2008 Mercedes-Benz GLK Vision FREESIDE review and pictures

Posted on Thursday, 3 January 2008 , 21:01:07 byAngela

Filed under MercedesSUVCrossovers/CUVsConcepts

Mercedes-Benz GLK Vision FREESIDE

GLK " a combination of letters that has specific connotations. The "G" alludes to the archetypal cross-country vehicle, the "L" intimates luxury and, as in other Mercedes model series, the "K" stands for compactness (German: Kompaktheit). At first sight these three aspects may appear to be mutually incompatible. But on closer inspection they offer the perfect combination as Mercedes-Benz takes its SUV expertise and launches it in a whole new dimension " in the exciting Vision GLK FREESIDE. In January 2008 this compact character will be making its world debut at the Detroit Auto Show, providing a vision of the shape of SUVs to come.

The Vision GLK FREESIDE study, now close to series production, has a distinctive design and combines typical SUV characteristics such as robustness and off-road capability with refined motoring characteristics on "normal" roads. The AGILITY CONTROL suspension ensures excellent handling dynamics and agility, coupled with excellent ride comfort and pioneering active safety. A high-strength bodyshell forms the backbone of this model and also ensures other key characteristics: the driving stability and virtual absence of vibration and noise, whatever the conditions, are compelling, and the passive safety, as you expect from the brand, is of the highest standard.

The economical and environmentally friendly new-generation BLUETEC four-cylinder engine, combined with the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission and the new 4MATIC all-wheel drive, ensures highly appealing performance. The compact concept vehicle, measuring 14.8 feet in length, also boasts technology usually reserved for higher vehicle classes. Features not only include the anticipatory PRE-SAFE® safety concept and the Intelligent Light System (ILS), but also the intuitively controlled COMAND APS infotainment center, a rear-seat entertainment system with two screens and THERMOTRONIC 3-zone automatic climate control.

Extremely attractive in stylistic terms, this vision of a future compact SUV, a vehicle packed with character, succeeds by combining the angular design of the original G-Class with typical design features from the contemporary Mercedes-Benz passenger car range. The interior of the Vision GLK FREESIDE complements the expressive body design and impresses with high-quality materials and an ergonomically coherent overall concept, instantly conveying that typical Mercedes ambiance.

The Vision GLK FREESIDE is to undergo its first test of character at the NAIAS in Detroit. "The Vision GLK illustrates the logical way in which our extremely successful model strategy can be continued in the SUV segment," commented Dr. Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG. Dr. Zetsche has a very close connection with the compact and distinctive Vision GLK FREESIDE, based on his time as a vehicle developer back in the mid-1980s. One of Dr. Zetsche`s areas of responsibility at that time was the development of the legendary G-Class. Looking back, he explained, "The needs profiles are different now. But there`s one thing that hasn`t changed: if a Mercedes has a G in its name, it has to perform exceptionally in all conditions."

Vision GLK FREESIDE: Expressive, Distinctive, Independent

Stylistic borrowings from the forefather of all Mercedes-Benz SUVs give the Vision GLK FREESIDE a special positioning. Head of design Prof. Peter Pfeiffer put it in a nutshell, "With the G-Class we created a styling icon which has been the benchmark for almost 30 years. Combining this bold design with the latest Mercedes-Benz design elements makes the Vision GLK FREESIDE a vehicle of genuine character."

Indeed, never before has there been such a distinctively expressive vision of tomorrow`s compact SUV. Bringing together the angular original design with the typical design features found in all contemporary Mercedes-Benz passenger cars creates a thrilling allure. Here the company`s unmistakable design idiom, with its interplay of taut lines and large, expansive surfaces, is combined with the typical body features of a functional off-road vehicle, such as short overhangs, an upright front end, slim roof pillars, a steeply raked windscreen and taut roof lines. Specially manufactured 20-inch light-alloy wheels and muscular wheel arches add an extra touch of power and charisma to the Vision GLK FREESIDE.

The vehicle`s body design is by no means an end in itself. It allows the typical advantages of an off-road vehicle to be introduced to the road-oriented, compact SUV class for the first time. Large angles of approach and departure plus good ground clearance make off-road ventures a joy. The outstandingly clear layout of the body and the good all-round visibility, combined with the raised seating position, increases the vehicle`s suitability for everyday on-road use and ensures relaxed driving even in dense city traffic.

The Vision GLK FREESIDE`s convincing design concept is reinforced by the special effect "diamond-white magno" paintwork. Unlike conventional metallic paintwork, a matte clearcoat protects the surface here. The detachable body parts, in gloss sterling silver, produce a charming contrast and give the study an even more exclusive look.


Superior Dynamic Handling Thanks to Cutting-Edge 4MATIC Drivetrain

The new 4MATIC drivetrain in the Vision GLK FREESIDE is one of the most powerful all-wheel-drive systems. Thanks to the compact, lightweight and friction-optimized basic design, with a longitudinally installed engine and block-design main transmission and transfer case, it offers various advantages over other systems with a transversely installed drive unit. The fuel consumption, for example, is around the level of a comparable, conventionally driven vehicle. The minimal vibration and noise levels rival those of today`s luxury-class models.

The 45:55 percent basic distribution of the drive torque between the front and rear axle plus the ESP®, ASR and 4ETS dynamic handling control systems ensure effortlessly superior and predictable performance in all conditions. Optimum traction, the greatest driving stability and the best handling are assured at all times. The newly developed multiple-disc clutch in the central differential supports the system where the friction between the tires and the road surface is particularly low, for example on snow or ice. A basic partial locking force of 50 Newton meters between the front and rear axles produces a significant increase in traction, while maintaining the high level of driving stability.

The "G" button in the center console increases the Vision GLK FREESIDE`s aggression when required on rough terrain. Pressing the button activates a special transmission mode which varies the 7G-TRONIC`s shift points, adjusts to "softer" accelerator characteristics and activates the ESP`s off-road function. A manual shift mode is also available " gears are changed using the shift paddles behind the steering wheel. A further switch activates the Downhill Speed Regulation (DSR), which automatically maintains a pre-selected speed on steep downhill inclines.

Vision GLK FREESIDE: Continuing a Success Story

Since the launch of the legendary G-Class in 1979, Mercedes-Benz has been a leader in the field of off-road vehicles. With the first generation of the ML-Class, which appeared in 1997, Mercedes-Benz marked out the contemporary sports utility vehicle segment. Including the latest generation of this model, which made its debut in 2005, this model series is one of the most successful premium SUVs in the world, with around 900,000 vehicles sold. The GL-Class in turn has occupied the top spot in the overall SUV world since 2006, its occupants traveling first-class whatever the conditions, whether on or off the road. The Vision GLK FREESIDE now demonstrates how the expertise garnered in the course of creating this sequence of models can be translated into a compact format. The new compact character, in other words, is in the best of company " just like the production model, which is to be launched in Europe in fall 2008, followed by the U.S. in January 2009.