It appears that I will be taking part in this year’s Ithaca Winter Rally. I am looking forward to this for a variety of reasons, but one of them is that the driver for whom I will be navigating has a new Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA. The car is quite a performer with 375 horsepower that is capable of a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.3 seconds. And four-wheel drive is a definite advantage in a winter rally.
2015 Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA
The picture above barely shows the rear wing which gives away the performance capability of this car. The other key indicator of good performance from a Mercedes-Benz car is the three letter designation on the front grille that says “AMG”. My German is not very good, but I think it stands for “Abundant Muscle Guaranteed”.
This Styling Is A Long Way From The G Wagen
I am somewhat familiar with this car as I had the opportunity to see and ride in this car in this spring in Germany. The car was still being broken in so I only got a glimpse at its capability. As noted, these cars have a 2.0 litre turbocharged 4 cylinder engine that produces 375 horsepower.
Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA Engine (M-B photo)
The handcrafted 2.0-liter turbo Direct Injection four also boasts the highest hp/liter in the industry, due in no small part to an intercooled twin-scroll turbocharger that pumps out 26.1 psi of boost.
Seats Are Contoured To Minimize Movement
The seat in the car are very well contoured and should be very good support for a rally. While this is and will be a street car, I found it interesting that the AMG Mercedes-Benz folks fitted these cars with seats that are designed to fit four or five point seat belts.
Standard Seats Readied For Four Point Seat Belts
As I will be meeting the driver at the rally we will have almost no time to fit the car with a rally odometer or rally computer (although we are working on this) so we are planning on running in the Stock Class. Initially I thought that this would be a good backup plan, but I as looked at the photo below, I realized that this car, as supplied by Mercedes-Benz reads in kilometres while the rally instructions for the Ithaca Winter Rally will be written in miles. Having a speedometer read in kilometres is not a big deal, but having the odometer read in kilometres instead of miles will result in a large odometer correction factor. I have had this happen once before in Canada back in the days of the wonderful Lanark Highlands Rally near Ottawa, Ontario when our rally odometer failed to work and we competed in the first half of the rally with instructions in kilometers and an odometer in our American Audi reading in miles. It was challenging, but possible. In that rally we got the rally odometer working during the mid-rally break.
Oh! Oh! The Odometer Reads In Kilometres
In discussing this with the driver, he researched the Owner’s Manual and it appears that the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLA has the ability to have the speedometer/odometer display easily switch between kilometres and miles. If true then this problem might have gone away. I look forward to the Ithaca Winter Rally.