Mercedes-Benz will be unveiling the Concept GLA, a compact premium-class sports utility vehicle, at the "Auto Shanghai" show slated on April 21-29, 2013. The Concept GLA merges dynamic styling with clear benefits for recreational use. The Concept GLA has dimensions of 4,383mm in length, 1,978 in width and 1,579 in height.
It is powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that provides 211 hp with a displacement of 1991 cc. The power is transmitted through the 7G-DCT dual clutch automatic transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel drive. The Concept GLA dons headlamps that feature laser technology that does not only provide more light on the road, but could also serve as projectors.
The compact premium-class SUV concept is laden with a number of distinctive features that underscore the innovative thinking of its designers. The features include a dynamic bonnet with powerdomes and a sporty radiator grille with a centrally positioned star. The new-style surround to the star merges beautifully into two horizontal bars.
GLA also features "softcubes,” which are soft, raised pads that provide more definition to the radiator grille. These softcubes can also be found on the side sill panels and alongside the exhaust tailpipes. The Concept GLA likewise features distinctive door mirrors that come with twin supporting struts and fitted with a protective grille. The Concept GLA comes in a silver Alubeam paint finish.
Concept GLA also conveys a sense of power and confidence when viewed from the side. This boosts the vehicle’s overall design philosophy with a "dropping line" extending from the headlamp to the rear wheel arch.
The beltline trim also rises slightly from the rear door towards the C-pillar, adding to the sense of elegant dynamism. The slim door handles of the compact SUV concept are fully recessed but comes up at the touch of a button. The frameless side windows of the Concept GLA underscore its coupé characteristics.
The interior of the Concept GLA reflects the well-designed and luxurious cabins of Mercedes’ new compact models, but has been reinterpreted to better suit the sophistication and quality of a sports utility vehicle. The interior of the Concept GLA is defined by a rich combination of and dark galvanized aluminum.
As designed, the concept’s four individual seats and the door center panels are wrapped in natural brown leather – which color and workmanship takes inspiration from a saddle to mind. Interestingly, the new Concept GLA features over 20 meters of hand-stitched seams to strongly hold the raw edges of the natural leather together. Meanwhile, the concept’s seat cushions come with central inlay panels made from a high-quality canvas material. These cushions feature an embossed pattern to further flaunt the interior’s saddle theme. The integrated head restraint of the four individual sports seats comes with an illuminated insert.
On the other hand, the backs of the front seats and other places in the cabin are wrapped in Grey leather with a graphically applied grain – thereby continuing the patterns employed in other interior surfaces. Likewise, the armrests as well as the center panels of the door linings have been designed as a structural unit.
Mercedes gave the Concept GLA a multi-layered instrument panel -- a leather-upholstered surface serves as a base for a framework made from matt and polished aluminum. This framework – featuring a devised design -- is supported by visible screws and protected from dust and dirt by a back-lit plexiglass covering, thereby making it seem that the different levels are free-floating.
Meanwhile, the control buttons for COMAND Online -- crafted with painstaking technical precision -- are made from plexiglass and painted in black from the back. Then, pictograms are etched into the black, before being filled in.