This week at the Shanghai Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new Concept GLA. Haute Auto has your look at this new compact premium-class SUV from Shanghai. With headlamps featuring laser technology, which not only shine more light on the road, but also function as projectors, this model is already generating a lot of buzz.
“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,” Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing, told us. “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 Concept GLA blends dramatic styling with clear functionality for recreational use. A four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine rated at 208 hp with a displacement of 2.0 liters transmits its power to the road via a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
This model is fitted with two cameras, housed in the front roof rail. These can be used for far more than just 3D images taken as the Concept GLA drives along: the HD cameras can be removed and, for example, fitted to a mountain bike helmet. An additional lamp unit in each camera ensures that the lighting is right, whatever the situation. As an alternative to the projection option, movies may also be viewed inside the car on the COMAND screen. The laser-beam projectors further enhance the head-up display, helping to improve road safety by projecting the directional instructions from the navigation system onto the road in the form of arrows. In this way other drivers and pedestrians can see where the driver is heading.
And it’s not only the laser-beam projectors and their visible cooling system with rotating vents that make the blue headlamps of the Concept GLA such an interesting feature. With the “Coming home” function, the blue light begins to pulsate to indicate that the vehicle is ready and waiting for its driver.