The Mercedes-Benz GLA Concept, which the company revealed at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, was a vehicle used to showcase a number of the company’s latest advances in lighting, and some new styling features. It even fired laser beams from its eyes! But more on that later.
Dr Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing, said of the vehicle: “The Concept GLA marks a new approach for us in the compact SUV segment – this is a sporty and more coupe-like evolution of this category of vehicle. The Concept GLA is a compact SUV that combines its sporting spirit with the all-round qualities of a tough, leisure-time companion. ‘Escape the everyday’ is the message that this car conveys to its driver. It also makes clear the further potential of our compact vehicle architecture, which provides the basis for the A- and B-Class models that led the German market in their respective segments in the first quarter of 2013.”
The Mercedes-Benz GLA Concept has a more rounded shape than all other current Mercedes models. In fact, when viewed in profile there’s little, if anything, to suggest it belongs to the company at all. Up front it becomes a little clearer – primarily because of the massive three-pointed star wedged into the large grille. The rear of the concept is particularly handsome, managing to look rugged, sporty and futuristic all at once. The 20-inch wheels, with their distinctive five-spoke turbine design, are fitted with custom-designed size 255/45 R 20 tires.
And remember those laser beams we were talking about? Well they’re mounted in the headlights and they can project pictures or moving images onto a screen or any other surface. As a further development of the head-up display, they can project the directional instructions from the navigation system directly onto the road in front in the form of arrows – in this way other road users, too, would be able to see where a driver is heading. Although it could get confusing if everyone starts using the same system!
Powering the Mercedes-Benz GLA Concept was a turbocharged 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine which produces 211 horsepower. This was mated to a 7G-DCT dual clutch transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.