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Those little arrow pieces that attach to a race car’s front bumper or fenders are called dive planes. For kind of hilarious reasons, the new AMG GLA 45 has them on its front bumper as part of the available $1,550 AMG Aerodynamics Package.

Car: 2021 Mercedes AMG GLA 45
Location: Southern California
Photog: Peter Nelson (Instagram + Twitter: @16vPete)
Camera: Canon 6D + EF 35-85mm Zoom

Aero, on a small crossover SUV! I’m firmly referring to it as a crossover, too; the previous generation was much smaller and genuinely just a large hatchback, this one’s dimensions have increased into firm crossover territory.

The aero might not actually do anything, but it certainly matches the GLA 45’s character; it’s a goddamn street-legal rally car. A large one at that, but an absolute beast at all things lateral and longitudinal G forces nonetheless. A hand-assembled engine that puts out 380 horsepower, all-wheel drive, independent suspension at all four corners, and a 0-60 mph time of just four-freaking-seconds. Its engine sounds glorious, as does its up and downshifts.

Mercedes recently announced that its canceled almost all V8 models for 2022 due to supply chain issues. If they aren’t experiencing similar issues with this mighty little turbo-four, they should just throw it in the V8s’ place, and crank up the boost accordingly for each model. I know there’s more to it than that, but this engine truly is a riot, and would put a smile on anyone’s face, in any Benz.

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