The Mercedes-Benz G-Code is a compact SUV concept which was unveiled in China at a new design facility the company opened in Beijing in 2014. The G-Code was designed to act as a preview of a sub-GLA compact SUV/CUV production model. In terms of size it really is pretty small for a luxury German SUV – 13.7 ft (4.1m) – roughly that of the diminutive Nissan Juke.
The smooth, curvaceous and incredibly uncluttered bodywork is an evolution of Mercedes’ current design language. Although whereas cars like the AMG GT have some definition to their curves, the G-Code looks a bit blubbery and over-inflated. It’s also literally covered in gimmicks. The ‘multi-voltaic’ paintwork for example is said to generate electricity when air flows over it. Which even if it were true, could only produce minute amounts of electricity, and must be expensive to repair and costly to manufacture. Of more interest though is the power-generating suspension system which converts the up and down movement of the shock absorbers into usable electrical energy.
Continuing the ill-thought out design ideas. Up front and behind the two-bar grille of the G-Code is a digital display which changes color and displays different graphics depending on how the car is being driven. When the car is at rest is pulsates blue – wasting the hybrid vehicle’s battery power. When the car is in motion it displays moving blue stars, and when the car is in “Hybrid Sport” mode it changes to fast-moving red stars. Now I’m no expert on law enforcement, but I’m pretty sure the police might have something to say about people driving around with blue and red flashing lights behind the grille. Of course, thankfully such ridiculous and ill-conceived ideas would most likely get slapped down, and hard, on the long road from concept car to production vehicle.
Inside the Mercedes-Benz G-Code concept there are four individual seats, and the uncluttered styling of the exterior is carried over. With the exception of the yoke-style steering wheel, it’s all quite tasteful and stylish.
Powering the Mercedes G-Code is a hybrid drivetrain which consists of a hydrogen fueled turbocharged internal combustion engine driving the front wheels, and an electric motor driving the rear wheels. The system can swap between all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive.