptible braking intervention on an inside wheel gives rise to a defined yaw moment around the vertical axis, resulting in precise cornering and ensuring that the vehicle remains under control at all times. Depending on the selected ESP® mode, ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is adapted accordingly. In “ESP SPORT Handling” mode and “ESP OFF” mode it supports the driver’s wish for increased agility and dynamic handling. ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist is an additional function of the 3-stage ESP® which noticeably improves not only agility, but also active driving safety in critical conditions.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission with RACE START

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission transfers the engine power to all four wheels. The dual clutch transmission is flange-mounted on the transversely installed engine and features three modes, a double-declutching function and RACE START for optimum acceleration. It also boasts compact dimensions, low weight and high efficiency as well as exemplary variability, spontaneous gear changes without any interruption in tractive power, a tailor-made control strategy and smooth, easy gear shifting. Key software modules have been adopted from the SLS AMG GT and SLS AMG Coupé Black Series with their inspirational power transmission concepts. Reinforced gear wheels provide for maximum stability. Synchroniser rings with carbon-fibre friction linings improve durability while also optimising the response time during manual gear-changing – the ideal basis for ambitious laps on cordoned-off racetracks.

The three transmission modes – Controlled Efficiency (“C”), Sport (“S”) and Manual (“M”) – allow the driver to define the character of the car, including its sound, according to individual taste and requirements. In Controlled Efficiency mode, low engine speeds are available in the highest possible gears in all driving situations. When driving in “C” mode, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7‑speed sports transmission always selects the most fuel-efficient gear, allowing an ecologically oriented driving style without forsaking superior performance. This mode also reduces noise levels. The AMG 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine’s favourable torque curve, with plenty of power even at low engine speeds, is ideal for this style of driving. In addition, in “C” mode the ECO start/stop function is active. Controlled Efficiency also means smooth gear changes and a “soft” accelerator pedal curve for a smooth driving style.

The shift times in manual mode “M” and in Sport mode “S” are similarly sporty in character to those of the SLS AMG GT super sports car. Briefly and precisely interrupting ignition and injection under full load leads to even faster gearshifts in “M” and “S”, with a more emotional sound. In Manual mode “M”, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission does not change down automatically, neither at full load nor if kickdown is used, allowing the driver to make ideal use of the AMG turbo engine’s pulling power and select the ideal gear using the steering-wheel shift paddles. The automatic double-declutching function is active in all modes – although its characteristics vary according to the selected mode. The desired mode is selected by pressing a button on the AMG DRIVE UNIT.

“Momentary M mode” for further enhanced dynamic spirit and driving enjoyment

One special feature here that has already appeared in the SLS AMG Coupé Black Series is “Momentary M mode”, which allows drivers to activate Manual mode in “C” and “S” mode by pressing the “up” or “down” shift paddle once – without having to take their hands off the steering wheel. In Momentary M mode the driver experiences full dynamic spirit and performance in the automatic modes – including the kickdown function and automatic upshifting when the rpm limit is reached into the bargain. This allows the driver to enjoy the vehicle’s impressive performance to the full. The system deactivates Momentary M mode and reverts to the mode last activated (“C” or “S”) fully automatically based on the current driving situation and driving style.

Best acceleration times with RACE START

The RACE START function is used for accelerating in the shortest time: while the car is stationary, the driver first has to activate “SPORT Handling Mode” and manual mode “M” in the 3-stage ESP® and then press the brake pedal with their left foot. Then the two steering-wheel shift paddles are pulled simultaneously, after which the activation of RACE START is confirmed with the right-hand shift paddle. Finally, the accelerator must be pressed fully with the right foot, while the left foot must come off the brake pedal. The “RACE START active” message then appears on the central display. The system determines the optimum starting revs fully automatically, and the car accelerates with optimum traction – thanks to the AMG 4MATIC all-wheel drive and the 4ETS electronic traction system. Manual upshifting is not necessary in RACE START mode as the AMG dual clutch transmission changes gear in the quickest possible time for maximum acceleration.

Chassis, suspension and braking system

Performance, precision and agility

  • AMG sports suspension with newly developed front and rear axle
  • AMG performance suspension available as an option
  • Electromechanical dual-pinion AMG speed-sensitive sports steering
  • AMG high-performance braking system for spontaneous deceleration

High agility and dynamic handling coupled with hallmark Mercedes comfort on long journeys are major strengths of the GLA 45 AMG. The McPherson front axle and four-link rear suspension are all-new developments from Mercedes-AMG. During design and development, the focus was firmly on ensuring maximum performance and the best possible traction when driving extremely dynamically. New, stiffer steering knuckles are used on the front axle. As well as ensuring direct steering behaviour, they also see to it that the camber remains constant when cornering at speed. Experts refer to this as “camber stiffness”. The rear axle features all-new strut bearings, while the subframe is rigidly connected to the body. All of the understeer/oversteer characteristics have been optimised along with the rear axle spring travel. Hallmark AMG features include the front and rear axle with more negative camber as well as optimised, stiffer elastokinematics for much higher lateral dynamics.

The AMG sports suspension is equipped with specifically tuned spring/damper units, new head bearings and larger stabilisers, meaning that the driver benefits from a more direct driving feel and a reduced rolling tendency in fast double bends. The GLA 45 AMG is available with AMG performance suspension as an optional extra. Stiffer spring/damper units all round result in even better road feel as well as reduced body pitch and roll.

 

AMG speed-sensitive sports steering for highly precise steering

The electromechanical dual-pinion AMG speed-sensitive sports steering ensures agile cornering and exceptional feedback at the critical limits. The basis for this is the AMG-specific, speed-dependent power assistance and a constant steering ratio (14.5 : 1). The electric motor is located on the steering gear to save space. Sporty response from centre position, optimum road feel and highly precise steering, especially when adopting a sporty driving style, are among the key attributes of the AMG speed-sensitive sports steering. The high-performance control unit processes the parameters captured by the ESP® control unit – including vehicle speed, steering angle, steering angle rate of change, lateral acceleration and also understeer/oversteer characteristics – and in a split second calculates the forces which the driver needs to input into the steering in different driving situations – from parking to high-speed motorway driving. Active steering dampers enhance the feeling of safety when driving straight ahead at high speed.

The electromechanical dual-pinion AMG speed-sensitive sports steering additionally enables various steering assistance functions which are activated by the ESP® control unit. These include:

  • Countersteering in case of oversteer
  • Corrective steering when braking on road surfaces offering different levels of grip (split-friction braking)
  • Compensating crosswind and road gradients
  • Use of Active Parking Assist (optional extra)

AMG high-performance braking system with a wealth of convenience functions

The GLA 45 AMG also owes much of its excellent dynamic handling to the AMG high-performance braking system. One of its major attributes is the spontaneous and reliable braking effect. Vented, cross-drilled and grooved disc brakes are fitted on the front and rear axle. The front axle features 4-piston aluminium fixed callipers, while the rear axle has single-piston combination callipers.

 

Brake data at a glance:

AMG high-performance braking system
Front axle:
Brake calliperBrake disc

 

Diameter Thickness

Weight*

4-piston aluminium fixed calliperIntegral technology, vented, cross-drilled, grooved

350 mm 32 mm 12.2 kg

Rear axle:
Brake calliperBrake disc

 

Diameter Thickness

Weight*

Single-piston combination calliperIntegral technology, vented, cross-drilled, grooved

330 mm 22 mm 7.2 kg

*Weight of the brake disc

One particularly convenient feature is the HOLD function as also seen in the larger model series: when stopping, for example at traffic lights, the driver merely has to press the brake pedal slightly more firmly once to keep the brake engaged until moving off again. The brake is released automatically when the driver steps on the accelerator.

The electric parking brake is standard and features servomotors that act on the rear axle’s combination callipers. The parking brake is operated using a button on the instrument panel to the left of the steering wheel below the light switch, freeing up space on the centre console where the handbrake lever would normally be. A useful convenience function makes hill starts easier: if the driver is wearing the seat belt and accelerates enough to drive away, the parking brake is released automatically. If the button is pressed when travelling faster than 4 km/h, the parking brake functions as an emergency brake: all four wheel brakes are activated by the ESP® hydraulic unit.

Two wheel/tyre combinations to choose from

Contact with the road is provided by wide-base 235/45 R 19 tyres – fitted on AMG 8 x 19 light-alloy wheels as standard. The two versions available as optional extras are one size larger: the AMG light-alloy wheels in 8 x 20 with tyres size 235/40 R 20 are available in two design variants.

Design and equipment

Sensual purity plus elements exclusive to AMG

  • Powerful and distinctive character
  • AMG “twin blade” radiator grille in matt titanium grey
  • Bi-xenon headlamps as standard
  • Dynamic spirit and exclusivity in the high-quality interior
  • Wide range of optional extras
  • Expressive and exclusive: the GLA 45 AMG “Edition 1”

The design of the GLA 45 AMG exudes fascination on account of its powerful and distinctive character. As most powerful variant of the GLA-Class, the high-performance SUV combines the hallmark sensual purity of Mercedes-Benz as an expression of modern luxury with muscular design elements exclusive to AMG. The AMG front apron with front splitter and the AMG “twin blade” radiator grille provide athletic highlights – both are painted in matt titanium grey. Completely new is the distinctive AMG lettering at the side between the louvres of the radiator grille. This will make all new AMG models easy to recognise in future. Black flics (air deflector elements) above the exterior cooling air intakes allude to motorsport. Bi-xenon headlamps come as standard.

When viewed from the side, the distinctive AMG light-alloy wheels in three design variants catch the eye. The side sill panels with titanium grey inserts, the “TURBO AMG” lettering on the front wings and the aluminium roof rails lend the GLA 45 AMG a special look. The rear end is dominated by the diffuser insert with titanium grey trim and by the rectangular, chrome-plated tailpipe trim of the twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system with exhaust flap.

The following AMG equipment features can optionally upgrade the exterior design:

  • Aerodynamics package: larger front splitter, additional flics in the front apron, rear spoiler
  • Carbon-fibre exterior mirror housings
    • Exterior Carbon-Fibre package: carbon-fibre trim on the front splitter and rear apron and carbon-fibre side sill panel inserts, with twin blade of the radiator grille in silver chrome
    • Rear spoiler Night package: privacy windows, black anodised waistline trim strip, silver chrome radiator grille louvres; high-gloss black front splitter, exterior mirrors, side sill panel insert and rear apron trim; black oxide finish tailpipes, black anodised roof rails
    • Red painted brake callipers with black AMG lettering

Interior design: high-quality, sporty, exclusive

As in all AMG high-performance automobiles from Affalterbach, the interior of the GLA 45 AMG delights with its high-quality appeal, combined with sporty flair and exclusive equipment features. Sports seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre with red contrasting topstitching and red designo seat belts are on board, as is the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The 3-spoke nappa leather multifunction sports steering wheel with flattened bottom section, red contrasting topstitching, perforated leather in the grip area and steering-wheel shift paddles allows for perfect vehicle control. The AMG instrument cluster with 2-tube design and central colour display, AMG main menu and RACETIMER is on hand to provide information to the driver. On opening the door, the driver is greeted by the AMG start-up screen. The trim of the instrument panel is of brushed aluminium and, in tandem with the brushed stainless-steel AMG front door sills, emphasises the high-grade, exclusive ambiance inside the GLA 45 AMG.

The interior can be upgraded with the following AMG optional extras:

  • Exclusive package
  • Performance steering wheel in black nappa leather/Alcantara® including E-SELECT selector lever with embossed AMG emblem and electronic master key with AMG emblem
  • Performance seats for driver and front passenger, with more strongly contoured seat shape for enhanced lateral support and with integral head restraints
  • Carbon-fibre trim
  • Black, crystal grey, nut brown or black RED CUT upholstery

 

Also included in the standard equipment package of the GLA 45 AMG (selection):

  • AMG floor mats
  • ECO start/stop function
  • Air conditioning
    • ATTENTION ASSIST drowsiness detection system
    • Radar-based COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST with Adaptive Brake Assist
    • Audio 20 CD radio
    • Sports pedals in brushed stainless steel with rubber studs

Expressive and exclusive: the GLA 45 AMG “Edition 1”

The GLA 45 AMG “Edition 1” is a special option which will be available for one year from market launch. The expressive arrangement of exclusive exterior and interior details arouses pure fascination. The high-gloss black Aerodynamics package with larger front splitter, additional flics in the front apron, and rear aerofoil creates an uncompromising racetrack feel. The decorative Edition 1 foil on the vehicle sides leaves a lasting impression. It is complemented by red highlights on radiator grille, exterior mirrors and diffuser insert. The red painted brake callipers and multi-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels painted matt black with red rim flanges are a perfect match. The light-alloy wheels feature special AMG wheel hub covers with central-lock look, and are mounted with tyres of size 235/40 R 20 all-round. The AMG Night package is also part of the standard equipment. The metallic paints cosmos black, polar silver, mountain grey and designo mountain grey magno are available as an alternative to the cirrus white exterior paintwork.

The interior of the GLA 45 AMG “Edition 1” is dominated by the colours black and red. Red contrasting topstitching adorns the AMG Performance seats in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre, the armrests, the upper section of the ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre instrument panel and the nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre AMG Performance steering wheel. Other visual highlights are the E-SELECT lever with embossed AMG emblem and the “Edition 1” badge on the AMG DRIVE UNIT. A match for the decorative foil on the vehicle sides is the exclusive AMG trim of the instrument panel in Edition 1 design. The high-quality surface has a convincing look and feel: shiny, matt elements create an exciting interplay with the diamond pattern and AMG lettering on the right-hand side.

More than just a fine sight to behold: the new GLA-Class

 

Track & field endurance test: a vehicle lifespan at time lapse speed

 

Stuttgart.  The new GLA-Class has successfully completed an endurance trial which, in addition to on-road testing, also takes in the stresses and strains typical of off-road all-wheel drive use. In the course of this track & field endurance trial extending over some nine months, a vehicle’s entire subsequent lifespan in the customer’s hands is simulated at time-lapse speed to verify the GLA’s fitness for series production.

Like the undisputedly robust GLK-Class before it, the GLA-Class has also mastered a special endurance trial in the form of the track & field endurance test. Covering some 80,000 kilometres, this test is based on the “standard” road endurance tests and is supplemented by a number of special sections far off paved roads, a sprint programme at the Nürburgring Nordschleife and intensive trials in an Alpine environment. Following on from the GLA and GLK, the track & field endurance test extending over around nine months is set to remain the acid test for all vehicles belonging to the Mercedes-Benz small and compact SUV range.

Simulating the entire lifespan of a vehicle within nine months requires a defined load scenario which the test engineers realise with different “load collectives”. The track & field endurance test includes extensive drives on country roads, motorways or in inner-city stop-and-go traffic – disciplines familiar from the conventional road endurance testing programme covering 150,000 kilometres.

The track & field endurance test rounds off the extensive endurance testing programme carried out worldwide by Mercedes-Benz. This endurance testing programme differs fundamentally from the development and tuning runs performed on new models; these are done additionally. Whereas on these runs the characteristics laid down in the specifications book are verified, programmes like the track & field endurance test verify the reliability and durability of new models, thus ensuring their fitness for series production.

Aggravated conditions: Nürburgring, Alps, tank practice grounds

The notorious endurance runs on the world’s toughest race track – the Nürburgring Nordschleife – are well known. A one-kilometre sprint is equivalent to 20 kilometres in the real life of an automobile. And the GLA has to complete 240 laps or around 6000 kilometres here. This means the time spent at the Nürburgring adds up to the equivalent of 100,000 “real” kilometres. The endurance tests in an Alpine environment are similarly demanding. One stretch in the Italian Alps is a veritable helter-skelter ride, with one stage of the test along a distance of 154 kilometres taking in 9 Alpine passes and 450 bends. A difference in elevation of 4300 metres also has to be overcome, and the overall test distance on this track after 20 laps totals 3080 kilometres. The numerous winding bends impose a particular strain on both the chassis and the 4MATIC drivetrain as the vehicle accelerates out of the bends, and ensure that the dynamic handling control systems have their work cut out.

In view of its lineage, Mercedes-Benz requires the new compact SUV to prove its mettle off the beaten track too. After all, in deference to the G-Class – the grandfather of all SUVs and cross-country vehicles with the star – only those vehicles that also meet certain minimum requirements off-road may carry a “G” in their name. To ensure this, the track & field endurance test includes a run that very freely construes the term “primitive road” – the so-called tank ring road of a military training area of the German Armed Forces in southern Germany. Where giant chain-driven 62-tonne vehicles rated at 1103 kW (1500 hp) are normally to be found making their way to the various training areas, churning up the unpaved ground below them as they go, the GLA is required to demonstrate over 1000 kilometres that it is able to stand up to such adverse conditions on a sustained basis.

Grand finale with complete dismantling and detailed assessment

Before the various professional journals set about examining the solidity and reliability of the SUVs from Mercedes-Benz in endurance tests which generally cover over 100,000 kilometres, the test engineers had already performed this task a couple of dozen times – including complete dismantling. In all, 24 different GLA models completed the track & field endurance test and other endurance runs, clocking up some 1.8 million kilometres in the process. After the completed track & field endurance testing, all the GLA marathon runners were disassembled and their individual components were spread out like an automotive puzzle. Behind closed doors, the development and test engineers of the specialist departments subsequently evaluated all the vehicle components with reference to the test results, defining measures for optimising components as necessary.

Sound basis for maximum stability

The outstanding results of the endurance tests place the merits of the GLA’s chassis and body beyond doubt and confirm that this solid basis is built to last a vehicle’s lifetime in operation by the customer, even in the toughest service conditions. The GLA has an extremely rigid body, providing the basis for stable and safe handling characteristics both on and off the road, as well as best-in-class NVH comfort and outstanding passive safety. Weighing in at 400.3 kilograms, 73 percent of the bodyshell is comprised of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels. In the area of the side roof frame and the new C-ring structure in the rear, hot-formed steels are used – ensuring the highest strength category possible for body steels.

The outstanding stability of the GLA’s body-in-white will also be highlighted by the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG which is to be launched in due course. This high-power SUV with a 2.0-litre turbo engine offers an output of 265 kW (360 hp), maximum torque of 450 Newton metres and does not require any reinforcement of its body, despite its vast power.  

All set for any operating conditions: 4MATIC and 7G-DCT

The new 4MATIC from Mercedes-Benz is featuring for the first time in an SUV. This permanent all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution is tailor-made for the compact GLA SUV, as the off-road variant of the new 4MATIC all-wheel drive based on the front-wheel-drive architecture formed an integral part of the system development process. The engineers accorded due consideration to deployment in off-road vehicles right from the earliest phases of development. Both on and off-road, the new 4MATIC harmonises outstandingly with the 7G-DCT automated dual clutch transmission.

Vehicles with 4MATIC feature additional off-road control functions and the corresponding presentation of off-road-related data on the CENTRAL MEDIA DISPLAY. In off-road transmission mode, the transmission shift points, accelerator pedal characteristics and thresholds of the dynamic handling control systems are adapted accordingly, resulting in substantially enhanced off-road capabilities. An off-road comfort suspension (front +30 millimetres, rear +22 millimetres) further broadens the scope of equipment on offer. DSR (Downhill Speed Regulation) is activated via a control button in the centre console to assist the driver on steep and demanding downhill stretches.

Track & field endurance test guarantees fitness for series production

 

Successful GLA testing marathon

 

Stuttgart.  Like the undisputedly robust GLK, the new GLA-Class has also successfully completed an endurance trial which, in addition to on-road testing, additionally takes in the stresses and strains typical of off-road all-wheel-drive use. In the course of this track & field endurance trial extending over some nine months, a vehicle’s entire subsequent lifespan in the customer’s hands is simulated at time-lapse speed to verify the GLA’s fitness for series production. In all, 24 GLA models completed this marathon and other endurance tests, racking up a total of 1.8 million kilometres in the process.

Like the GLK-Class before it, which was renowned for its robustness, the GLA‑Class successfully was put through a special endurance test: the Track&Field endurance test. This test, covering some 80,000 kilometres, is based on the road endurance tests and is supplemented with a number of special sections far off paved roads, a sprint programme at the Nürburgring Nordschleife and intensive trials in an Alpine environment. Following positive experiences with the GLA and GLK the Track&Field endurance test will be the final examination for all compact Mercedes-Benz SUVs.

Compared to the M, GL and G-Class models, which fulfil the requirements for the most extreme off-road applications, the Track&Field endurance test represents the performance profile that customers expect from a compact SUV: the main area of usage is on the road, however there are considerable expectations of the skills off the beaten track. For this reason the track & field endurance test was elaborated, exactly mirroring the performance spectrum of a compact SUV based on the use profile of the customers. But this does not mean the GLK and GLA are softies fit solely for boulevards: the demands made by the track & field endurance test are very harsh, as demonstrated for example by the off-road endurance runs conducted on a tank crew training ground.

The focus of the tests in this nine-month GLA marathon was on durability and the reliable operation of the new 4MATIC all-wheel drivetrain, the suspension and the electrical equipment such as the comfort, control and assistance systems. In addition, the track & field test ensures the strength and durability of the entire structure of the SUV bodyshell.

Collection of comprehensive data provides detailed insights

 

Simulating the entire lifespan of a vehicle within nine months requires a defined load scenario which the test engineers realise with different “load collectives”. The track & field endurance test includes extensive drives on country roads, motorways or in inner-city stop-and-go traffic – disciplines familiar from the conventional road endurance testing programme covering 150,000 kilometres. In part, these stretches are covered by the GLA test vehicles towing a trailer with the maximum allowable towing capacity; this is intended to further intensify the structural loads on the body. But the distance of 1.8 million kilometres covered by the 24 GLA long-distance runners only partially reflects the scope of the test disciplines. In the track & field endurance test the test drivers also check all the controls and operating devices according to an exactly defined procedure.

Always on board with the test driver: the computer to record all the data. It continuously records 190 different measured variables for the standard-fit monitoring and control systems and some 50 variables for additionally installed sensors. In the course of testing, at the end of their shifts the test drivers either link up to specific Daimler in-house access points which transfer the data fully automatically to the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center (MTC) for safe storage and evaluation or, when no access points are available, they save the data on a mobile storage medium for evaluation at a later juncture. So-called pen tops are also used. These serve to provide the test drivers with precise details of the specified test programme. All the events occurring on the test drives are also documented in this system. In particular, subjective impressions of the experienced drivers help to further enhance production maturity.

All information is managed with Daimler’s own development tool FINAS (Vehicle Information and Administration System). Here the complete vita of the GLA prototypes with all measured data and vehicle-specific information such as stage of development, equipment, chassis, tyres or engine are saved, and pending or performed service or repair work is entered.

In each GLA endurance trial the test engineers obtain around 1.8 gigabytes of measurement data, which they evaluate in detail in the course of the track & field endurance trial. This enables them to assess the state of the vehicle and to identify any signs of faults in good time. When faults are identified, a standardised task force procedure involving all the relevant departments comes into effect, ensuring precise diagnosis and reliable remedial action.

Aggravated conditions: Nürburgring, Alps, tank practice grounds

The notorious endurance runs on the world’s toughest race track – the Nürburgring Nordschleife – are well known. A one-kilometre sprint is equivalent to 20 kilometres in the real life of an automobile. And the GLA has to complete 240 laps or around 6000 kilometres here. This means the time spent at the Nürburgring adds up to the equivalent of 100,000 “real” kilometres. As these hot laps involve an element of danger, the endurance test vehicles are equipped with a roll-over cage. The endurance tests in an Alpine environment are similarly demanding. One stretch in the Italian Alps is a veritable helter-skelter ride, with one stage of the test along a distance of 154 kilometres taking in 9 Alpine passes and 450 bends. A difference in elevation of 4300 metres also has to be overcome, and the overall test distance on this track after 20 laps totals 3080 kilometres. The numerous winding bends impose a particular strain on both the chassis and the 4MATIC drivetrain as the vehicle accelerates out of the bends, and ensure that the dynamic handling control systems have their work cut out.

In view of its lineage, Mercedes-Benz requires the new compact SUV to prove its mettle off the beaten track too. After all, in deference to the G-Class – the grandfather of all SUVs and cross-country vehicles with the star – only those vehicles that also meet certain minimum requirements off-road may carry a “G” in their name. To ensure this, the track & field endurance test includes a run that very freely construes the term “primitive road” – the so-called tank ring road of a military training area of the German Armed Forces in southern Germany. Where giant chain-driven 62-tonne vehicles rated at 1103 kW (1500 hp) are normally to be found making their way to the various training areas, churning up the unpaved ground below them as they go, the GLA is required to demonstrate over 1000 kilometres that it is able to stand up to such adverse conditions on a sustained basis.

The sequence of tests plays an important role in the track & field endurance test, as it would make no sense to work successively through each test discipline in isolation. Rather, the track & field endurance test is aligned with the real-life demands placed on an SUV in the customer’s hands. The individual on and off-road disciplines are broken down into test cycles which are completed in varied patterns according to a defined distribution scheme. For instance, a drive over country roads may be followed by an off-road excursion, or a city drive may be followed by a long stretch of motorway, just like in real life.

To cover various load scenarios for a customer-owned vehicle, in addition a number of disciplines involve different loads. For this purpose, either steel bars are firmly screwed to the vehicle floor in the rear, or the test drivers are accompanied by “water boys”: water-filled plastic torsos weighing 82 kilograms, strapped to the seats with standard seat belts.

Grand finale with complete dismantling and detailed assessment

Before the various professional journals worldwide set about examining the solidity and reliability of the SUVs from Mercedes-Benz in endurance tests which generally cover over 100,000 kilometres, the test engineers have already performed this task a couple of dozen times – including complete dismantling. After completing track & field endurance testing, the GLA models are disassembled and their individual components are spread out like an automotive puzzle. Behind closed doors the development and test engineers of the specialist departments subsequently evaluate all vehicle components, focussing on those areas where any anomalies have been observed during the endurance tests and addressed by the above-mentioned task force. If no further nonconformances are found in these sections, their fitness for series production can be certified. However, if further problems, or previously undiscovered problems arise, the task force will go into action again until they find a perfect solution. If in doubt, GLA endurance test subjects are sent on their rounds again and the tests on devices such as the body testing facility or the road simulation test rig are intensified. After the closed-door meetings over the disassembled GLA, further assessments follow: in the appropriate development units the engine, transmission and 4MATIC drivetrain are then completely disassembled, measured and scrutinised.

Track & field endurance test: one of many

The track & field endurance test rounds off the extensive endurance testing programme carried out worldwide by Mercedes-Benz. This endurance testing programme differs fundamentally from the development and tuning runs performed on new models; these are done additionally. Whereas on these runs the characteristics laid down in the specifications book are verified, programmes like the track & field endurance test verify the reliability and durability of new models.

During the trials such as the road endurance test over 150,000 kilometres or the track & field endurance test over 80,000 kilometres, in which the focus is on the vehicle as a whole, the development engineers also carry out additional, specialised endurance tests:

● World endurance test: 50,000 km worldwide in extreme climatic and topographic conditions

● Trailer endurance test: 25,000 km with a special loaded trailer

● Rough road endurance test: 2000 km over extremely rough roads (“Heide” endurance test)

● Corrosion endurance test: 12-week testing in climate and corrosion chambers and on real-life routes

● Function tests: Checking of control systems and dynamic handling control systems on load-specific routes

● Hockenheim endurance test: 6000 km on the Grand Prix circuit at racing speed

● Full-load endurance tests over 30,000 or 50,000 km on cordoned-off high-speed tracks such as Nardo (southern Italy) or the Mercedes-Benz testing grounds in Papenburg, northern Germany

Worldwide deployment: endurance testing in Europe, Asia and America verify fitness for series production.

Sound basis for maximum stability

Nürburgring Nordschleife, Karussell section: The GLA prototype with 67,245 km on the clock drops at a speed of 120 km/h from the left into the high-bank curve which is interspersed with lateral joints, jolting chassis and driver to the limit. Despite the high levels of stress and strain, the compact SUV darts relatively unspectacularly through the 180-degree turn. “No jittering bodywork, high torsional or bending strength, no creaking noises – even after almost 5000 kilometres on the Nordschleife, the GLA body continues to impress me”, the experienced track & field test driver later wrote in his daily report.

Stetten military training site, Panzerringstrasse: On the rain-drenched unsurfaced road dotted with deep ruts, potholes, twists and turns, two GLA prototypes do their rounds at speed, throwing up plenty of mud and stones in the process. The track & field candidate from the Nürburgring endurance test is also in on the action here. With 73,290 km on the clock, it is nearing the end of its testing. The tormented body nevertheless bears up admirably, as confirmed by both the driver’s assessment and the recorded measurements. “The GLA’s body copes particularly effortlessly with winding stretches”, both test drivers confirm.

Just two test days, which serve to demonstrate the high levels of stress and strain to which the GLA’s body was subjected in the track & field endurance test. After completing the tortuous 80,000 kilometres of testing, the merits of the GLA’s chassis and body are established beyond doubt and confirm that this solid basis is built to last a vehicle’s lifetime in operation by the customer, even in the toughest service conditions. The GLA has an extremely rigid body, providing the basis for stable and safe handling characteristics both on and off the road, as well as best-in-class NVH comfort and outstanding passive safety. Weighing in at 400.3 kilograms, 73 percent of the bodyshell is comprised of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels. In the area of the side roof frame and the new C-ring structure in the rear, hot-formed steels are used – ensuring the highest strength category possible for body steels.

It was decided at the beginning of the development phase that the new GLA was to have a number of features which would raise the vehicle to a class-leading position in terms of comfort, sense of spaciousness and practical attributes. Two aspects posed special challenges for the engineers with regard to the body: neither the very large roof opening nor the wide tailgate opening were to have any negative effect on stability and rigidity.

The GLA offers by far the largest glass roof in its class, with glass covering 64 percent of the roof surface area. As such, this feature guarantees a generous, light and airy feeling of spaciousness, thus enhancing comfort in both the front and rear.

As a result of this feature, the roof bows which are otherwise customary in this area had to be replaced by an appropriate construction in order to keep the torsional stiffness of the body at the same level as with a closed steel roof. This was achieved with a double-skinned roof frame to support the B-pillars, an enlargement of the cross-section at the D-ring, the mentioned heat-formed steels offering the highest possible strength and the use of an extremely sturdy glass sunroof frame firmly bolted to and bonded with the body structure.

The wide tailgate opening, which facilitates easy loading even with bulky objects, required a substantially more complex solution. The engineers at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Center (MTC) developed totally new body structures here. In addition to the D-ring familiar from other models, which forms the rear end of the body, a C-ring is also employed. These two closed ring structures form an extremely stable unit and ensure excellent torsional stiffness. In addition, the two rear shock-absorber strut fixtures are supported by the C-ring. This decisively improves the resistance to forces transmitted from the rear axle connection and thus the NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) characteristics in general.

At the same time, the developers compensated the loads in the rear area of the body by means of the new spindle-type actuator of the optionally available automatic tailgate. Very high forces arise here particularly at the beginning of the automatic opening process. These are reliably absorbed by the highly robust combination of C and D-ring.

The outstanding stability of the GLA’s body-in-white will also be highlighted by the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG which is to be launched in due course. This high-power SUV with a 2.0-litre turbo engine offers an output of 265 kW (360 hp), maximum torque of 450 Newton metres and does not require any reinforcement of its body, despite its vast power.

All set for any operating conditions: 4MATIC and 7G-DCT

 

The new 4MATIC from Mercedes-Benz is featuring for the first time in an SUV. This permanent all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution is tailor-made for the compact SUV GLA, as the off-road variant of the new 4MATIC all-wheel drive based on the front-wheel-drive architecture formed an integral part of the system development process. The engineers accorded due consideration to deployment in off-road vehicles right from the earliest phases of development. On the GLA 4MATIC models and with larger wheels, higher wheel torques apply in particular in off-road use, for example. The drive shafts require to be specially adapted to the optional raised off-road comfort suspension and the resultant articulation angle in the compensating joints. Both on and off-road, the new 4MATIC harmonises outstandingly with the 7G-DCT automated dual clutch transmission.

Looking smart off the beaten track with off-road control features

Vehicles with 4MATIC feature additional off-road control functions and Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR) as standard. DSR is activated via a control button in the centre console to assist the driver on steep and demanding downhill stretches. The vehicle speed which was previously set using the cruise control lever on the steering column and is shown on the central display is maintained automatically, as far as the physical limits allow. This is done with the help of the engine and transmission control systems, and by targeted brake intervention. Conversely, the start-off assist system and the HOLD function assist the driver when starting off uphill.

As a result of the off-road functions, the transmission shift points, accelerator pedal characteristics and thresholds of the dynamic handling control systems are adapted accordingly, resulting in substantially enhanced off-road capabilities. Another useful off-road option is the off-road comfort suspension (front +30 millimetres, rear +22 millimetres). This raising of the suspension yields several advantages. The resultant increase in spring travel provides the GLA’s wheels with longer ground contact and subsequent improved traction on heavily contoured terrain. Comfort is also enhanced, and the raised seat position provides better all-round visibility, both off and on-road.

All-round view: off-road display and off-road lights

 

In combination with the Audio 20 CD (standard) and COMAND Online (optional extra), an on and off-road display can also be activated on the CENTRAL MEDIA DISPLAY. The steering angle and a compass are shown in this mode. The roll angle in degrees, the gradient in percent and activation of Downhill Speed Regulation DSR are also indicated. All 4MATIC models equipped with the Intelligent Light System (ILS) also feature off-road lights, which provide for improved visibility during night-time off-road driving. When travelling at low speeds in confusing off-road terrain, the broadest and brightest possible illumination of the area in front of the vehicle is expedient to enable more effective and faster recognition of obstacles. The off-road lights go on automatically when the driver activates the off-road drive programme while the headlamps are on. To this end, the bi-xenon headlamp modules pan outwards by 6 degrees, the luminous power of the xenon burner is increased by 3 W and a symmetrical light distribution is set. In addition, the LED cornering lights on both sides are switched to permanently lit mode, while dynamic curve illumination and range adjustment are deactivated. These settings ensure broader and brighter illumination of the area directly in front of the vehicle compared with ILS, which is optimised for on-road use. This helps the driver to find their way in off-road terrain substantially more effectively and enables any obstacles to be recognised more quickly. Off-road lights are active up to a speed of 50 km/h. Once the driver exceeds this threshold, ILS automatically switches back to the light functions optimised for road use.

The “Heide” test – the mother of all car endurance trials

 

Anyone motoring around the Lüneburg Heath at the beginning of the 1950s needed to be brave, unflinching and able to shrug off the knocks that beckoned along the way. The routes around Hollenstedt and Moisburg had very little to do with what we generally understand by the term “road”. Asphalted surfaces were extremely rare and for the most part traffic had to make do with unsurfaced roads abounding in potholes and bumps or rough cobblestones that took their toll on body, suspension and occupants alike. Reports on the state of the roads here also filtered through to Stuttgart, where the development engineers at Mercedes-Benz were always on the look-out for suitable stretches on which to test new models. Following an extensive scouting expedition to the north of the young republic, the “Heide test” became a firmly established element of the Mercedes test programme. After completing a few drives at the “Heide”, it was clear that they had chanced upon an ideal testing area. The terrain proved such a trial for body, chassis and suspension that a degree of stress and strain corresponding to a car’s entire lifespan became apparent in the space of a few weeks.

So as to avoid the successive modernisation of the Lüneburg Heide infrastructure putting an end to the test drives, the stretches were duly duplicated, giving rise to authentic copies first of all at the Mercedes test site in Untertürkheim in the mid-1960s and later also at other test locations such as Sindelfingen or Papenburg. This was no simple matter, as a report from 1967 on the extended test site in Untertürkheim reveals:

“….In transferring particularly difficult stretches to the new site, the original profile was sampled with geodetic precision using iron wheels in two lanes and then plotted on graph paper. A wooden template was then produced, from which the concrete mix was removed in a final step. In this way, a test site with an endlessly diverse range of different stretches was painstakingly created. Half of the test sections totalling 15,460 m in length were provided with decidedly awful surfaces….”

The “Heide” test thus laid the foundation of today’s extensive endurance trials in which around 350 prototypes each year are required to demonstrate their resistance to extreme stress and strain. Close synchronisation between the real-life on and off-road endurance tests throughout the world and the numerous tests carried out on test rigs such as the body testing rig guarantees even more meaningful results. While roads such as those in the Lüneburg Heide around 1950 are very rarely to be found in central Europe today, the GLA is an SUV with off-road capabilities. This means that it is still required to stand up to test runs in conditions corresponding to those in the Lüneburg Heide shortly after the Second World War. In keeping with Mercedes-Benz’s philosophy on SUVs, even though only a small number of customers actually venture off road, cars with off-road capability such as the GLA are among the most robust and high-performance models within their market segment.

 

Genuine Accessories and Collection for the Mercedes-Benz GLA

Adding to the versatility of a multi-talented vehicle

Stuttgart. Innovative communications systems, practical carrying systems, elegantly sporty light-alloy wheels, ingenious accessories – the range of Genuine Accessories and Collection items for the new Mercedes-Benz GLA is a diverse one. Highlights include the next-generation version of the drive kit Plus for the iPhone® and the new “Aerostyle” roof bars.

The seamless in-vehicle integration of the iPhone® introduced by Mercedes-Benz in the A-Class in 2012 represented a world premiere. The “drive kit Plus for the iPhone® is now also available as a retrofit solution, currently for 12 model series – see http://drive-kit-plus.com/en/#s/availability

The next generation of this communications solution is now making its debut in the GLA-Class: the “drive kit Plus for the iPhone®” is now also available for the new iPhone® models 5/5S/5C (from February 2014 as an accessory, as an ex-factory option from the second quarter of 2014). The controls for the system in the vehicle have also been improved: it is able to switch intuitively between Audio 20/COMAND Online and the “drive kit Plus for the iPhone®“, while the full functionality of the audio system remains unimpaired. Courtesy of an upgrade kit, customers switching from an iPhone® 4 to an iPhone® 5 can now continue to use their “drive kit Plus for the iPhone®“. New functions available with the updated software include an overview of the day’s diary entries and a pedestrian navigation system. This allows seamless transfer of route navigation to the iPhone® in cases in which the last few metres from where the vehicle is parked to the final destination need to be covered on foot.

Furthermore, since late 2013 the key new function of Car-to-X communication has been available as part of the Digital DriveStyle App. Should an accident or the presence of a wrong-way driver have been registered anywhere in the vicinity of the vehicle, the driver is warned and the critical area indicated on the map. Any vehicle equipped with Car-to-X technology is also able to send emergency hazard warning messages to other road users. A warning of bad weather conditions, for example, can be passed to the Mercedes Cloud at the touch of a button. This will then send a message to all vehicles in the relevant area equipped with Car-to-X technology.

Practical and attractive: Ingenious carrying systems and sporty accessories

A further highlight of the Genuine Accessories range for the GLA-Class comes in the form of the new Aerostyle roof bars. These provide a multifunctional basis for all Mercedes-Benz carrying and recreational solutions, for example roof boxes, cycle, or combined ski and snowboard racks, and can be quickly fitted to the roof rails without the need for tools. The GLA includes aluminium roof rails as standard with the Style, Urban and AMG lines as well as in conjunction with the Night package.

The very lightweight New Alustyle cycle rack, for example, is just one of the solutions that can be fitted to the roof bars. The bikes themselves can be loaded in two ways: either directly onto the roof, or by attaching them beforehand on the ground. The folding support frame also ensures that wind resistance is minimised when the rack is empty.

A practical solution for carrying items inside the vehicle is the easy-to-clean boot tub: ideal also for carrying foodstuffs or liquids. The shape of the tub, with its slightly raised edge, fits the load area perfectly and is extremely robust, as it is made out of shock-resistant and shatterproof polypropylene.

The Genuine Accessories range also includes an extensive selection of light-alloy wheels for the GLA. One particularly attractive enhancement are 5-spoke light-alloy wheels, size 8 J x 19 – available either painted in black with a high-sheen finish or in vanadium silver metallic.

Giving the vehicle an unusual night-time look is the illuminated Mercedes star. With the aid of fibre-optics and LED technology, the central star inset into the radiator grille lights up when the vehicle is opened or locked by remote control or when the doors or boot lid are opened.

Genuine accessories from AMG serve to emphasise the sporty appearance of the GLA. The range features distinctive AMG 5-spoke wheels, AMG door sill panels in brushed stainless steel with and without LED illumination (from the second quarter of 2014) plus AMG bodystyling components. These include front and rear aprons and side sill panels. From the second quarter of 2014 the range will also include AMG sports stripes in graphite grey in the form of a set of adhesive foils for the sides of the vehicle.

Stylish and fashionable: new accessories for fans of the GLA

The GLA copes nimbly with all the hurdles of everyday life yet at the same time is robust enough for those times when one needs to escape. And with appropriate accessories from Mercedes-Benz, such outings can be made even more enjoyable. New items in the range include a brown/beige-check picnic blanket, a bottle cooler in silk beige neoprene and a brown T-shirt with patch breast pocket. And for those who opt for the satin-finish light brown poplar wood trim for their Mercedes-Benz GLA, the Mercedes-Benz Collection includes matching wood-look cases for the iPad® mini and iPhone® 5.

Spacious and versatile stowage space is something provided not only by the GLA but also by the new Messenger Bag. This leather bag, in orient brown, features a laptop compartment and various other inside pockets, while a canvas shoulder strap enhances carrying comfort. A choice of two key rings is also available for the GLA: one is the familiar version with a scaled-down replica of the tailgate badge. The other is the “Aspen” model: this features a braided loop in brown grosgrain, lined with green cowhide. Both key rings include three additional split rings to allow quick exchange/removal of individual keys.

Highest standards of quality and safety

All items in the Mercedes-Benz Accessories GmbH range meet the exceptional standards of quality and safety that Mercedes-Benz also applies to its vehicles. All products are subject to careful preselection, a rigorous approvals process, regular checks and stringent manufacturing tolerances, whereby the internal standards imposed by Mercedes-Benz are significantly higher than those demanded by law.

The Genuine Accessories range for the GLA-Class and the new accessories catalogue will be available from 15 March from authorised Mercedes-Benz dealers. Further information about Mercedes-Benz Genuine Accessories & Collection are available online:www.mercedes-benz-accessories.com. The current Mercedes-Benz Collection and the latest navigation CDs and DVDs are also available from the online Shop at: http://shop.mercedes-benz.com.