For the opening of the new Product Engineering Centre in Beijing, Mercedes-Benz put the focus squarely on the G‑Code vehicle study. The innovative and versatile Sports Utility Coupé (SUC) for town and country shows how emotionally appealing a future compact SUC can be, and what evolutionary possibilities the Mercedes‑Benz design philosophy offers.
The G-Code concept vehicle is a prime example of this strategy: it interprets the current design idiom of sensual purity from the perspective of the Mercedes-Benz advanced designers in Beijing and Sindelfingen. The combination of emotion and intelligence conveys modern luxury in a compact form. As a result, the G-Code is also a perfect fit for today’s understanding of design in China.
“The G-Code is both beautiful and intelligent, and interprets our typical Mercedes Coupé design idiom”, says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design of Daimler AG.
A coupé-like side line, a dynamically flowing greenhouse and extremely sporty proportions immediately catch the eye. Furthermore, compact dimensions, extensive assistance and camera systems as well as the variable plug-in hybrid drive system with long electric operating range make the SUC ideal for traffic in Asia’s mega-cities. At the same time, the electronic all-wheel drive technology with “digital prop shaft” ensures a particularly sporty and energy-efficient set-up both on and off the road.
Code: inspired by the urban lifestyle of Asia’s metropolises
The designers of the G-Code drew their inspiration from the modern lifestyle and digital affinity of the younger Asian society. In the future, this generation will prefer above all cool and sporty crossovers, as prior studies conducted by Daimler have shown. At the same time, the G-Code initiates an automotive trend that focuses on new technologies, classic craftsmanship and design. In addition to the striking “muscles” that span from the headlamps to the rear and lend the side a purist and flowing line, the 21-inch aluminium wheels with delicate carbon-fibre spokes catch the eye in the side view. They provide an interesting contrast to the harmonious side line of the G-Code.
A digital world in the radiator grille: regards from the “warp drive”
Who hasn’t heard of the legendary Starship Enterprise from the Star Trek TV series and the numerous feature films. One feature which has always been the centre of attention is the warp main drive in the lower drive pod with holographic, most often blue-illuminated pulsating opening. The designers have created a similarly spacey front for the G-Code.
When the G-Code is parked, it signals the current rest mode with a softly pulsating blue light.
In all-electric HYBRID eDrive mode, the digital miniature stars in the radiator grille light up in blue and seem to move from the edge of the display towards the centre. It creates the visual impression of an imaginary permanently opening tunnel in the vehicle front.
In the mixed HYBRID eco mode, the direction of movement of the miniature stars remains the same, but the colour changes to a purple hue.
In HYBRID sport mode on the other hand, the colour changes to a vivid red and the direction of movement of the miniature stars is reversed. Now it creates the impression of the G-Code permanently transporting imaginary energy to the outside.
Attractive exterior details demonstrate high tech
The two full-LED headlamps are further eye-catchers at the front in addition to the innovative radiator grille. When they are switched on, they extend from the depth of the headlamp like the lens of a digital camera and focus the light in line with the driving and traffic situation. In addition, the daytime running lamps in the shape of a stylised “G” attract attention.
Interior: the digital world meets hallmark Mercedes feel-good atmosphere
Despite its compact dimensions the G-Code is a 2+2-seater with great variability. The interior visualises the designers’ idea of combining the practical talents of an SUV with the emotional appeal of a sports car. The interior specialists deliberately let digital and analogue worlds collide. This combination of classic elements and state-of-the-art high tech stimulates the senses and provides the occupants of the G-Code with an even more authentic experience. The G-Code is equipped with the most innovative driver assistance systems with 360-degree monitoring of the surroundings via 3D cameras, radar, infra-red scanner, GPS data and an exchange of large volumes of data with the traffic infrastructure and other vehicles in the vicinity. Potentially critical driving and traffic situations are already detected as they develop and defused automatically.
The interior: anything but painting in black and white
In the interior of the G-Code a striking contrast between dark and light areas signals clarity. In addition to the stylistic appeal it exudes, there is also a technical reason behind this colour scheme. The high-contrast interior exudes modern luxury and at the same time provides the perfect stage for orchestrating the individual modes of the hybrid drive system. Similar to the visualisations of the display in the radiator grille, the interior lighting also varies, with the large wide-screen display adopting both the star matrix and the colour schemes.
The centre console creates the harmonious link between digital and analogue world. The docking station in particular stands out, which networks the personal smartphone with the G-Code for switching it on and off and for communication purposes. Depending on the personal configuration, the central display shows a wide variety of functions of the mobile device. Controls with a high-quality finish and classic design such as the switches, buttons and rotary controller as well as the aluminium grab handles hint at the analogue world.
The high-quality seats with a shell-like design and a mix of carbon fibre and leather resemble sculptures. In addition, they are equipped with 3D body scanners that monitor important physical parameters and can optionally show the degree of wellness of all occupants on the central display. Depending on the measured values, massage, heating or cooling functions are automatically activated in the seats, which help prevent fatigue or eliminate muscle tension already at a very early stage. This ensures relaxed travelling even on longer journeys.
Everything in flow: visionary drive technology
The technical visions in the G-Code clearly incorporate quite fantastical aspects and by no means raise the claim of wanting to pave the way for specific future technologies to enter into mass production, unlike the research vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. But the G-Code describes ways that our grandchildren might one day consider the state of the art. As such, the compact SUC, like the previously introduced Ener-G-Force and GT 6 vehicle studies, makes absolutely no claim to be implemented within foreseeable periods. The power of two individually controlled drive cores acts in the G-Code. The engine at the front is a compact, state-of-the-art turbocharged combustion engine that runs on hydrogen and solely drives the front wheels. An electric motor drives the rear axle and transmits its power selectively to the two wheels via a dual multi-disc clutch.