Mercedes-Benz is in the midst of overhauling its SUV and crossover lineup in both makeup and name, with a new GLC model slated to replace the GLK, a GLE to replace the GL and even a new G-Class to cap it all off. But it's not just the production utilities which Benz has been working on.
Presented at the opening of the German automaker's new R&D center in Beijing, this new Vision G-Code concept takes the form of a Sports Utility Coupe that – at 161 inches long – is even shorter than the GLAthat's currently Mercedes' smallest crossover. But despite its compact form, the G-Code is packed with cutting-edge technology.
For one, it uses multi-voltaic silver paint that transforms the body into one continuous solar panel. It fuels the electric portion of the otherwise unspecified hybrid powertrain that offers through-the-road all-wheel drive and the option of pure electric mobility. There's even a holographic grille at the front that indicates what mode the vehicle is in, similar to what we saw recently on Mercedes' Future Truck 2025 concept. The grille is flanked by LED headlights, with another strip of LEDs around back and tiny cameras that pop out of the hidden a-pillars to act as rearview mirrors (this is a concept, after all).
Between the 21-inch wheels (made up of aluminum rims with carbon spokes), short overhangs, aluminum skidplates and high ground clearance, the G-Code concept has an uninterrupted greenhouse inspired by powerboats and suicide rear doors to gain access to the 2+2 cockpit (not unlike the dearly departed Mazda RX-8). Step in and dock your smartphone to see the F1-like steering wheel and pedals deploy, enhancing ingress and egress. The high-contrast cabin has four individual bucket seats (with heating, cooling and massage functions) and an ultra-wide infotainment display in a flexible cockpit setup with a pair of stand-up scooters under the cargo floor. It's all trimmed in leather, aluminum and carbon fiber and packs a cutting-edge climate control system.
Party tricks aside, the G-Code could point to an even smaller Benz crossover to join the range in the future, but definitely shows us where Mercedes is heading in terms of design and technology. Scope out all the details in the press release below.