Just when we thought the Mercedes GLA would be the smallest SUV (crossover) Mercedes-Benz would offer, the German automaker plans to go even smaller. The solar-powered, hydrogen-hybridized Mercedes G-Code Concept you see here previews a very, very small SUV, indeed, one that will battle the likes of the Audi Q1.
Designed primarily for the Chinese market, the G-Code measures just 4100mm long, making it around 317mm shorter than the GLA. It is essentially a blunt, high-riding hatchback with a squat stance, short overhangs, LED headlights and taillights, and large 21-inch alloy wheels.
Other notable exterior highlights include blended A pillars that gives the windshield a wraparound effect, two cameras that acts as the side mirrors, and a front grille that can be backlit in three distinct colors (red, blue or purple).
Opening the coach-style doors reveal a clean and functional interior that houses a large, dashboard-mounted digital display that replaces most of the car’s controls. One also finds carbon fiber seats, and an AC system that uses oxygen generated during hydrogen synthesis to deliver fresh air throughout the cabin.
A compartment below the cargo area stores two electric scooters, which are recharged whenever the Mercedes G-Code is in motion.
Speaking of motion, the high-tech concept is power by a powertrain consisting of a turbocharged hydrogen-fueled engine that drives the front wheels, an electric motor that powers the rear wheels, and a battery pack.
In addition to being rechargeable via a conventional wall outlet, the battery — like animals that breathe to their skin — can also be recharged through the G-Code’s body, which is covered in high-tech “multi-voltaic” paint that functions as a solar cell, thus producing electric energy when exposed to the sun. Moreover, the paint can regenerate electrostatic energy when wind blows over it.
An interesting “power-on-the-move suspension” also serves as another power source. It uses the energy generated during the rebound movement of the dampers and springs to power a generator that creates electricity.
For such a small vehicle, the Mercedes G-Code sure is brimming with big tech. Not only does the concept preview an upcoming small SUV from Mercedes-Benz, but it also showcases some future technologies that we can expect from the German automaker.
What do you think about the Mercedes G-Code Concept?
Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV Concept Previews Alfa’s First Electrified Vehicle
The Italian automaker is getting ready to enter the electric vehicle segment.
Alfa Romeo used the 2019 Geneva Motor show to debut the Tonale Concept, previewing its first plug-in hybrid.
Sharing a design language with the larger Stelvio, the sleek compact crossover stands out with a large lower grille flanked by LED-array headlights that are thinner than those on the Stelvio and retro design elements like Alfa Romeo’s characteristic phone-dial wheel, which as borrowed from the 33 Stradale of the 1960s.
Highlights of the interior include a 12.3-inch full digital instrument cluster, a large 10.25-inch touchscreen for the central head unit, and premium materials ranging from aluminum to Alcantara and leather.
Technical details or a launch window for the production Tonale were not revealed, but the model was envisioned with a plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Alfa Romeo plans to launch a total of six PHEVs by the end of 2022, and the Tonale will certainly be one of them.
Toyota Supra TRD Concept Shows Off New Carbon Fiber Parts
It’s an unbridled love affair with carbon fiber.
Not long after taking the wraps off at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota has revealed a TRD Concept that shows off some of the accessories from Toyota Racing Development possibly coming to the Japanese sports car.
Unveiled at the Osaka Auto Messe aftermarket show, the Toyota GR Supra Performance Line Concept TRD is fitted with many new carbon fiber parts to increase downforce and reduce lift. The front spoiler, side skirts, and rear spoiler and spats are all crafted from carbon fiber, while a carbon fiber door garnish replaces the stock faux vent to reduce turbulence of the airflow over the rear end.
The exterior is finished in a muted silver color that compliments the carbon fiber parts nicely, while unique 19-inch wheels highlight the four corners.
Unfortunately, TRD made no upgrades under the hood. Power is provided by the stock Supra’s turbocharged 3.0L inline-six, generating the same ol’ 335 hp and 365 lb-ft. of torque.
It’s not known if or when these carbon fiber parts and new wheels will be available, and whether they will remain exclusive to the Japanese market like many TRD parts in the past. Either way, share your thoughts about the Toyota GR Supra Performance Line Concept TRD in the comments below.
This Crossover Concept Previews Cadillac’s First-Ever EV
It came out of nowhere and shocked the Detroit Auto Show.
Cadillac followed up the unveiling of the Cadillac XT6 large crossover with a preview of its first-ever all-electric vehicle.
Taking the form of premium electric crossover, the concept is striking and likely also hints at the brand’s future design direction.
“Cadillac’s EV will hit the heart of the crossover market and meet the needs of customers around the world,” said Steve Carlisle, president of Cadillac. “It will represent the height of luxury and innovation while positioning Cadillac as the pinnacle of mobility.”
- New Cadillac XT6 Debuts As Cadillac’s First Three-Row Crossover
The surprising reveal comes not long after General Motors announced that Cadillac will lead its electric vehicle strategy, effectively making it the automaker’s Tesla-fighter. Specific details such as power or features aren’t known, nor do we have a definitive timetable as to when the production model will be ready, but it will be the first GM vehicle to be built on the company’s forthcoming dedicated EV platform and should offer level 4 autonomous capabilities at the least.
In essence, not only will the vehicle be Cadillac’s first step into the EV world, but it will also push it deeper into the autonomous realm.