by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

The new Mercedes-Benz GLK 2012: Design - Rock-solid character in a fresh guise

The newly designed exterior lends the GLK added poise. The body combines classic elements of all-terrain vehicles with the design idiom of the current Mercedes-Benz models. Stringent lines, expansive surfaces and the smooth-surfaced, volume-emphasizing front and rear areas harmonise with the hallmark GLK body features which are typical of functional all-terrain vehicles. These include short overhangs, the upright front end, slender roof pillars, a steep windscreen and the taut roof line. The body design is not a stylistic end in itself. Rather, it applies the advantages typical off all-terrain vehicles to the compact SUV class. Accomplished ATV-specific features such as approach and departure angle and ground clearance enable off-road ventures at any time. The neatly designed body and the good all-round visibility combined with the seat position enhance suitability for everyday use and provide for relaxed driving.

Beneath the newly designed headlamps, all models offer LED daytime driving lights in a chrome clasp as standard. The radiator grille with two slats and central star follows the design idiom of the current passenger car models. The slats are painted silver, with chrome inserts optional. The headlamps embody a new interpretation of the signature Mercedes lamp design. On the basic model with reflection-type headlamps, a chrome torch feature spans the two reflectors. On models fitted with the Intelligent Light System (ILS), the bi-xenon headlamp comprises the projection unit, a reflector and the torch with LED fibre-optic cables for the position light, above which the turn signal indicators consisting of individual LEDs are located.

A particularly striking feature of the side view is the roof rails, featuring a totally new design tailored to the new design idiom. The polished gallery bar rests on black plastic supports and lends the silhouette a more elegant line. As a welcome side-effect of this new design, the new rails weigh considerably less than their predecessors. This is particularly beneficial to driving dynamics, as a weight reduction in the roof area of a vehicle has a far greater impact than equivalent weight savings in other areas, such as the underbody.

The rear bumper lends a bold, sporty character to the GLK's rear end with its width-emphasizing lines and delicate tail lights. Particularly striking features here are the new-style simulated underguard – optionally in chrome – and the chrome-plated tailpipe trims integrated in the rear apron which also come as standard. The tail lights have undergone a complete revamp in terms of both appearance and functions. Fibre-optic cables and LEDs are also employed to provide the GLK's rear end with a unique and characteristic night design, the new licence plate LED lamp adding a finishing touch.

New wheels feature as part of the model facelift, in size 43.2 cm (17-inch), 48.3 cm (19-inch) and 50.8 cm (20-inch) and sporting various paint finishes or a high-sheen finish. An aerodynamically optimised 43.2 cm (17-inch) wheel is also available.

The AMG Sports package for the GLK

For GLK customers who appreciate sporty elegance a comprehensive AMG Exterior Sports package is available, boasting hallmark design features from the renowned customisation company. These include AMG front and rear apron, the specific radiator grille with two chrome slats, AMG LED‑ daytime driving lights, 48.3 cm (19-inch) AMG 5-spoke light-alloy wheels and a sporty suspension setup.

Credits: Daimler AG

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