Most impressively, the front headlamps of the Concept GLA feature highly illuminative laser technology and are able to project pictures or films from a smartphone, the internet, or from a hard drive. It is thought the technology could be used to project navigational instructions onto the road in the form of arrows while communicating to other road users where a driver is heading. Incredibly, the HD cameras can even be removed and used portably.
The interior aligns with other new compact Mercedes, utilising leather and dark galvanised aluminium. Four individual seats and the door centre panels are upholstered in saddle rich brown leather. The instrument panel is leather-upholstered and also features matt and polished aluminium. This unit is protected by illuminated plexiglas. Air vents are also illuminated, changing colour according to interior temperature. At 22 degrees Celsius they light up in white, cooler turns blue, warmer and they’re red. Luggage can be secured firmly with a spring-loaded four-point harness, as used in helicopters.
Externally, the door handles are fully recessed, emerging at the touch of a button; the side windows are purposefully frameless to communicate coupé characteristics. The Concept GLA rides on 20-inch wheels and 255/45 R 20 tyres. The spokes have been designed to create an optical illusion that makes them appear longer. There are some nice human touches: when opening the tailgate, supplementary lights warn approaching vehicles.
Under the hood, MB’s Concept GLA houses a petrol four-cylinder turbo engine producing 211 hp. The concept features 7G-DCT dual clutch auto and 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
Dr Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing commented:
“This is a sporty and more coupé-like evolution of this (SUC) category. The Concept GLA combines its sporting spirit with the all-round qualities of a tough, leisure-time companion. It also makes clear the further potential of our compact vehicle architecture, which provides the basis for the A- and B-Class models.”