Mercedes-Benz Concept Vehicles –
the Shape of the Future
Compact SUV: Vision GLK FREESIDE
GLK – these letters awaken different associations. The ‘G’ alludes to the archetypal cross-country vehicle, the ‘L’ intimates luxury and, as in other Mercedes-Benz model series, the ‘K’ stands for compactness. At first sight these three aspects may appear to be mutually incompatible.
Mercedes-Benz Vision GLK FREESIDE, compact SUV concept vehicle, unveiled at the North American International Auto Show, Detroit, in January 2008.
Vehicle:             Vision GLK FREESIDE
When:                January 2008
Where:               North American International Auto Show, Detroit
What:                 compact Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV)
Drivetrain:         four-cylinder diesel engine, 2.2-litre displacement and an
                            output of 125 kW (170 hp).
Technical highlights
For the first time, Mercedes-Benz presented BlueTEC in conjunction with a four-cylinder engine
Fourth-generation Common-Rail direct injection with a pressure of 2000 bar and a two-stage turbo-charging system
Diamond White Magno’ paint finish with matt clearcoat

The Vision GLK FREESIDE combined typical SUV characteristics such as robustness and off-road capability with refined motoring characteristics on ‘normal’ roads, where the AGILITY CONTROL suspension ensured exceptional handling dynamics and agility, coupled with exquisite ride comfort and pioneering active safety. A high-strength bodyshell formed the backbone of this model and ensured other key characteristics as well: driving stability, virtual absence of vibration and noise whatever the conditions, while the passive safety features were of the highest standard, typical for the brand. The comprehensive safety concept included front, side and window airbags, a driver kneebag and crash-responsive head restraints.
A four-cylinder diesel engine provided an appealing driving performance under all conceivable conditions, thanks to its 2.2-litre displacement and 125 kW output (170 hp). Among its particularities could be counted the fourth-generation common-rail injection system with an injection pressure of 2000 bar and a two-stage turbo-charging system. In the Vision GLK FREESIDE, Mercedes-Benz showed the BlueTEC exhaust gas purification system in combination with a four-cylinder engine – for the first time. The study thus showed a way for four-cylinder engine-powered vehicles, including compact ones, to meet the strictest emission standards. The engine combined with the seven-speed 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission.
In addition, the compact concept vehicle, with an exterior length of 4.52 metres, features technical details which had previously been reserved exclusively for higher vehicle classes. These include, apart from the PRE-SAFEÒ anticipatory safety concept and the ILS intelligent light system, the intuitive COMAND APS infotainment centre, a rear-seat entertainment system with two screens and the THERMOTRONIC three-zone automatic climate control system.
In terms of style the prospect of a compact, distinctive SUV model succeeded through the combination of the angular original design of the G-Class with typical design features from the contemporary Mercedes-Benz passenger car range. The clear design language with its bold interplay between taut lines and large expansive surfaces met with bodywork characteristics of a functional off-road vehicle such as short overhangs, upright front end, slender roof pillars, a steeply raked windscreen and taut roof lines.
In the sum of its characteristics the Vision GLK FREESIDE signalled a breakthrough into a new dimension of compact SUVs. And it was a very realistic study: the corresponding series-production vehicle, model series X 204 Mercedes-Benz GLK, followed already in the summer of 2008.
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