( Worldcarfans ) - Mercedes have released the first official high-resolution photos of their upcoming GLK compact SUV albeit in 'concept' form, dubbed the 'Vision GLK Freeside' and set to debut at Detroit this month.
A vision built to signal the shape of SUVs to come, this is one concept that requires little speculation - the near-identical production model having already been caught undisguised in photos and a video taken on the set of the upcoming Sex and the City movie. This 'vision' will see the light of production from 2009 in left-hand-drive form after the final car debuts at Beijing this coming April.
A more compact version of the GL, the GLK is a new crossover SUV based off the new C-Class Wagon's platform, designated to embody true off-road character, luxury and compactness. And so a vehicle is produced that fuses these such often repeated crossover vehicle characteristics into an SUV that otherwise bucks conformity.
Styled to depart an era where SUV design is as bland as it is regular, the GLK is an interpretation of the original G-Class design meeting that of its contemporary range siblings. The GLK features sharp, angular surfaces and a bold but familiar face, the interior concept designed to be 'ergonomically coherent' and finished off by high-quality materials. A smart but equally upbeat interior for the Freeside boasts white leather seats and black wood with white inlays. Customised 20-inch alloy wheels finish off the muscular new crossover and allude to the 4MATIC-powered 40/60 torque distribution and high capability both on and off the road.
Powering the production model GLK will be a range of petrol and diesel engines, with the US being offered two gasoline V6s producing 228 and 268 hp in addition to a 224 hp BLUETEC CDI engine. In Europe a range of four and six-cylinder diesels will be available in addition to the two petrol V6 units. Expect AMG to work their magic over the new GLK with a de-tuned version of AMG's 6.2-litre V8, producing 450 hp as in the C63 AMG.
Launching into the US market from January 2009, the GLK is as yet unconfirmed for right-hand-drive and so will not be sold initially in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia. Driveshaft packaging is presently disallowing RHD models but according to Automotive News, a fix may allow these markets a 2010 GLK introduction. For further details, read the below press release.