New Buick Riviera Concept Vehicle Makes Global Debut
Merges avant-garde aesthetics and advanced technology
SHANGHAI – The new Buick Riviera concept vehicle made its global debut this evening in Shanghai.
The coupe combines avant-garde aesthetics and advanced technology, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicle propulsion, in a single package. It is the fourth global concept vehicle jointly developed by GM's Shanghai GM and Pan Asia Technical Automotive Center (PATAC) joint ventures in Shanghai.
"The new Riviera offers a preview of Buick's future design language," said Shanghai GM President Ye Yongming. "By seamlessly integrating advanced technologies, flexible functions and contemporary aesthetics, the new Riviera heralds the start of a new chapter for the 110-year-old Buick brand."
Elegant Design Inspired by the Dynamic Nature of Water
The new Riviera's designers took inspiration from the Chinese saying: "The greatest good is like water." The vehicle's sweeping design, which goes from thick to thin, has the vibrant nature of a moving river embodied in its athletic shape, elegant ambience and deeply sculpted lines.
"Riviera is a design study of the future expression of Buick design with its elegant athletic shape, sculptural beauty, and precision execution," said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design. "It is a great opportunity to share Buick's future design language and technology strategy."
The concept's silhouette with Buick's recognizable "sweep spear" has a three-dimensional effect that resembles waves in the ocean coming to a standstill for a split second. Buick's unique gull-wing doors exude a dynamic yet elegant ambience. The new Riviera has an ice celadon finish inspired by jade.
Up front, the concept vehicle's updated waterfall grille and wing-shaped daytime running lights will both become key elements of Buick's future design DNA.
The new Riviera has a low drag coefficient and a harmonious balance between style and performance thanks to its raked windshield, 14-degree fastback design and metallic fiber spoiler, which are complemented by active grille shutters and diffusers, and active pneumatic wheels.
The interior carries on Buick's signature 360-degree integrated design with high levels of elegance and refinement. The eaglewood tone interior features the abundant use of refined materials such as sand-blasted aluminum alloy, lava suede and ebony used in a bold style reminiscent of traditional Chinese jade-inlaid wood. This creates a striking visual effect as well as a subdued sense of luxury.
The new Riviera's compact yet well-structured center console, front floating seats and adaptive seating system, as well as its noise-absorbing head restraint system, represent the best combination of interior design and elegance.
Innovative Propulsion, Infotainment and Safety Technology
The new Riviera has adopted BIP (Buick Intelligent Performance) technology. It is equipped with GM's all-new, dual-mode W-PHEV (wireless plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) propulsion system. The user can drive the car on green power in electric mode and enjoy the exhilarating handling and performance of a sports car while driving "green" in hybrid mode. In addition, the vehicle can be charged with a traditional cable or wirelessly via a sensory recharge panel on the car's chassis. The charging port is integrated into Buick's iconic porthole design.
The new Riviera is also equipped with intelligent four-wheel steering, an electromagnetic-controlled suspension and an air spring package for sure handling and comfort in extreme conditions.
The innovative mobile Internet system adopted in the new Riviera supports high-speed 4G LTE network use. The concept vehicle offers real-time traffic information, weather updates, and news and entertainment while communicating with other vehicles. The vehicle's voice commands and controls along with touch and gesture recognition activate a range of vehicle systems and enable seamless interaction between driver and vehicle.
The new Riviera employs a forward-looking active safety system that collects traffic information through 10 high-resolution cameras (for image monitoring) and 18 micro high-precision sensors (for distance monitoring). The information is integrated and presented in a holographic image onto the windshield.
The intelligent driver assist system provides occupants a high level of active safety and security. The system incorporates a variety of driver assist functions, including: an eagle view record system, night view assist, side blind-zone alert system, lane departure warning system, full-speed range-adaptive cruise control system, lane change assist system, parking assist system, rear cross-traffic alert system, autopilot system and "transparent" A pillars.
The new Riviera will be featured in the Buick display at Auto Shanghai 2013, which runs from April 20-29.
Report Receipt Date: APR 15, 2013
NHTSA Campaign Number: 13V143000
Component(s): POWER TRAIN
Potential Number of Units Affected: 204,169
VEHICLE MAKE / MODEL YEARS
ACURA RDX 2013
HONDA CR-V 2012-2013
HONDA ODYSSEY 2012-2013
Manufacturer: Honda (American Honda Motor Co.)
Honda is recalling certain model year 2012-2013 CR-V, Odyssey, and model year 2013 Acura RDX vehicles. During sub-freezing temperatures, the brake-shift interlock blocking mechanism may become slow and allow the gear selector to be moved from the Park position without pressing the brake pedal. As such, these vehicles fail to conform to the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 114, "Theft Protection and Rollaway Prevention."
If the gear selector is moved from the park position without pressing the brake pedal it can allow the vehicle to roll away, increasing the risk of a crash.
Honda will notify owners and instruct them to take their vehicle to a Honda or Acura dealer. The dealer will install an updated brake shift interlock blocking mechanism free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 13, 2013. Owners may contact Honda at 1-800-999-1009. Honda's campaign recall numbers are S96, S97, and S98.
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
Automobili Lamborghini celebrates 50 years of legends with the exclusive Aventador LP 720-4 50° Anniversario.
Shanghai/Sant'Agata Bolognese, 19.04.2013 -- In celebration of its 50th birthday and against the backdrop of the Shanghai Auto Show, Automobili Lamborghini is presenting a very special super sports car with exclusive equipment and technology. The Lamborghini Aventador LP 720-4 50° Anniversario is a limited and numbered series of 100 units worldwide. Each unit has a Forged Composite® badge with the 50° logo and a serial number.
With its output increased to 720 hp, its new performance-oriented front and rear design, the special paintwork and unique interior trim, this Aventador is one of the most exclusive models ever produced in the history of Lamborghini.
The Aventador LP 720-4 50° Anniversario represents a new highlight of this globally successful model range with carbon-fiber monocoque, twelve-cylinder engine and permanent all-wheel drive. With its output of 720 hp, the 6.5-liter twelve-cylinder in the Aventador LP 720-4 50° Anniversario is 20 hp more powerful than the current V12 in the Aventador LP 700-4. This is due to a new specific engine calibration. With its extremely fast-shifting ISR transmission, the anniversary model accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 350 km/h.
The front and rear fascias of the 50° Anniversario model have been redesigned and the aerodynamics further optimized. The front air intakes and the aerodynamic splitter have been enlarged and extended, and small flaps set into the sides. The rear end is completely new and features an enlarged diffuser and expansive meshwork that further improves engine-compartment ventilation. Overall, handling stability at extreme speeds has been optimized without impacting drag characteristics due to an increase of more than 50% in the aerodynamic efficiency compared to the Aventador LP 700-4.
The newly developed paintwork on the 50° Anniversario edition, Giallo Maggio (May yellow) is a tribute to the most preferred color chosen by Lamborghini costumers since the Miura and references the founding of Automobili Lamborghini in May 1963. The exclusive Giallo Maggio is an all-new color with a particularly intense glitter effect and will only be available on this edition. The structure of this paintwork in sparkling yellow includes a layer of transparent and highly reflective particles, that make the Aventador truly glisten, especially in the sun. The front and rear, as well as the sills, have a two-tone design in Giallo Maggio and matte black that emphasize the Aventador's streamlined shape. Matching perfectly are the wheels painted in high-gloss black. Naturally, the Aventador LP 720-4 50° Anniversario can also be ordered in every imaginable color through the Ad Personam individualization program.
The interior of the Aventador LP 720-4 50° Anniversario is upholstered in an extremely fine, natural, semi-aniline leather. This leather, specifically developed for the Aventador 50° Anniversario, is worked through a particular tanning and coloring process that accentuates the full grain, natural look and smoothness of the leather. The colors offered are inspired by Lamborghini's home in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. Thus, Nero Ade (black) is combined with Terra Emilia, a shade of brown evoking the earth of the region, a color that evaluates the exclusive positioning of this model. An alternative color is Giallo Quercus, a yellow color matching the exterior and stressing the vehicle's sporty nature, is named for the yellow oak tree in the Sant'Agata Bolognese coat of arms. Featured in both versions is the exclusive Q-Citura stitch, a diamond pattern introduced especially for this celebratory model that highlights the Italian craftsmanship found in the interior of the Aventador 50° Anniversario.
At the Shanghai Motor Show 2013 Lamborghini is also presenting the Gallardo LP 560-2 50° Anniversario. It is painted in Bianco Opalis, a shimmering white, and boasts exclusive features like the carbon-fiber rear wing from the Gallardo Superleggera and the transparent engine cover. Furthermore appearing in Shanghai are an Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster in Bianco Isis and a Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder in Grigio Telesto.
All Lamborghini models built in the 2013 anniversary year feature the 50th anniversary emblem in the cockpit. Like every Lamborghini, it is made using a combination of hi-tech and artisanal craftsmanship -- the emblem is produced in Forged Composite, a carbon-fiber material patented by Lamborghini. The glazed ''50th'' logo is then applied by hand by experienced specialists.
ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS PROVIDES GHOST EXTENDED WHEELBASE TO FAB1 MILLION PROJECT IN SUPPORT OF BREAST CANCER CARE
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars proudly presents FAB1, a Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase set to support FAB1 Million and Breast Cancer Care.
Headed by Chris Evans, the FAB1 Million project is set to raise £1 million for Breast Cancer Care through making this bespoke Ghost available to hire over the next twelve months. This extraordinary car will make appearances at exclusive events as well as being available for hire for any special day, with all proceeds directly benefiting Breast Cancer Care.
In support of this exciting project and very worthy cause, the Rolls-Royce Bespoke team has prepared a very special motor car, combining numerous exclusive bespoke elements, from pink accented umbrellas, to hand-embroidered headrests featuring the Breast Cancer Care pink ribbon motif. Further enhancements include unique 'FAB1' treadplates and a Blushing Pink and Crème Light interior leather scheme. An uplit Spirit of Ecstasy adorns the silver satin bonnet.
In addition to providing a superior ride experience and ample legroom, the passenger experience of this exceptional Ghost Extended Wheelbase is enhanced with hand veneered picnic tables, 9.2 inch LCD screens and a champagne coolbox. Passengers will be able to relax with a chilled glass of champagne, indulge in a concerto, courtesy of a 10-channel amplifier and 16 speakers delivering 600 Watts of surround sound, or simply sink into sumptuous leather seats and lambswool footmats, relaxing into luxurious silence as they journey to their destination.
"When I received the call from Chris Evans to support FAB1 Million, we immediately sprang into action," said Jolyon Nash, Sales and Marketing Director. "It's taken countless hours to create such a special car but every minute spent is absolutely worth it for such a valuable cause. We wish the project every success."
The project is set to launch on Thursday 18 April with a star-studded point to point drive in FAB1 from Land's End to John O'Groats.
Flat Rock Assembly Plant Celebrates Producing One-Millionth Ford Mustang As Year 50 Begins
-Nine years after Ford Mustang production moved to Flat Rock, Mich., Flat Rock Assembly Plant celebrates producing one million of these iconic sports cars
-Raj Nair, Ford group vice president for product development, commemorates the occasion by riding off the line in a Ruby Red 2014 Mustang convertible accompanied by a senior plant employee
-Ford celebrates 49 years of continuous Mustang production with more than 8.5 million of America's favorite sports cars produced
FLAT ROCK, Mich., April 17, 2013 – Happy Birthday Mustang! Forty-nine years to the day after its 1964 debut in New York, the iconic sports car celebrates another milestone: One million Mustangs have rolled off the line at Ford's Flat Rock Assembly Plant since production moved there in 2004. Ford is celebrating this milestone as year 50 of continuous Mustang production gets under way at Flat Rock Assembly.
Raj Nair, group vice president for global product development, today rode off the line at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in a Ruby Red 2014 Mustang convertible. Nair was riding shotgun with Ed Salna, material planning and logistics manager at the plant. Salna is a 27-year veteran of Flat Rock Assembly, starting work there more than a year before the plant produced its first car.
"Mustang is one of the most beloved nameplates in the industry, with fans around the world and throughout Ford Motor Company," said Nair. "The team here at Flat Rock Assembly has built an outstanding reputation for quality while producing one million Mustangs over the last nine years, and we expect that to continue for many years to come."
Ford has built Mustangs near its home base in Dearborn, Mich. for 49 years. The car was built at Ford's famous Rouge factory, just a few minutes from company headquarters, for four decades before moving a few miles south to Flat Rock in 2004.
Introduced in April 1964, Mustang proved to be far more popular than anyone expected, prompting Ford to add production capacity outside Michigan. By early 1965 plants in Metuchen, N.J. and San Jose, Calif. were also building Mustang. Less than two years later, on Wednesday, March 2, 1966, the one-millionth Mustang rolled off the line in Dearborn. To date, Ford has produced and sold more than 8.5 million Mustangs.
The launch of Mustang production at Flat Rock coincided with introduction of the then all-new fifth-generation model – first in the series to get a dedicated platform. In addition to the standard V6 and the V8-powered GT model, Mustangs coming out of Flat Rock Assembly Plant have included several special editions and race cars:
-In 2006 Flat Rock built a limited run of black and gold Shelby GT-H coupes for Hertz rental fleets to commemorate the 1966 Shelby GT350H rental car
-2007 brought the debut of the Shelby GT500 Mustang developed by SVT with a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 producing 500 horsepower, the most ever for a Mustang then
-For the 2008 and 2009 model years, the Mustang lineup included the Bullitt, inspired by the car driven by the title character in the 1968 film of the same name
-For the 2012 and 2013 model years, Flat Rock built the track-optimized Boss 302
-The Flat Rock line has produced numerous competition versions of Mustang including the FR500, Boss 302R and the extremely successful Cobra Jet drag racer
The Flat Rock factory has been producing vehicles since 1987, when it opened as Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA and built the Mazda MX-6. In 1992 Ford purchased a 50 percent share in the plant and it was renamed AutoAlliance International. Over the years Flat Rock Assembly has produced the Mazda 626, Mazda6, Mercury Cougar and Ford Probe. In addition to Mustang, Flat Rock will add production of the Fusion sedan later this year.
"Flat Rock has gone through an amazing transformation over the past year," said Tim Young, plant manager, Flat Rock Assembly Plant. "We've invested $555 million including a state-of-the-art, fully flexible body shop and an upgraded paint shop to make sure we're continuing to build the best of the best for the next one million Mustangs."
"The one-millionth Mustang is a true testament to the hard work and dedication of the Flat Rock Local 3000 membership," said Tony Bondy, UAW Local 3000 chairman. "It's been great building an iconic American car since 2004, and with the introduction of Fusion along with our new plant upgrades, we will keep building world-class quality in Flat Rock for years to come."
Ford is adding 1,400 jobs and a second shift at Flat Rock Assembly Plant to support new Fusion production as part of its plan to add 12,000 hourly jobs in the United States through 2015.
2013 Stagecoach Country Music Festival Sets the Stage for 2014 Toyota 4Runner Reveal
- First-ever Toyota Global Automotive Reveal at a Major Music Festival
- Exclusive Musical Performance by Multi-Platinum Country Music Star Dierks Bentley
- 'World of Wonders' Circus-themed Fan Experience, Ride & Drive and Campground Activities
TORRANCE, Calif., April 18, 2013 - - Toyota will stage the world debut of the redesigned 2014 4Runner mid-size SUV on Saturday, April 27 at 1:15 p.m. PDT at the 2013 Stagecoach Music Festival in Indio, Calif., near Palm Springs. The event marks the automaker's first-ever public reveal at a major music festival.
The Toyota 4Runner, now in its fifth generation, has been in the Toyota SUV lineup for nearly three decades and continues to be one of the few fully capable SUVs available in its segment. The 4Runner combines rugged body-on-frame construction with suspension technology that yields ride comfort more often associated with car-based platforms. 4Runner is available in a variety of configurations and in three models: a well-equipped SR5, top-of-the-line Limited, plus a Trail grade for amazing off-road capability.
Returning for its seventh year as presenting sponsor of Stagecoach, California's premier country music festival, Toyota will kick off the three-day event with vintage circus-themed fan experiences followed by the unveiling of the 2014 4Runner. The reveal takes place on a unique Toyota stage and will be hosted by SiriusXM™ radio personality, Buzz Brainard with a very special performance by chart-topping country recording artist, Dierks Bentley.
As part of the reveal celebration, Toyota invites fans to enter a sweepstakes from April 25-29 for a chance to win one of six guitars autographed by Dierks Bentley. Information and official rules can be found on the Toyota USA Facebook page and at http://www.toyota.com/stagecoachsweepstakes/terms.html.
Toyota World of Wonders
In addition to the 4Runner festivities, Toyota will host the World of Wonders, a whimsical atmosphere of carnival curiosities where music fans can take a break from the desert sun. On-site activities include:
Camry Claw – A custom-built Camry with an arcade-style claw machine operated through the sunroof offers a chance at fun prizes.
RAV4 Palm Reader – Guests can get a glimpse into the future and find out if their wishes will be granted.
Tacoma Charging Station – A rapid-charging station will be available for guests to recharge their mobile devices.
Tundra Strongman – Guests can see how their strength measures up to Toyota's full-size pickup truck.
Carnival Arcade – This retro-styled game zone is outfitted with a ring toss and milk jug throw.
Cooling Zone – Music fans can lounge under misters in an attempt to beat the heat.
Big Top Photo Booth – Guests can accessorize themselves with circus-themed props for a personalized photo opportunity.
Toyota World of Wonders will also feature hourly line dancing lessons, temporary tattoo parlor and leather accessory creation station. Off-road racing legend Ivan "Ironman" Stewart will also be on hand to greet fans, sign autographs and provide driving demos throughout the weekend. Stagecoach commemorative silkscreen posters and cooling bandanas will also be available while supplies last. Toyota World of Wonders activities will operate Friday through Sunday from noon until 8:00 p.m. PDT unless otherwise specified.
Toyota Drive Center
For those eager for a little more driving excitement, the Toyota Drive Center will offer a nearly 132,000 square-foot off-road course located in Lot 6C. Participants will have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the current generation 4Runner, Tundra, Tacoma, Sequoia and FJ Cruiser models to experience the vehicles' dynamic handling and Toyota's commitment to quality, durability and reliability. For each guest who participates, Toyota will make a contribution to one of three partner charities: American Red Cross, AMVETS and National Park Foundation. Participants can also enter for a chance to win a Weber® grill.
The Toyota Drive Center will be open Friday through Sunday from noon to 7:00 p.m. PDT. Guests with a valid driver's license can register to participate in the Toyota World of Wonders tent.
The Toyota Hangout
Toyota will bring the fun into the Stagecoach campground, with more activities and giveaways for festival goers at the Toyota Hangout. For a limited time, campers can enjoy complimentary breakfast burritos, Stagecoach RV flags, a bean bag battle tournament and a Tundra Endeavour display. Ivan Stewart will hold an autograph session in the Toyota Hangout on Sunday, April 28 from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. Toyota will also host the Stagecoach Campground Contest to reward the festival's most creative campers.
Introducing the world-first production version of the Volvo S60 Polestar
Developed from 17 years of motorsport experience, and sharing DNA with the 508bhp Volvo S60 Polestar Concept Car, the first road car from Polestar to be put into production is here - the Volvo S60 Polestar.
"We have built a car that we, as car enthusiasts, want to drive," says Christian Dahl, Managing Director of Polestar. "This is a driver's car, bringing out the very best of the already competent Volvo S60 chassis with our experience and technology from motorsport.
"We received a fantastic response to our Volvo C30 and S60 Polestar concept cars, so we are very happy to now introduce our first production car to the Australian market. This is an important step forward for Polestar, one that promises an exciting future."
Australia pilot market for limited edition project
A limited production run has been developed exclusively for the Australian market as a pilot project, with the first cars being delivered to customers in late June 2013. Introduction of the Volvo S60 Polestar to further markets is under investigation pending the response of the Australian introduction.
"The Australian market for performance cars is, and has always been, strong," says Matt Braid, Managing Director of Volvo Cars Australia. "We are delighted to be able to offer our customers the Volvo S60 Polestar, a car more than capable of getting into the thick of the action in this competitive segment of the market.
"The work done by Polestar on the S60 is impressive to say the least - they have transformed the already fun to drive Volvo S60 into a great handling driver's car."
Extensive chassis development - by racing drivers
Key to the development of the Volvo S60 Polestar was the extensive work done on the chassis over thousands of test kilometers in Europe - from the fast autobahns in Germany to the twisty roads of southern Spain, and the freezing cold of northern Sweden.
Volvo Polestar Racing driver Robert Dahlgren, a 33-year-old Swede with 10 years as a Volvo factory racing driver under his belt, has been an integral part of the development work.
"The Volvo S60 Polestar is a car that we are truly proud of, our first step to a production car available to the customers," said Robert Dahlgren, Volvo Polestar Racing driver.
"We have taken the best bits of the standard S60 T6 and our S60 Polestar Concept Car, creating a vehicle that puts a smile on your face when you drive it over your favourite twisty road. At the same time, it is more than capable of everyday driving, too.
"This is, in my eyes, a very good combination of the Volvo and Polestar core values: safety and performance."
Cutting-edge technology straight from the racetrack
Just as important as the men and women from Polestar who developed the car is the technology underneath it.
The Volvo S60 Polestar shares technology from the Polestar racing cars, like dampers from Öhlins, high capacity brakes, and the extensively developed, highly-tuned chassis.
A new aerodynamic package has also been developed, including a front splitter, rear wing and diffuser - all having been tweaked and modified in the Volvo Car Group wind tunnel in collaboration with the Volvo Research and Development team.
The six-cylinder turbo-charged Volvo T6 engine has been optimised by Polestar with a bigger turbo, new intercooler, revised engine mapping and racing exhaust to produce 350bhp or 257kW and 500+Nm.
The S60 Polestar accelerates from 0-100km/h in just 4.9 seconds, via a Polestar-tuned six-speed automatic gearbox - which also features a launch control system - and a Polestar-tuned Haldex 4WD system. The car is governed to a top speed of 250km/h.
0-100 km/h 4.9 sec
Top speed 250 km/h - limited
6-cylinder inline T6 engine, 2953 cc
257kw (350bhp) @ 5700 rpm
500+Nm @ 2800-4750rpm
Max 6500 RPM
Polestar engine software
New Borg Warner turbo
2.5" stainless full-flow exhaust system with 3.5" tail pipes.
Polestar Öhlins, 2-way adjustable shock absorbers
60N/mm front, 65N/mm rear. (80% stiffer than stock)
Upgraded stabilizers front and rear
Upgraded rear tie blades
Upgraded top mount in front and rear
Upgraded toe link arms in rear
Strut brace with carbonfiber enforcement
235/40R19, Michelin Pilot Super Sport
Bespoke Polestar rims, 8x19" ET51
1684kg - same as standard S60 T6 R-Design
AWF21 automatic gearbox
Modified transmission software for faster shifts and launch control
Modified AWD software for more rear torque
336x29 mm ventilated discs
Jurid 958 performance brake pad
302x22 mm ventilated discs
HP2000 Brembo performance brake pads
New Polestar front splitter corners
New Polestar rear spoiler
New Polestar diffuser
Polestar door trims
Polestar badge on front grille
Polestar badge on boot
Polestar gear shift knob
Polestar badge on engine
Polestar limited edition plate on door sills and steering wheel
Black outside mirror covers
Mercedes-Benz Concept GLA
Escape the everyday
MONTVALE, NJ - Mercedes-Benz announced today that it will debut the Concept GLA premium compact SUV at the Shanghai auto show (April 21- 29). The Concept GLA blends dramatic styling with clear functionality for recreational use. Under the hood of this new concept vehicle
(length/width/height: 172.5/77.8/62.1 inches) sits a four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine rated at 208 hp with a displacement of 2.0 liters. Its power is transmitted to the road via the 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and 4MATIC all-wheel drive. A unique highlight
is the new headlamps featuring laser technology, which not only shine more light on the road, but also function as projectors.
"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", commented Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Mercedes-Benz Cars, Sales and Marketing. "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."
Clever use of SUV design cues: the exterior design
Clear evidence of the innovative thinking on the part of the designers that has gone into this concept vehicle is provided by a number of distinctive features. These include the powerful hood with its powerdomes and a bold radiator grille with centrally positioned star. The new trim surrounding the star merges elegantly into two horizontal bars. Also new are the "softcubes": these are soft, raised pads that help to give definition to the radiator grille and are also found
on the side sill panels and surrounding the exhaust tailpipes.
The distinctive door mirrors, with their twin supporting struts, are fitted with a protective grille. This, like the skid plate at the front, is very typical of an SUV. The striking appearance of the Concept GLA is also due in no small part to its silver Alubeam paint finish. Even when viewed from the side, the Concept GLA conveys a sense of power and confidence. This reinforces the overall design philosophy behind the vehicle with a "dropping line" that extends from the headlamp to the rear wheel arch. The beltline trim rises slightly from the rear door towards the Cpillar. Together with the light-catching contour formed by the curvature of the vehicle flank and the line that rises from the level of the door sill towards the dropping line, this creates a unique interplay of lines that adds to the sense of powerful elegance. The slim door handles of the five-door vehicle are fully recessed, emerging at the touch of a button. The frameless side windows also emphasize the coupé characteristics of this concept vehicle.
The 20-inch wheels, with their distinctive five-spoke turbine design, are shod in size 255/45 R 20 tires. These have been specifically created for the Concept GLA: their tread pattern continues the lines of the spokes in an optical illusion that makes the wheel spokes appear longer. The muscular haunches above the rear axle, accentuated by the way the
C-pillar is pulled in slightly, extend to the rear over the light clusters, also emphasizing the broad stance of the tail end. The result is a powerfully taut arc that nevertheless avoids aggression. This impression is reinforced by the curvature of the rear window and the elegant chrome strip between the rear light clusters. The large roof spoiler is another eye-catching feature. This
follows through very neatly on the structure of the rear roof paneling and provides the housing for the additional brake light.
Further SUV references, such as a load sill guard and a concealing skid plate fascia panel, highlight the rear bumper. The twin-pipe exhaust system complete the SVU's aggressive appearance. The tailgate features a power closing system that allows it to be opened or
closed at the touch of a button. Opening the tailgate with its integrated rear light cluster reveals supplementary lights to warn approaching vehicles of the open tailgate. Further light clusters are housed in the rear cross member between the roof rails.
Perfect craftsmanship: the interior
In terms of its design, the interior reflects a clear alignment with the interiors of the other new compact Mercedes-Benz models, reinterpreted here for a sophisticated and exceptionally high-quality SUV. It is dominated by an exciting contrast of leather and dark galvanized aluminum. The four individual seats and the door center panels are upholstered in natural leather in a rich brown tone. Both color and workmanship bring the image of a saddle to mind: all in all, the Concept GLA incorporates more than 65 feet of hand-stitched seams to hold the raw edges of the leather together. The seat cushions, which feature central inlay panels in a high-quality canvas material, display an embossed pattern that continues the saddle theme. An illuminated insert is set into the integrated head restraint of each of the four sports seats.
Grey leather with a graphically applied grain is used on the backs of the front seats, among other places, and continues the idea of patterns flowing over from other surfaces. The armrests and center panels of the door linings are designed as a very clear structural unit. The dashboard is constructed in several layers. On top of a leather-upholstered surface sits a framework in a combination of matte and polished aluminum, which provides the necessary support for all the instruments. This is held in place by clearly visible screws, featuring a special design. This unit is
protected from dust and dirt by a plexiglas covering that is illuminated from behind, adding to the impression that the different layers are free-floating. The control buttons for the COMAND system have also been crafted with meticulous technical precision. They are made of plexiglas and painted from the back in black. Symbols are then etched into the black, also from the back,
before being filled in.
The air vents in the dashboard as well as in the rear represent a further stylistic development of the vents used in the Concept A-Class and Concept Style Coupé, and are also illuminated from behind. They change color according to the interior temperature set by the occupants. At a temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit they light up in white. If a cooler temperature is selected for the interior, they turn blue, while choosing heated air switches the illumination to red.
Fiber-optic ambient lighting in the load compartment visually extends the line drawn by the center console all the way from the instrument panel through to the rear seats. A rectangular strip of lighting inset into the load compartment floor serves to highlight the storage locations. Luggage can be secured firmly with a spring-loaded four-point harness, as used in helicopters. A simple handle is used to fold the backrests of the rear sports seats forward to create a
level load compartment floor.
Laser light: new-style headlamps project light and images
Show time! The front headlamps of the Concept GLA are each fitted with a laser-beam projector. These not only provide the light to drive by, but are also capable of projecting pictures or videos onto a screen or other surface. Any media format that can be operated through the COMAND system can serve as a source: pictures or video from a smartphone, the internet, or from a hard drive.
Alternatively, the action can be produced live. The Concept GLA is fitted with two cameras, housed in the front roof rail. And 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 represent far more than simply an academic exercise on the part of the engineers and designers at Mercedes-Benz. As a further enhancement of the head-up display, they could also help to improve road safety: the technology could be used, for example, to project the directional instructions from the navigation system onto the road in the form of
arrows – in this way other drivers and pedestrians would be able to see where a driver is heading.
Laser and LED technology: the headlamps
It is not only the laser-beam projectors and their visible cooling system with rotating vents that make the shimmering 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. While the driving lights are the first use of a laser beam reflected off a mirror, the daytime running lamps, with their characteristic "torch" effect, and the indicator lights use LEDs. The indicators feature digital chase lighting strips which blink in a progressive "wave" pattern familiar from the Concept Style Coupé.