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Dec 28, 2001 - At the North American International Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz will be presenting the Vision GST design study. GST stands for "Grand Sports Tourer" and describes a new vehicle category which brings together features from established car concepts, combining them to create a new, independent profile: the Vision GST incorporates aspects of Saloon, Estate, MPV and Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) in one vehicle.
The Vision GST is Mercedes-Benz's response to the frequently voiced demand for a stylish, active and technologically sophisticated car to suit every occasion - for a car which offers plenty of space for the family, leisure equipment, travel needs or work, but at the same time delivers outstanding handling and supreme performance. In the design study these qualities are ensured by a sophisticated design, coupled with groundbreaking technological innovations from the Mercedes range and a high-performance, high-torque AMG engine.
The dynamic looks are dominated, above all, by the striking roof line, which links the A and C-pillars in a gentle curve. It emphasises the elongated silhouette of the vehicle study and indicates, in no uncertain terms, that under this spacious bodywork beats a thoroughly sporty heart. The large, 22-inch wheels and the wedge-shaped side profile reinforce this impression.
At roof level, a large area of special electrochromic glass extends from the front windscreen to the rear, and the occupants can alter the tint at the touch of a button according to the intensity of the sun. Equally striking are the side windows of the design study: omitting the B-pillar has created a large area of glass, reinforcing the sporty appearance of the vehicle. Butterfly doors are a further highlight of the Mercedes study. They open is opposite directions, each at an angle of 90 degrees, offering unique ease of access and opening up new design possibilities for the interior.
Fine-quality, hand-crafted materials such as wood, leather and aluminium underline the exclusive feel of the interior of the Vision GST. A sophisticated lighting concept with a new type of illuminated strip in the roof liner, in the door panels and on the centre tunnel reinforces the luxurious atmosphere. There are comfortable, electrically adjustable individual seats for the driver, front passenger and the rear passengers, with an integral belt system. A third row of seats for two further passengers is also available in the rear, which means that the Vision GST can comfortably seat a total of six.
The eye-catching feature of the instrument panel is a centre console which appears to hover in mid-air. It consists of two aluminium panels and tinted glass and houses the colour screen, CD player, car radio and a large proportion of the control elements. The monitor belongs to the navigation system; it is controlled by a new type of software, which projects direction arrows, road maps and the graphic display elements onto the display with a three-dimensional effect. The blue, gleaming cockpit instruments also make use of this cutting-edge display technology. An entertainment system with a DVD player and video games is available for the rear passengers.
Beneath the hood of the Vision GST is a 265-kW/360-hp 5.5-litre V8 engine from Mercedes-AMG. Other technical highlights of the vehicle study include the electronically controlled 4-ETS four-wheel drive system used in the M-Class and G-Class, the AIRMATIC air suspension system and the new high-pressure brake system, Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC). The large brake discs are made from carbon-fibre-reinforced ceramics. Occupant protection is enhanced by the new safety system, PRE-SAFE, which detects the threat of a collision in advance and activates the belt tensioners before impact.