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Mercedes to debut GLA concept in Shanghai

Benz encourages drivers to "Escape the Everyday"

Published: April 18, 2013, 3:00 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 3:16 PM

Mercedes Benz GLA Concept detail

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Mercedes-Benz says it will bring the Concept GLA premium compact SUV to the Shanghai Auto Show, April 21 to 29. Power comes from a four-cylinder turbocharged gas engine with 208 hp and 2.0 litres of displacement, transmitted to the pavement by a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and 4MATID all-wheel drive.

"The Concept GLA marks a new approach for us in the compact SUV segment – this is a sporty and more coupé-like evolution of this category of vehicle", commented Dr Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing. "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 design features laser technology headlights, that shine more light and function as projectors. The marque says the concept boasts a "dropping line" design philosophy that extends from the headlamp to the rear wheel arch, and a beltline that rises slightly from the rear door towards the C-pillar. A "unique interplay of lines" is the result when a "light-catching contour" formed by the curvature of the car's flank and the line that rises from the level of the door sill towards the dropping line. Slim door handles are completely recessed until the touch of a button. Reinforcing that coupe characteristics are frameless side windows.

The manufacturer says the interior reflects "a clear alignment" with the interiors of other new compact models. Here, four individual seats and centre door panels are upholstered in brown leather, as designers try to bring to mind the image of a saddle. More than 20 metres offhand-stitched seams hold the raw edges of the leather. Seat cushions feature central inlay panels.