Grand Opening Mercedes-Benz Research & Development China, Beijing2014 Eröffnung von Mercedes-Benz Research & Development China, Peking 2014

This cute little concept SUV is called the Mercedes-Benz Vision G-Code. The Sports Utility Coupe (SUC), as Merc tags it, was designed at a new design studio in Beijing, and previews a mini crossover for the hustle and bustle of Asian cities.

Measuring 4,100 mm long, 1,900 mm wide and 1,500 mm tall, the Vision G-Code is shorter, wider and taller than the GLA-Class – maybe the Stuttgart-based carmaker isn’t averse to the idea of a vehicle positioned under the A-Class-based crossover. Something to fight the upcoming Audi Q1 in the premium segment?

The concept features four seats, suicide doors, a coupe-like silhouette, LED head and tail lamps, aluminium bumper underguards and a continuous glasshouse seemingly uninterrupted by pillars, while muscular wheel arches cocoon 21-inch carbon-fibre-spoked aluminium wheels.

Grand Opening Mercedes-Benz Research & Development China, Beijing2014 Eröffnung von Mercedes-Benz Research & Development China, Peking 2014

The front grille’s star-matrix display changes according to the car’s operating mode – softly-pulsating blue when parked, blue stars moving towards the centre in Hybrid eDrive mode (electric only), purple stars moving towards the centre in Hybrid eco mode, and red stars moving in the opposite direction in Hybrid sport mode.

No need for wing mirrors – the Vision G-Code features two rear-facing cameras mounted on arms located on the A-pillars, much like trafficators, except they retract into the pillars only when the car is parked.

The interior isn’t any less dramatic. After the vehicle is activated through a smartphone, everything comes to life. The centrally-mounted instrument panel and pedals move towards the driver, before the steering wheel unfolds from the instrument panel like a butterfly and the head-up display moves into position.

Grand Opening Mercedes-Benz Research & Development China, Beijing2014 Eröffnung von Mercedes-Benz Research & Development China, Peking 2014

The instrument panel’s wide-screen display shows various vehicle and multimedia functions, while the images from the rear-facing cameras are superimposed at the edges. Driver aids such as 360-degree monitoring, a radar, infra-red scanner and GPS feature, too.

On the centre console is a docking station for the smartphone that’s used to control the car’s many functions. The shell-like seats have 3D body scanners to determine the degree of wellness of occupants (including fatigue) and automatically massage, heat or cool to eliminate muscle tension.

Additionally, the air-con cleans the air through photosynthetic emissions scrubbing and ionising. The oxygen produced during the hydrogen synthesis as part of the drive management system is routed to the interior as required. Under the double boot floor are two mini stand-up scooters, which are recharged while driving and offer additional mobility in the city after parking.

Grand Opening Mercedes-Benz Research & Development China, Beijing2014 Eröffnung von Mercedes-Benz Research & Development China, Peking 2014

On to the powertrain – the Vision G-Code combines a turbocharged combustion engine that runs on hydrogen (driving the front wheels) and an electric motor (driving the rear wheels). The electric motor transmits its power selectively to the two wheels via a dual multi-disc clutch.

Regeneration happens in many ways – through multi-voltaic silver paint that acts as a giant solar cell or charges electrostatically through the wind, and through “power on the move” suspension, where the rebound of the hydraulic springs and dampers drive a generator. The recovered charge is used for methane and hydrogen synthesis, which powers the car.

Depending on the mode selected, the Vision G-Code can operate as a front-wheel drive vehicle powered solely by the combustion engine, as an all-electric rear-wheel drive vehicle or fully variable in all-wheel drive mode. The two power sources are connected by a “digital prop shaft” – a newly-configured system that controls the all-wheel drive system.