14 August 2013

Mercedes-Benz GLA Introduced

Mercedes-Benz has introduced its fourth member of MFA plaform, which has spawn the A-Class, B-Class and the niche CLA-Class, with the introduction of GLA-Class to rival the likes of BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque. 

Mercedes-Benz GLA is yet another model in the MB range to set the standard in low aerodynamic drag in its class. Its Cd figure is 0.29 with a frontal of 0.66 m2. The figure is the result from numerous aerodynamic optimisation measures including aerodynamically-optimised exterior mirror housings, streamlined rear body profile contributed by 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 (radiator area incl. around the headlamps) and radiator shutters for regulation of the cooling air as required round off the aerodynamic measures. There's also underbody panelling beneath the underbody. All these, combined with various noise reduction initiative is set to introduce a serene driving environment in the new GLA. Measures for wind noise reduction include 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.

MB GLA measures 4,417mm, 1,804mm and 1,494mm in length, width and height respectively, and rides on a wheelbase of 2,699mm similar to A-Class, despite measuring 125mm longer. The cabin accomodates 5, with boot volume of 421L, expandable to 836L with the rear seats folded.

The interior is carried over wholesomely from the rest of MFA family, particularly the dashboard unit, with familiar 5 circular aircond outlet and "tablet-like" multimedia screen. The trimmings major on high perceived quality with all trim surfaces are galvanised in silver-shadow for material authenticity, resulting in a metallic finish with a "cool-touch" effect. There's also 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. 

As for the drivetrain, there are two gasoline unit on offer in the shape of turbocharged 1.6L and 2.0L petrol engines for 156 hp in the GLA 200 to 211 hp in the GLA 250. Performance is suffice to say, with GLA 250 4MATIC can achieve century sprint of 6.5s. There are also diesel option in the shape of GLA 200CDI (136 hp and 300Nm) and GLA 220CDI (170hp and 350Nm). 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, the roller bearings of the Lanchester balancer shaft and pressure sensor combustion control in the cylinder head.

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 to an outstanding degree.


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