At the opening of its new Beijing R&D Center today, Mercedes revealed a very tasty new concept car to the world: the G-Code SUV concept.
Mercedes calls this hot new concept an SUC — which seems like an acronym too far!
Let’s just say it is a very sporty crossover coupe. A Super-Sport Utility Vehicle?
Regardless, the themes shown here are very interesting and fresh versus previous Mercedes SUV ideas and concepts.
The flowing and ultra-sensual forms of the body are an extreme interpretation of Mercedes’ latest California-originating design themes — with the sheetmetal appearing like a taught sheet of fabric.
The nose is also completely fresh – and shows there is lots of depth in the Mercedes design talent pool. We love the style- it almost recalls the 2014 Pebble Beach award-winner: a 540K Streamliner.
This car is short, wide, and four-doored with a low roof but high ride height.
Reverse-hinged rear doors a nod to its short dimensions and overall compact-SUV mission, as well as the Sport-utility-coupe description.
In terms of the name, we speculate on GLB-Class. The next M-Class is tipped to be called the GLE, so this car would be one size above the GLA but one below a forthcoming GLC.
Renderings below show a future ML-Class (GLE) based on the Concept Coupe SUV, also shown a Pebble Beach.
It is really not MB’s day with acronyms: they also describe this as “For Asia, From Asia.”
FaFa does not have a very catchy ring to it in English, but it might sound better in Chinese!
Mercedes-Benz G-Code Concept
MERCEDES-BENZ VISION G-CODE: SUC STUDY FROM ASIA FOR ASIA
Shaper of the future
Stuttgart / Beijing. For today’s opening of the new Product Engineering Centre in Beijing, Mercedes-Benz is putting the focus squarely on the G‑Code vehicle study. The innovative and versatile Sports Utility Coupé (SUC) for town and country shows how emotionally appealing a future compact SUC can be, and what evolutionary possibilities the Mercedes‑Benz design philosophy offers. The new Product Engineering Centre of the brand bearing the three-pointed star also features a complete design studio. Under the leadership of the main studio in Sindelfingen, the studio in Beijing creates design models and mobility concepts that incorporate and focus on local cultures and trends. Consequently, this new Advanced Design Studio within the Daimler Product Engineering Centre in Beijing also pursues an already established strategy of Daimler. Worldwide a total of five such centres serve as “seismographs” for market-specific developments. The knowledge gained there is then incorporated into the technical concept and design of future models.
The G-Code concept vehicle is a prime example of this strategy: it interprets the current design idiom of sensual purity from the perspective of the Mercedes-Benz advanced designers in Beijing and Sindelfingen. The combination of emotion and intelligence conveys modern luxury in a compact form. As a result, the G-Code is also a perfect fit for today’s understanding of design in China. “The G-Code is both beautiful and intelligent, and interprets our typical Mercedes Coupé design idiom,” says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design of Daimler AG. A coupé-like side line, a dynamically flowing greenhouse and extremely sporty proportions immediately catch the eye. Furthermore, compact dimensions, extensive assistance and camera systems as well as the variable plug-in hybrid drive system with long electric operating range make the SUC ideal for traffic in Asia’s mega-cities. At the same time, the electronic all-wheel drive technology with “digital prop shaft” ensures a particularly sporty and energy-efficient set-up both on and off the road.
G-Code: inspired by the urban lifestyle of Asia’s metropolises
With the G-Code the employees of the Advanced Design Centres in Beijing and Sindelfingen not only implement technical innovations, but also provide a look ahead to the evolutionary possibilities of the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of sensual purity. The 2+2-seater SUC measures about 4.10 metres in length and has counter-opening doors. It captivates with a coupé-like profile, muscular wheel arches and a continuous greenhouse without visible A-pillars. This continuous glass area – similar to the cockpit glazing of a powerboat – lends the G-Code, which is about 1.90 metres wide and only about 1.50 metres tall, a coherent horizontal arrangement and a resounding forward thrust even while at a standstill. This solution seems to literally levitate the roof with its retractable roof rails and tension-charged surfaces above the vehicle body, and signals the lightness of automotive being.
In addition to the striking “muscles” that span from the headlamps to the rear and lend the side a purist and flowing line, the 21-inch aluminium wheels with delicate carbon-fibre spokes catch the eye in the side view. They provide an interesting contrast to the harmonious side line of the G-Code.
The short front and rear overhangs, the enlarged ground clearance and the front and rear aluminium underride guard hint at the SUV talents of the G-Code. The aforementioned wheels give the compact SUV a solid stance on the road and leave no doubt about its passion: even at first glance the vehicle study signals its sporty ambitions both on and off the road.
A digital world in the radiator grille: regards from the “warp drive”
Who hasn’t heard of the legendary Starship Enterprise from the Star Trek TV series and the numerous feature films? One feature which has always been the centre of attention is the warp main drive in the lower drive pod with holographic, most often blue-illuminated pulsating opening. The designers have created a similarly spacey front for the G-Code. In place of a conventional louvred grille, the central trademark star and the two chrome louvres in the radiator are surrounded by a continuous display. The engine is cooled by means of innovative air deflection via apertures in the side and at the bottom of the front. The inspired display visualises the current operating mode of the G‑Code with a complex and multi-layered star matrix:
- When the G-Code is parked, it signals the current rest mode with a softly pulsating blue light.
- In all-electric HYBRID eDrive mode, the digital miniature stars in the radiator grille light up in blue and seem to move from the edge of the display towards the centre. It creates the visual impression of an imaginary permanently opening tunnel in the vehicle front.
- In the mixed HYBRID eco mode, the direction of movement of the miniature stars remains the same, but the colour changes to a purple hue.
- In HYBRID sport mode on the other hand, the colour changes to a vivid red and the direction of movement of the miniature stars is reversed. Now it creates the impression of the G-Code permanently transporting imaginary energy to the outside.
Attractive exterior details demonstrate high tech
The two full-LED headlamps are further eye-catchers at the front in addition to the innovative radiator grille. When they are switched on, they extend from the depth of the headlamp like the lens of a digital camera and focus the light in line with the driving and traffic situation. In addition, the daytime running lamps in the shape of a stylised “G” attract attention. The two cameras in the small flics at the top of upper A-pillar are retractable too. They replace the classic rear-view mirrors and retract flush into the A-pillars after the G-Code is parked. An LED light strip across the entire rear provides a stage for the G‑Code with various illuminations for turn indicators, tail lights, and brake lights.
Interior: the digital world meets hallmark Mercedes feel-good atmosphere
Despite its compact dimensions the G-Code is a 2+2-seater with great variability. The interior visualises the designers’ idea of combining the practical talents of an SUV with the emotional appeal of a sports car. The interior specialists deliberately let digital and analogue worlds collide. This combination of classic elements and state-of-the-art high tech stimulates the senses and provides the occupants of the G-Code with an even more authentic experience.
The act of getting into the G-Code is an experience in itself. Thanks to counter-opening doors and the elimination of a B-pillar, the G-Code offers unrestricted access to the interior for driver, front passenger and passengers in the rear. The process of taking a seat at the wheel could not be more impressive. After the driver has taken a seat in the most comfortable of fashions and has activated the vehicle by means of a smartphone, the instrument panel and pedals automatically extend from their rest positions and move into the most ergonomic position for the driver that also offers the best tactile experience. Then the steering wheel, which rests in the instrument panel, unfolds like a butterfly and together with the integral head-up display also moves into a perfect position. The finale of the getting-in ceremony is provided by the air vents and the multi-information display that extend from the instrument panel. The wide-screen display spans almost the entire width of the instrument panel and provides a clear overview of the various vehicle and multimedia functions, all of which feature intuitive control. The images from the rear-view cameras are superimposed at the edges of the wide-screen display. When the G-Code is switched off with the smartphone, the moving elements in the interior revert to their original positions to ensure a comfortable and ergonomic exit.
Of course the G-Code is equipped with the most innovative driver assistance systems with 360-degree monitoring of the surroundings via 3D cameras, radar, infra-red scanner, GPS data and an exchange of large volumes of data with the traffic infrastructure and other vehicles in the vicinity. Potentially critical driving and traffic situations are already detected as they develop and defused automatically.
The interior: anything but painting in black and white
In the interior of the G-Code a striking contrast between dark and light areas signals clarity. In addition to the stylistic appeal it exudes, there is also a technical reason behind this colour scheme. While black components such as the dirt-resistant floor covering or the carbon-fibre seat structure are supposed to visualise stability, durability or utility, the white interior components such as the soft leather upholstery on seats and armrests embody comfort and wellness. The high-contrast interior exudes modern luxury and at the same time provides the perfect stage for orchestrating the individual modes of the hybrid drive system. Similar to the visualisations of the display in the radiator grille, the interior lighting also varies, with the large wide-screen display adopting both the star matrix and the colour schemes.