Mercedes Vision G-Code concept car (2014): a new baby SUV

Published: 03 November 2014

The new Mercedes Vision G-Code concept car was shown today at the opening of Merc’s new R&D base in Beijing, China. It’s a shrunken SUV imagining what a baby 4x4 would look like at the foot of the Mercedes-Benz range.

Dubbed a Sports Utility Coupe (err, that’s a SUC), the G-Code was designed at the Asian studio and is supposed to offer a glimpse of how young Chinese trend-setters can get about in their increasingly congested cities.

How big is the Mercedes Vision G-Code?

Conceptually, this is the same size as a Nissan Juke, at 4.1m long. That makes it a rival to Audi’s upcoming Q1 starter SUV, as the Germans boldly fill every which niche with a crossover-shaped offering.

The first pictures, issued today, reveal a soft, rounded five-door shape, with numerous cues that bring to mind some of the later Saab concept cars.

Perhaps it’s the Swedish-echoing molten-silver paintwork, but we can’t help thinking that the wraparound, blacked-out glasshouse and single, full-width rear lighting bar carry shades of Saab crossovers, too.

The roof appears to be floating; a motif most commonly associated with modern, BMW-era Minis.

Hybrid power for future Asian transport

The G-Code has four doors (the rear pair sport hidden handles), which open in a handclap fashion to reveal an interior with no B-pillar for easier access. For the concept car, anyway; any future production vehicle based on the G-Code - and none is yet confirmed - would surely stick with conventional doors.

You could strip away the colossal 21-inch, carbonfibre-spoked alloy wheels for a production version, too.

Note also the gently pulsing light show illuminating the three-pointed star on the G-Code’s snout. Merc claims it references the Starship Enterprise’s glowing warp drive - and depending on the driving mode selected, it’ll glow blue (parked and e-running), purple (normal hybrid driving) and red (sport mode).

Few concrete details have been issued about the G-Code’s powertrain, but we know there is a combustion engine powering the front wheels and electric motors driving the rear axle - giving this baby SUV 4wd potential.

The car also has a hydrogen fuel-cell onboard: oxygen created during synthesis is used to provide fresh air during polluted urban driving. And a pair of town scooters are incorporated in the boot floor.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet