Nov 2, 2008

Mercedes-Benz Goes GLK Crazy for SEMA

GLK Rock Crawler

The team at the Legendary Motorcar Company from Ontario, Canada, which is more commonly associated with the restoration of American muscle cars, created The GLK Rock Crawler. The exotic design for snow and sand includes a winch system that can provide wakeboarders and snowboarders alike with the necessary impetus.

Mercedes-Benz continues to try to shed its sometimes stodgy image, through liberal use of its rather funky GLK small SUV, some imaginative tuning houses, and everyone’s favorite Animal House-style auto show, SEMA.

We tend to believe that this sort of thing is only acceptable in Las Vegas, where bigger and brasher almost always overpowers good taste and sense. How else can you explain a GLK decked out like the Pike’s Peak Suzuki Escudo, or another chopped into a speedster that Lil John might find a bit obscene? All in good tuner fun we suppose. Click through the gallery above for the official M-B line on each concept or find the rest of the press release below.

Stuttgart/Las Vegas - Mercedes-Benz has created an unconventional presentation idea under the heading "Tuner Challenge". Ahead of the equally unconventional SEMA Show in the gaming hotspot of Las Vegas, the Stuttgart company announced a competition for tuning firms. The object of desire - the compact GLK-Class. The distinctively styled automotive character with an edge seems predestined to arouse a wide range of tuning fantasies.

Tuning operations were tasked with highlighting the possibilities presented by the GLK's wide-ranging talents through their ideas and designs. The four most convincing concepts were selected and the winners given the opportunity to implement their proposals. This process saw the creation of GLK models that are as leading-edge as they are unorthodox, and that now take centre stage in Mercedes' participation at this year's SEMA Show. "Widestar", "The GLK Urban Whip", "The GLK Pikes Peak Rally Racer" and "The GLK Rock Crawler" will attract attention even at SEMA, which is not exactly short on highlights and is becoming increasingly important as a trendsetting springboard for the European tuning scene. This presentation also represents the GLK premiere on the North American market, where sales are scheduled to begin in January 2009. "Our GLK is a character bursting with expressiveness, and a new model for us within a young market segment in the U.S.," comments Mercedes-Benz Head of Design Gorden Wagener. "We selected SEMA in Las Vegas as the backdrop for its first appearance in North America because we want to take advantage of the show's glamour and to underscore the highly individual character of the GLK. An SUV with an edge that is so refreshingly alternative, demands a somewhat alternative setting."

Good market prospects are being forecast for the compact GLK in the U.S. The visual appeal and functionality of its exterior design make the GLK a distinctive and versatile vehicle, as do its exceptional handling and excellent safety characteristics combined with superb comfort both on and off-road.

GLK-Class freely interpreted four times

Four fundamentally different rebuilds make one thing abundantly clear - the GLK-Class is one of the most multi-faceted SUV models ever, and one that retains its distinctive character, even in the face of somewhat unconventional modifications. With each respective tuner fantasy and the help of some exotic ingredients, the SUV has been turned into an exclusive specialist for the road, beach, city or rally stage. "We wanted to see what kinds of interpretations were inspired by our GLK and how they would further sharpen this very strong character. The tuners opted for completely differing approaches, demonstrating the potential of our GLK concept," continues Gorden Wagener.