Mercedes Benz At The North American International Auto Show 2004 | Part Two

Grand Sports Tourer: saloon, van, estate and SUV all in one

First unveiled by Mercedes Benz in 2002, the Grand Sports Tourer idea combines the best features of familiar vehicle concepts such as the touring saloon, van, estate and Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) to create a new and unique entity. This Mercedes concept thus offers comfort, space and practicality as well as meeting extremely high standards in terms of performance and driving dynamics. It also provides outstanding long-distance comfort. In other words, it is an all-new interpretation of the "touring car".

Mercedes Benz created this concept in response to the desire among modern-day drivers for a versatile car which, as well as being ideal for the family, recreation, travel and work, also features elegant design and the leading-edge technology for which the brand is renowned. The concept of the Grand Sports Tourer is the result of intensive dialogue between the Stuttgart-based manufacturer and customers from all around the world. These discussions form the basis of new and exciting vehicle concepts such as the Vision Grand Sports Tourer and the recently unveiled Vision CLS.

Design: the perfect blend of elegance, dynamism and supremacy

The new Mercedes Benz show car is concrete proof that the Grand Sports Tourer has evolved from a design study and is ready to be phased into series production. It features a host of exciting details that are sure to arouse great interest. One of the main features that contributes to the dynamic appearance is the arc-shaped contour of the roof line which forms a powerfully smooth link between the A-pillar and C-pillar, thus projecting the desired "coupé-like" image. These lines lend the concept car a sporty elegance that belies its impressive size.

Other prominent characteristics of the Grand Sports Tourer, such as assurance and high performance, are highlighted by the design of the radiator grille with its wide aluminium louvres as well as the powerful contours of the bonnet and the prominent bumper. The pronounced wedge shape of the front end adds further emphasis to this design language.

continues... | Part Three
Published 20 December 2003 Melanie Carter

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