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Mercedes G-Code concept previews Audi Q1 rival, reports say

Mercedes G-Code concept previews Audi Q1 rival, reports say

The Mercedes-Benz G-Code concept could preview the look of a rival to Audi’s Q1, media reports said.

Mercedes unveiled the subcompact SUV concept on Tuesday during the opening of its new product engineering center in Beijing.

The G-Code was designed jointly in Beijing and at Mercedes’ main styling studio in Sindelfingen, Germany. The concept was “inspired by the urban lifestyle of Asia’s metropolises” Mercedes said in a statement.

“The G-Code is both beautiful and intelligent, and interprets our typical Mercedes Coupe design idiom,” design boss Gorden Wagener said in the statement.

Mercedes has given no indication that the G-Code will be built, saying it is purely a concept.

Autocar and other automotive magazines said the concept previewed a new SUV to be positioned beneath the A class compact car range.

Premium automakers have been slow to react to the success of the subcompact SUV sector in Europe, which is expected to surpass half a million sales this year, rising to 1 million by 2020, according to IHS Automotive.

The G-Code is powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain that combines a hydrogen fueled turbocharged engine to an electric drivetrain mounted in the rear. It is 4100mm long, 1900mm wide and 1500mm tall.

The design removes the B-pillar and hinges the back doors on the rear edge to give wide access to the interior. The steering wheel folds out when the car is switched on via a smartphone while screens positioned at either end of the long central display act as wing mirrors fed by two external cameras. The seating inside is described as a 2+2, suggesting the rear seats are for occasional use only.

In the trunk two electric scooters slot into recharging bays ready for use in city centers once the car has been parked. The car is covered in a special silver photovoltaic paint that Mercedes said can top up the battery while moving or parked using energy from the sun.