I'm not quite ready to call it "elegant," but the Brabus rear-grille-and-shark-gill treatment seems to work a lot better on the Mercedes GLA compact SUV than it does on the the blockier Gelandewagen and GL-Class.

Think the lack of steroidal fender flares is what keeps this car, crossover, mini-'ute, or whatever you want to call it out of the stratosphere of insanity.

That said; it definitely takes me back to the European street racing scene of the original Midnight Club PS2 game. More than a little bit.

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Seems hard to believe the new-Mercedes buying class of rich folks would want their cars to look like re-swaged hot hatchbacks, but I guess I've never actually seen a Brabus-bodykitted car on the road.

Hey, yeah, who the heck is buying these?

In addition to the aerodynamic bits and 21" wheels, Brabus offers engine tuning for every GLA variant:

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GLA 45 AMG

  • 400 horsepower (394 bhp), peak torque of 500 Nm (369 lb-ft)
  • 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds
  • Top speed of 270 km/h (168 mph)

GLA 250 (four-cylinder turbo, with front-wheel-drive or AWD)

  • "Plug and play" tuning module dials up boost pressure and modifies engine management
  • Power gain from 155 kW/211 horsepower to 180 kW/245 horsepower (208 to 241 bhp). Peak torque from 350 to 385 Nm (258 to 284 lb-ft)
  • 0 o 100 km/h (62 mph) is 6.7 seconds
  • Top speed increases to 250 km/h (155 mph)

GLA 220 CDI

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  • ECO PowerXtra D3 "plug and play" engine tuning chip
  • Power gain of 30 kW/40 horsepower (40 bhp) to 155 kW/210 horsepower (208 bhp) and a peak torque of 410 Nm (302 lb-ft)
  • 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 8 seconds
  • Top speed of 220 km/h (137 mph)

Images: Brabus