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by Adam Lynton
A high-performance variant of the GLA baby-SUV has been spotted undergoing winter testing.
From these latest spy shots it appears the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLA Class, an A-Class based SUV, will spawn AMG's third high-performance small car. The GLA45 AMG will adopt numerous AMG enhancements, including aggressive new styling, dual-exhaust tips, bigger AMG-style alloys and drilled brakes, as well as the Affalterbach tuner's potent 2.0-liter turbo four. That engine will debut in the A-Class-spawned A45 AMG and later in the CLA45 AMG and then this: the GLA45 AMG, seen here in heavy camo.
Output should be close to 350 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed AMG Speedshift MCT dual-clutch gearbox. That should translate to a 0-60 mph time of less than five seconds, putting it in good shape to battle Audi's RS variant of the Q3 that's currently in the works. The US looks to have missed out on the new A-Class, but the CLA, GLA and their respective AMG variants are confirmed for local sale. We expect the GLA to debut in Frankfurt in September so it'll be early 2014 before the official reveal of the GLA45 AMG is made.