The cleanest turbo-diesel SUV at the Detroit auto show! It uses Mercedes-Benzs’ bluetec technology that allows diesel to be brought back into all fifty states.
The rough and tumble styling comes from Mercedes off-road GL-class large SUV. Expect this concept to go into production almost “as is”.
Vision GLK FREESIDE
A New Character Conquers the SUV World
Stuttgart / Detroit. — GLK “ a combination of letters that has specific connotations. The “G” alludes to the archetypal cross-country vehicle, the “L” intimates luxury and, as in other Mercedes model series, the “K” stands for compactness (German: Kompaktheit). At first sight these three aspects may appear to be mutually incompatible. But on closer inspection they offer the perfect combination as Mercedes-Benz takes it’s SUV expertise and launches it in a whole new dimension “ in the exciting Vision GLK FREESIDE. In January 2008 this compact character will be making it’s world debut at the Detroit Auto Show, providing a vision of the shape of SUVs to come.
The Vision GLK FREESIDE study, now close to series production, has a distinctive design and combines typical SUV characteristics such as robustness and off-road capability with refined motoring characteristics on “normal” roads. The AGILITY CONTROL suspension ensures excellent handling dynamics and agility, coupled with excellent ride comfort and pioneering active safety. A high-strength bodyshell forms the backbone of this model and also ensures other key characteristics: the driving stability and virtual absence of vibration and noise, whatever the conditions, are compelling, and the passive safety, as you expect from the brand, is of the highest standard.
The economical and environmentally friendly new-generation BLUETEC four-cylinder engine, combined with the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission and the new 4MATIC all-wheel drive, ensures highly appealing performance. The compact concept vehicle, measuring 14.8 feet in length, also boasts technology usually reserved for higher vehicle classes. Features not only include the anticipatory PRE-SAFE® safety concept and the Intelligent Light System (ILS), but also the intuitively controlled COMAND APS infotainment center, a rear-seat entertainment system with two screens and THERMOTRONIC 3-zone automatic climate control.
Extremely attractive in stylistic terms, this vision of a future compact SUV, a vehicle packed with character, succeeds by combining the angular design of the original G-Class with typical design features from the contemporary Mercedes-Benz passenger car range. The interior of the Vision GLK FREESIDE complements the expressive body design and impresses with high-quality materials and an ergonomically coherent overall concept, instantly conveying that typical Mercedes ambiance.
The Vision GLK FREESIDE is to undergo it’s first test of character at the NAIAS in Detroit. “The Vision GLK illustrates the logical way in which our extremely successful model strategy can be continued in the SUV segment,” commented Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG. Dr. Zetsche has a very close connection with the compact and distinctive Vision GLK FREESIDE, based on his time as a vehicle developer back in the mid-1980s. One of Dr. Zetsches areas of responsibility at that time was the development of the legendary G-Class. Looking back, he explained, “The needs profiles are different now. But there’s one thing that hasnt changed: if a Mercedes has a G in it’s name, it has to perform exceptionally in all conditions.”
Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and
Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea.
Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive. She is a guest contributor for Via Corsa magazine and Vicarious magazine.