Mercedes-Benz considering a coupe-styled version of the GLA compact SUV

Article by Christian A., on April 30, 2014

Last week, at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz introduced the Concept Coupe SUV a.k.a. a concept car that previews company’s rival to the BMW X6. According to Mercedes-Benz, the new X6 rival will be assembled at its U.S. plant in Vance, Ala., starting 2015.

Thomas Weber, Mercedes’s r&d chief, said that the new Concept Coupe SUV previews a new vehicle that aims to attract customers who want a “sportily designed vehicle with a high seating position”. What’s more interesting is that the new vehicle, dubbed MLC, could be part of a new model line of so-called “on-road” SUVs.

This new line could include a coupe-styled version of the GLA compact SUV. Still, Mercedes-Benz officials didn’t want to confirm the new model, but looking at BMW, which recently introduced the X4, we believe that its German will need such vehicles in order to be the king of luxury vehicle sales.

Regarding the production version of the Concept Coupe SUV, we expect the production version of this new vehicle to debut with the same engine, meaning that it will be powered by a 3.0-liter V6 petrol engine that generates 333 hp (245 kW) at 5500 rpm and 480 Nm of torque at 1400-4000 rpm.

The engine will use a new 9G-Tronic Plus nine-speed automatic transmission with torque converter lock-up, twin-turbine damper with centrifugal pendulum and Direct Select gearshift, as well as ECO start/stop.

Mercedes-Benz is known for its design principle having sensual clarity as an expression of contemporary luxury. In creating the new GLA, this was what the designers focused on. The goal was to come up with smooth surfaces and clear curves in order to convey high technology while at the same time showcase emotional appeal on a meta-level.

This sensual clarity is seen in the brand’s core design values which are Tradition, Emotion, and Progression. While these are the guiding principles, these different values are highlighted in a different manner based on the model. Through this model, the brand was able to create a bridge that connects avant-garde and modernity as well as that of progression and tradition.

Indeed, each model series come with a very specific quality and an assigned role, all of which is based on the characteristic that the design has focused on. Even with this, the advantage is that the vehicle continues to be easily recognizable as a Mercedes-Benz. Though the designers did ensure to keep the tradition alive while also integrating new developments in style, they utilized a gene-pool composed of styling features Mercedes-Benz is known for.

Since the GLA is an SUV, it has the design values of Tradition mixed in with Progression. This model is considered by the brand to be the SUV of the future. Indeed, it is an all-rounder that has many of the brand’s signature SUV genes that are presented in a sculptural and youthful manner with some subtle drama. By lowering the greenhouse, raising the vehicle body, and putting in the large wheel arches, it gives the Mercedes-Benz GLA a great appeal.

Supplementing the clearly defined surfaces are the sharp lines that result in precision and definition. Meanwhile the different sculptured curves on the body are subtly dramatic and sensitively modeled. Looking at the front section, it is upright, self-assured, and pronounced.

There is a central star that gives the new GLA a superior and muscular feel. Sporty features include the powerdomes structure placed on the bonnet with the addition of the twin-louvre grille highlighting the width of this model. Making sure that the front section is truly impressive are the headlamps and the daytime running lamps which use LED.

Daimler AG Vice President Design Gorden Wagener declares that the striking features on the new GLA best symbolize the brand’s progressive thinking and is sure to attract with the off-road proportions. He adds that the clearly defined surfaces are able to express both serenity and power. He continues that the brand made sure to put in emotional appeal and mix it with as much clarity as needed.

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