Move over, BMW X1 xDrive35i, it's time for a new hot compact crossover. That crossover, as you might guess, is Mercedes-Benz's GLA45 AMG, which we just caught testing on the Nurburgring.
There's no denying that this is Mercedes-Benz's GLA-Class: the car has the familiar bold, blunt grille from the CLA/A-Class, along with stretched headlights. Instead of a swoopy, four-door coupe body (like the CLA), there's a hatchback (with a sloped roofline) and bulged rear hips. Those black wheels with silver outlines could have been pulled directly from the CLA Edition One.
One of the biggest clues to what this prototype is packing under the hood is the dual exhaust exits (although it looks like the bumper could support two sets of two pipes). The grille insert is a tall, two-bar number likely pulled from the Mercedes-Benz B-Class (which matches earlier prototypes). It's unclear whether the final production car will feature the thin two-bar grille insert like the other two AMG A-Class models, the A45 AMG and CLA45 AMG.
If the predictions are correct, this mule is powered by an all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4, which makes 355 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. Expect that power to be sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a part-time electronic all-wheel drive system that sends up to 50 percent of torque to the rear wheels under low-grip situations. Considering that the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG can hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and top out at 155 mph, expect the GLA45 to make the run in under five seconds and reach the same electronically limited top speed.