New baby SUV from Mercedes
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Mercedes-Benz has revealed its new GLA concept, which is a compact SUV previewing a new rival to the Audi Q3 and BMW X1. This rugged looking show car wears a bold front-end design similar to the CLA and also has a sloping, almost coupé-like roofline both of which add to the sporty nature of the concept.
Concept cars always give brands an opportunity to show off technology ideas that might not get to production, and the GLA is no different. Mercedes-Benz has employed the use of laser-beam projectors to take the idea of the head-up display to the next level by using the lasers to project the directional instructions from the satellite navigation system onto the road ahead in the form of arrows.
Additional lighting on top of the roof not only provides better illumination but also houses cameras capable of recording in 3D and HD. This can be played back via the in-car COMAND Online screen. These cameras can also be removed and attached onto things likes your mountain bike just like a GoPro camera. Leaving aside the concept car trinkets, once the GLA retains its overall shape then it certainly will be one of the best looking SUVs in the segment.
Extensive use of tactile materials such as galvanised aluminium, canvas and embossed leather inside the GLA demonstrate the luxurious intent, but it is likely that a more toned down interior will appear in production form. The GLA concept is a strict four seater and has some unique touches such as air vents that change colour according to the temperature set by the occupants. At 22 degrees Celsius they light up in white while a cooler temperature sees them turn blue and red when heating up the cabin.
The Concept GLA is powered by a 1,991cc turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine similar to what will propel the CLA 45 AMG. Power is transmitted though a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission driving all four wheels. Once production gets the go ahead a wider range of engine will no doubt be offered including some diesel options, and further down the line Mercedes-Benz may even offer a two-wheel drive version to compete with similar offerings from BMW and Range Rover with its Evoque.
Although officially just a concept it is very likely that the GLA will be given the green light for production and should remain relatively unchanged from what is seen in the GLA Concept. It is possible that a more production-ready version may appear before the end of this year.
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