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Is Mercedes lining up a baby SUV to sit below the GLA in its line-up? The G-Code concept - unveiled at the opening of Merc’s new R&D facility in Beijing - suggests there could be a micro-4x4 in the Benz pipeline.

Described as a ‘2+2-seater Sports Utility Coupe’ (yep, we know), the G-Code measures 410cm in length, making it some 32cm shorter than the A-Class-based GLA. This concept is actually 10cm wider than the GLA, but a production version would likely be rather narrower.

Like a taller, stumpier Mazda RX-8, the G-Code dispenses with a conventional B-pillar, employing suicide rear doors to aid access to those tiny back seats. Again, don’t expect to see any such jazzy nonsense if it makes production.

There’s much other high-concept tomfoolery. The G-Code is activated by smartphone, at which point the steering wheel ‘unfolds like a butterfly’ from within the instrument panel, as the air vents and information display also emerge from deep in the dash.

A little like Merc’s self-driving Future Truck 2025, the G-Code features a multi-hued, pulsating front grille. In normal driving, the G-Code’s ‘face’ glows blue, while in hybrid driving it switches to purple, before turning red in ‘Sport’ mode.

The G-Code employs a plug-in hydrogen hybrid system, though Mercedes doesn’t specify much more than that, only saying that the drivetrain ‘makes absolutely no claim to be implemented within foreseeable periods’. Merc imagines it could utilize a turbocharged hydrogen combustion engine running the front wheels, with an electric motor driving the rear axle.

The G-Code is also coated in a (possibly slightly fictional) paint that Mercedes calls ‘multi-voltaic silver’, which acts both as a giant solar cell by harvesting power from the sun, and as an electrostatic panel, turning air movement over the surface of the car into current.

Suffice to say it’ll be a while before we see any of that finding its way onto the forecourt of your local Merc dealer. But - with Audi already lining up a Q1 to sit below its Q3 - a more conventional dinky Mercedes SUV could certainly be on the cards. Excited?

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