2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 35

2021 Mercedes‑AMG GLA 35

By Arthur Demi via Mercedes-Benz

2021 Mercedes-AMG GLA 35

The diverse range of new 35-series models offering a new entry point to the world of Mercedes-AMG is now complete. This model family extends from the A-Class to the CLA Coupe as well as the GLB, which is optionally available as a seven-seater. This versatile line-up is now rounded out by the new GLA 35, combining high-style and high- performance in a sporty crossover. At the heart of the new GLA 35 is the AMG-enhanced engine: the agile high-torque 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine delivering 302 hp, which is variably distributed to all four wheels via the 8-speed dual- clutch transmission and all-wheel drive. Quick acceleration (0-60 mph in 5.0 seconds), high versatility, high style, and a performance-oriented driving experience are all hallmarks of this dynamic new model.

"With the new GLA 35 we are rounding off our attractive portfolio of compact entry-level models to the world of Mercedes-AMG," says Tobias Moers, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "Our wide portfolio in this segment therefore has seven models with which we are able to meet wide-ranging customer wishes and are systematically able to transfer our AMG philosophy of Driving Performance to our dynamically growing compact segment. The muscular design, superior performance and thrilling handling make the new GLA 35 a sporty crossover with hallmark AMG genes."

Characteristic of Mercedes-AMG, characteristically dynamic: the exterior design

The design of the GLA 35 is unmistakably AMG. Up front, the AMG-specific radiator grille immediately emphasizes the model's clear membership in the AMG family. Other design highlights include the unique silver chrome trim elements in the outer air inlets and the front splitter, also optionally available in high-gloss black. Eye-catching features when viewed from the side include the 19-inch 5-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted in grey with a high-sheen finish (other designs are optionally available in 19, 20 or 21 inches) as well as the door panel inserts in silver chrome or high-gloss black (optional). When viewed from the rear, the GLA 35 stands out thanks to its striking rear bumper with a new diffuser insert, AMG spoiler lip on the roof spoiler and two round tailpipe trims. The slim, two-section rear lights lend a strong impression of width to the GLA's rear. With design features in high-gloss black and black chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes, the optional AMG Night package ensures an even more aggressive and unique appearance.

Sporty interior with MBUX infotainment system

In the interior, the high-tech ambience is complemented by the fully-digital displays. Unique AMG touches include seat upholstery in MB-Tex/DINAMICA microfiber in black with contrasting topstitching in red with red seat belts. Interior trim with a carbon-fiber-look and air vents featuring ambient lighting provide further highlights. An interior in Black/ Neva Grey MB-Tex is also available and there are four additional optional leather upholsteries to choose from.

The combination of a sporty design with sophisticated details is also evident in the MBUX infotainment system featuring its innovative operating and display concept. Appealing presentations enhance the clear controls and feature brilliant maximum-resolution 3D graphics. Visually, the two 10.25" displays under one shared glass cover blend into a Widescreen Cockpit and as a central element emphasize the horizontal orientation of the interior design.

Whether operated via the touchpad, Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel, by voice control or gesture control: the MBUX control concept is both versatile and flexible. Thanks to the innovative voice control – activated with the keyword "Hey Mercedes" – the intelligent software recognizes and understands practically all commands common in infotainment and vehicle control – even when expressed indirectly.

Fully-digital instrument cluster with AMG-specific displays

The driver can choose between three AMG display styles "Classic", "Sport" and "Supersport" for the instrument cluster. The "Supersport" mode is particularly striking with a central, round rev counter and additional information presented in the form of bars to the left and right of the rev counter: with a three-dimensional perspective, they reach far into the background to an artificial horizon. Via the AMG menu, the driver can call up various special displays such as Warm-up, Set-up, G-Force and Engine Data. With individual AMG displays such as visualization of the driving modes or telemetry data, the touchscreen multimedia display also underscores the dynamic configuration.

The center console in a piano-lacquer look with standard touchpad has additional buttons that control the functions of 3-stage ESP®, manual transmission mode and the optional AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with adaptively adjustable damping.

Mercedes-AMG GLA 35

AMG steering wheel with optional steering wheel buttons

The multifunction sports steering wheel in nappa leather ensures first-class ergonomics and intuitive operation. The steering wheel rim with a flat bottom, perforated leather in the grip area and red contrasting topstitching is both attractive and pleasant to the touch. The galvanized steering wheel gearshift paddles enable an even sportier driving style with manual shift operations.

The optional AMG Performance steering wheels and accompanying AMG steering wheel buttons are visibly and ergonomically designed for performance. The material is extremely grippy, and like the 12 o'clock marking is reminiscent of motorsport design cues. The steering wheel buttons allow fast and confident operation of specific dynamic functions – for a focused and performance-oriented driving style.

Looking downwards, the brushed stainless steel sports pedals also convey a motorsport-inspired look and functionality. The rubber studs in the pedals help to ensure extra grip. The black floor mats with AMG lettering and a leather-look border emphasize the AMG family membership.

Data logger for use on the race track: AMG TRACK PACE

The optional, personal racing engineer AMG TRACK PACE is integrated into the MBUX multimedia system for the specific analysis and improvement of driving skills. This is assisted by the satellite-based GPS positioning system and data such as lateral and longitudinal acceleration, accelerator and brake pedal position or steering angle. All the values are clearly laid out and can be read off directly in the vehicle.

The data are displayed on the multimedia display, in the instrument cluster and on the optional head-up display. Well- known race tracks like, for example, the Nürburgring or Spa Francorchamps, are already stored. Furthermore, it is also possible to record your own circuits. The map display can be switched from 2D to 3D and updated online.

The MBUX Augmented Reality function also allows the ideal line of a stored race track to be displayed on the multimedia display or optional head-up display, allowing the driver to improve lap times with a virtual instructor on board.

Reinforced body-in-white with increased torsional stiffness

Specific measures to strengthen the front section of the bodyshell help enable the precise turn-in ability and the toe and camber stability of the chassis components, even when driving at speed. A "shear panel", a bolted aluminum plate under the engine, increases the torsional stiffness of the front section of the GLA 35. Two additional diagonal braces at the front of the underbody also reduce torsion and increase the body's stiffness.

Turbocharged four-cylinder engine developing 302 hp

The 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine has an immediate response to accelerator pedal commands, high torque (295 lb- ft max. torque from 3000 rpm), a supremely lively response and an evocative and dynamic engine note. The crankcase is made of high-strength, lightweight die-cast aluminum and helps to reduce the overall vehicle weight. A twin-scroll exhaust gas turbocharger combines optimum responsiveness at low engine speeds with a strong power increase at higher speeds.

The high technological standards of the new four-cylinder engine are also bolstered by numerous efficiency-enhancing measures. These include CAMTRONIC variable valve train, intelligent thermal management for coolant and oil, high- precision piezo injectors and multi-spark ignition. The patented CONICSHAPE® cylinder honing reduces in-engine friction and also increases efficiency.

Agile AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G dual-clutch transmission

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G dual-clutch transmission further contributes to the agile and dynamic character of the new GLA 35. The gear ratios have been configured so that the driver experiences very immediate acceleration in all speed ranges, combined with fast shift times and optimum connections during gear changes.

The standard RACE-START function allows maximum acceleration from stationary and is a highly dynamic experience. The functions of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 8G transmission are rounded off with a temporary M mode activated by operating the steering wheel paddle shifters in any drive mode, and with the manual transmission mode "M" for manual gearshifts with the paddle shifters.

AMG Performance 4MATIC variable all-wheel drive

Dynamism, agility and performance – these three attributes characterize the standard all-wheel drive of the new AMG GLA 35. The variable AMG Performance 4MATIC combines the best possible traction with plenty of driving performance. The torque distribution is infinitely variable to suit the dynamic handling requirements. The spectrum ranges from front- wheel drive only to a 50:50 percent distribution to the front and rear axles. A multi-disc clutch integrated into the rear axle differential is responsible for variable torque distribution between the front and rear axles. It is controlled electro- mechanically. The influencing factors for torque distribution include the driving speed, the lateral and longitudinal acceleration and the steering angle, as well as the difference in rotational speed between the individual wheels, the gear selection and the accelerator position.

The main advantages of electro-mechanical control over an electro-hydraulic system relate to more refined driving dynamics – primarily due to the significantly faster response and speed-independent actuation of the discs over the entire adjustment range.

As long as ESP® is activated, the 4MATIC system stays in "Comfort" mode. As soon as the driver presses the "ESP® SPORT Handling" or "ESP® OFF" button, the 4MATIC system switches to "Sport" mode – for even more agile handling and even higher stability limits.

Configurable vehicle characteristics: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT

The five AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs "Slippery", "Comfort", "Sport", "Sport +" and "Individual" enable a wide range of vehicle characteristics from comfortable to dynamic. They change relevant parameters, such as the response of the engine and transmission.

  • The new "Slippery" drive program is optimized for low-grip, icy road conditions, with reduced power and a flat torque curve. Smooth gear changes and earlier upshifts support the driving impression characterized by stability.
  • The "Comfort" mode stands for comfortable and fuel-efficient driving, for example thanks to early upshifts. Suspension and steering are set up for an emphasis on comfort.
  • "Sport" and "Sport+" place the focus on agility and driving fun with sporty engine and transmission tuning.
  • The "Individual" drive mode enables the individual parameters to be selected and saved according to personal preferences. In addition, the gliding function is available with the "Reduced" and "Moderate" drive settings.

AMG DYNAMICS: more agility with high stability

As a new feature in the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes, the new GLA 35 also features AMG DYNAMICS. This integrated dynamic handling control system extends the stabilizing functions of ESP® with agility-enhancing interventions according to the driver's wishes. During dynamic cornering, for example, imperceptible braking intervention at the rear inside wheel creates a defined yawing moment about the vertical axis. The effect: the GLA 35 steers immediately and very precisely.

The different manifestations of AMG DYNAMICS are called "Basic" and "Advanced". On the multimedia display, when a drive program is selected, the new AMG DYNAMICS symbol is displayed together with the corresponding additional information.

  • "Basic" is assigned to the "Slippery" and "Comfort" drive modes. In this case, the GLA 35 has extremely stable handling with a high level of yaw damping.
  • "Advanced" is activated in the programs "Sport" and "Sport+". The GLA 35 remains neutrally balanced. The lower yaw damping, lower steering angle requirement and enhanced agility support dynamic maneuvers such as driving on winding country roads.

In the "Individual" drive program the driver can set the AMG DYNAMICS levels individually. Furthermore, the settings for the AMG DYNAMICS stages can also be separately selected via the optional AMG steering wheel buttons, independent of the driving mode.

AMG suspension with AMG-specific components

The AMG sport suspension is tuned for high cornering speeds and low roll tendencies. This allows the dynamic potential of the GLA 35 to be fully realized. The high reserves at the critical limits ensures sheer driving pleasure while the vehicle remains safe and predictable at all times. A McPherson suspension strut construction is fitted on the front axle. The suspension includes one transverse control arm below the wheel center, one suspension strut and one tie rod respectively. The special axle geometry reduces torque steer for high comfort and agility.

The aluminum transverse control arm reduces the unsprung mass, allowing a more sensitive response from the springs. The AMG-specific front steering knuckle has a radially bolted brake caliper – a technology originating from motorsport. The 4-link rear axle is connected rigidly with the body via a rear axle carrier. Three transverse control arms and a trailing arm are used at each rear wheel, a combination that ensures maximum driving stability.

The optional AMG RIDE CONTROL adaptive damping system enables the driver to choose between three different suspension control modes. The spectrum ranges from comfort-focused to sporty. The system operates fully automatically, adapting the damping forces for each wheel according to the driving situation and road conditions. This happens within milliseconds and is infinitely variable, with a wide spread of damping characteristics. The result is that ride comfort and agility are enhanced in equal measure.

Robust AMG high-performance braking system

The AMG high-performance braking system ensures fade-resistant deceleration and short braking distances. The front axle is fitted with 4-piston fixed calipers and 13.8 inch brake discs, the rear axle with 1-piston sliding calipers and 13.0 inch brake discs. The discs are internally ventilated and perforated to better dissipate heat and prevent brake fading, even with extreme use. The silver-painted brake calipers feature black AMG lettering.

Steering with special rack and variable ratio

The speed-sensitive, electro-mechanical sports power steering provides a sporty driving style with its direct turn-in ability. It has a special rack with a variable transmission ratio and two characteristic curves: depending on which drive mode the driver has selected, it provides taut and sporty or more comfortable steering feedback. The steering servo assistance is reduced at high speeds, and continuously increases at lower speeds. This means that comparatively little steering force is required at low speeds, while the best possible control over the vehicle is maintained at high speeds. The rigid mounting in the integral carrier connects the steering even better with the body and thus increases steering precision.

AMG exhaust system with exhaust gas flap for sound modulation

The unique AMG exhaust system enhances the performance-oriented yet also suited for every day character of the new GLA 35. Depending on the choice of driving mode, the sound signature ranges from very sporty and dynamic (Sport+) to discreet (Slippery, Comfort, Sport). The sound characteristics are controlled by an exhaust gas flap, depending on engine speed and load.

(Mercedes-Benz USA Press Release)