Sure, it basically looks like the production-ready 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 with some rally decals and a number on the side, and is otherwise so readily conceivable it makes you want to put air quotes over the word “concept.” But don’t be dismissive of the Mercedes-Benz Concept GLA45 AMG, as those last three letters in the name won’t have you adding any ironic punctuation. The AMG powertrain of the race-inspired compact crossover — now revving up for the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show — musters a 355 horsepower and a sub-5-second zero-to-60 mph sprint from its 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
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But in the interest of differentiating itself sufficiently from the GLA250, also appearing at the L.A. show, the GLA45 AMG proudly wears its track-readiness on its sleeve, with cues such as 21-inch forged AMG wheels painted matte black with red rim flange and gloss-black-finished twin tailpipes. There’s also aerodynamic elements like a front splitter, rear spoiler and rear diffuser. Check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears.