Detroit 2008: Mercedes-Benz has double Vision with GLK Townside and Freeside

click above to view more images the Mercedes Vision GLK Concepts

Kim Cattrall introduced us to the Mercedes-Benz Vision GLK Freeside Concept last month when the paparazzi spotted her filming with one for the upcoming Sex and the City movie. What we didn't know then was that Mercedes had double Vision and was planning two GLK concepts for Detroit. Today in Detroit, Ms. Cattrall introduced them both.

The Freeside (above) is the soft-roader able to tackle terrain a bit more rough the Rodeo Drive, while the Vision GLK Townside Concept (below) is more an urban warrior made for sporty sailing on smooth pavement. And though the Freeside looks like a baby GL-Class, the Townside looks a Subaru Forester with a three-pointed star stapled to its grille. Both are technically concepts still, though a production version of the Freeside is a lock. Expect a new four-cylinder BLUETEC diesel to power the GLK that Mercedes promises will over better-than-V6 performance with big fuel economy. Coupled to an efficient 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic, the GLK appears to have a lot to offer. Mercedes was mum on whether a version of the GLK Townside would be offered to the public, though. We prefer the Townside ourselves, though the three-bar grille is so Ford circa 2007.

[Source: Mercedes-Benz]


Mercedes-Benz celebrates a double world premiere in Detroit

Detroit – The Vision GLK FREESIDE and Vision GLK TOWNSIDE represent two expressions of the same vehicle which are set to take the SUV world by storm. Both of these studies are celebrating their world premiere at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Whereas the Vision GLK FREESIDE showcases the capabilities of today's SUV vehicles both on and off the road, the TOWNSIDE version is designed to make its mark with dynamic performance on the tarmac.

By presenting two such different profiles, Mercedes-Benz is seeking to demonstrate the tremendous potential of the mid-size SUV study. The new generation of the SLK is also making its debut in Detroit. It is now even more dynamic, and offers a brand of emotionally-charged driving pleasure that is more intense than ever. Key visual changes include the restyled front and rear, as well as the meticulously modified interior. The two-seater's decidedly dynamic character is brought out to particularly good effect by the high-revving 300-hp V6 sports engine featured in the SLK 350, as well as by the direct-steer system. Despite the fact that their output has been increased, in some cases substantially so, all of the engines make far more economical use of the fuel, meaning that their CO2 emissions have been cut once again. Also going on show for the first time in the U.S. are two innovative new models with groundbreaking drive technologies that are designed to guarantee a clean and economical future for premium-class motoring – the S 300 BLUETEC HYBRID with a compact hybrid module, as well as the ML 450 HYBRID with gasoline engine and innovative two-mode hybrid system for purely electrical operation. The Stuttgart-based automotive group is thereby progressing exactly as planned with its "Road to the Future" strategy.

The Vision GLK FREESIDE and Vision GLK TOWNSIDE provide a stylistic preview of a future midsize SUV model bursting with character. The two studies incorporate elements taken from the family of Mercedes-Benz SUV's, however it clearly has its own unique styling. In the words of Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG: "The Vision GLK FREESIDE and TOWNSIDE reveal new possibilities for the logical progression of our extremely successful model strategy in the SUV segment."

The FREESIDE and TOWNSIDE represent a perfect balance of aggressive styling, versatility and performance. In both cases, the AGILITY CONTROL suspension promises exceptional driving dynamics and agility, coupled with exemplary ride comfort and pioneering standards of active safety. The GLK FREESIDE version emphasizes its off-road abilities with its special detachable body parts and rugged underride guard, while the Vision GLK TOWNSIDE with sports suspension unleashes its strengths on the blacktop. Both concept vehicles feature a highly robust bodyshell which ensures superior driving dynamics, rigidity and occupant safety.

Responsive performance is guaranteed in both model versions regardless of the conditions thanks to the latest generation of economical and eco-friendly BLUETEC four-cylinder, which operate in unison with the 7G‑TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission and the new 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. The two concept models also feature a number of technical highlights normally reserved for more exclusive vehicle categories. Quite apart from the PRE-SAFE anticipatory safety concept and the ILS Intelligent Light System, these include the COMAND APS infotainment system with its intuitive operating concept, a rear-seat entertainment system including two screens, plus THERMOTRONIC 3-zone automatic climate control.

The interiors of the two studies match the expressive design of the exterior, and present an enticing mix of high-grade materials and ergonomically coherent overall concept. Both instantly convey that characteristic Mercedes feel of security, but interpret it in two completely different styles. The Vision GLK FREESIDE immerses its occupants in an ambience of luxury and comfort, with white leather appointments and wood trim elements in a satin finish. The light aquamarine leather upholstery and brushed aluminium trim elements in the interior of the TOWNSIDE, on the other hand, set a more sporty tone.

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