Mercedes-Benz PH showcases new GLA at the Fashion Walk in Greenbelt
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There was a time in automotive history when Mercedes-Benz solely built its reputation on its well-built luxurious and reliable sedans. But with many markets shifting to crossovers and SUVs, the brand successfully reinterpreted the design language of its sedans in favor of its taller and sometimes larger siblings.
Auto Nation Group, Inc. (ANG), the country’s distributor for Mercedes-Benz, unveiled the new GLA model at the Fashion Walk in Greenbelt 5, Makati yesterday. Mercedes-Benz’s compact SUV model debuted in 2013, and more than just a new set of alloy wheels, the refreshed compact SUV comes with an extended range of engines including the top-of-the-line AMG-tuned GLA 45 4matic, plus a more powerful exterior character and a host of comfort and smart equipment.
Here are five things to know about the new and refreshed GLA:
Connectivity is essential in going around town or using the GLA for road trips. The GLA’s premium variants have a host of connectivity services as well as internally developed apps that optionally link you online.
Thanks to its new smartphone integration package, a suite of unique interfaces, apps and voice recognition allow Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to be easily linked to your iPhone or Android phones.
For safer nighttime driving, the GLA features LED high per formance headlamps that replaced the bi-Xenon headlamps in previous models. It is designed to simulate daylight illumination and is characterized by a color temperature very similar to daylight so it can relieve the strain on the eyes during long nighttime driving. It also consumes around 60 percent less power than Xenon, and about 70 percent less power than halogen.
What’s interesting about the new GLA is changing a bulb is no longer necessary over the entire lifetime of the car. Its indicators, daytime running lamps and position lights are designed with multifunctional fiber-optic cables.
The GLA also automatically sets the correct level of brightness for all light and weather conditions taking into account the traffic situation the vehicle is in. Its brake lights and turn indicators are controlled in three intensities. It is lit in full brightness during daytime, in medium settings for during nighttime, and even lower setting when the vehicle is at standstill during nighttime so it will not dazzle passing cars.
When it comes to designing SUVs, its tall and sometimes wider stance makes aerodynamic quality designs a major challenge. Having good airflow characteristics is a major factor in giving high-speed stability, wind noise and lower fuel consumption.
Thanks to its high-pitched wind tunnel in Sindelfingen, designers are able to lower the new GLA’s coefficient of drag from 0.29 to 0.28. The difference may look small, but by tweaking its A-pillar geometry and optimizing certain exterior features like mirror housings, underbody diffusers, spoiler lips and specially shaped tail lights, the new GLA now has a coefficient of drag that would rival some of the best performing sedans in the market.
Mercedes-Benz has always placed safety its top priority in vehicle design. With the GLA, the active brake assist comes as standard. It is a feature that warns the driver if there is not sufficient distance to the vehicle in front, and if required, delivers situation-appropriate braking.
If the system detects that the driver is reacting too late, it initiates autonomous braking in order to prevent collision or minimize consequences. The GLA also has the attention assist as standard; this feature can detect typical signs of drowsiness via the steering behavior and warn the driver about an impending micro-sleep.
Thanks to its optional hands-free access, the rear trunk can be opened and closed without using your hands to press any button or pull any lever. With a flick of your foot, you can easily open and close the rear trunk door, and if there is a potential obstacle, it will be able to detect this and stop the process immediately.
For additional security, the stowage facility in the load compartment floor is lockable with the lock integrated in the flipper handle and operated with a key.
The topline Mercedes-AMG variant comes with intelligent aerodynamic features like the restyled front apron and the spoiler lip on the roof spoiler to give it increased driving dynamics and driving stability, while reducing wind resistance.
It is set up to be agile and stable at high speeds, and is also very capable in light off-road conditions.
Despite its higher ground clearance than the standard GLA variant, its coefficient of drag value of 0.33 is lower than on the preceding model.
The stylish new front apron comes with new air intake grilles, a front splitter insert in silver chrome plus flicks in high-gloss black. This allows for more effective flow of cool air to the vehicle radiators.
Matching its sporty and more aggressive look is an optional multi-spoke 20-inch light-alloy wheel that is available in two color variants-painted matt black with high-sheen rim flange or painted titanium grey with a high-sheen finish.
Powering the topline GLA 45 is a husky AMG-built 4-cylinder turbocharged engine with a maximum output of 280 kW (381 hp) and 475 Nm maximum torque, which is one of the most powerful in its segment. It propels the GLA 45 from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds.
The AMG-tuned exhaust system features an automatically controlled exhaust flap as standard, with the intensity of the engine note changes according to the currently active AMG dynamic select driving mode.
Intelligent transmission shifting is optimized, thanks to its AMG speedshift DCT 7-speed sports transmission. The shorter ratios allows the driver to emotively engage in jack-rabbit acceleration in all speed ranges.
For optimum traction even in poor road surface conditions, the GLA 45 comes with all-wheel drive AMG performance 4matic transfers that drive power to all wheels with the torque is variably distributed to the front and rear axle.