'Millennium GLK' Unveiled at SEMA: Vehicle to Traverse the World

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 4 -- The 1998 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, the world's largest gathering of automotive aftermarket businesses, marks the international unveiling of the "Millennium

GLK," a project vehicle developed for Wall Street investment expert Jim Rogers, who will embark on a three-year journey around the world on January 1, 1999.

The distinctive, one-off "Ultra Sport Utility Vehicle" combines the comfort and styling attributes of the Mercedes SLK 230 retractable hardtop/convertible sports car with the rugged durability of the Mercedes

G-series wagon. Considering that this mission will cover more than 100,000 miles, the "Millennium GLK" -- this unique combination of SLK and G-Wagon -- is destined to put this distinctive technology to the ultimate test. 

The Millennium GLK team chose to unveil the vehicle at the SEMA Show "because of its international prominence as the preeminent event for the $19 billion aftermarket industry," according to Steinle, former president of the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design of North America, who had left the company a year earlier to establish Prisma Design International of Irvine, California. "Given the amount of aftermarket parts and accessories equipping the Millennium GLK, we felt that this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce this vehicle to the aftermarket world, as well as partners such as Alipne, Motorola and Bridgestone."

To build the vehicle, Steinle selected Fountain Valley, California-based Metalcrafters, which had garnered industry acclaim for developing numerous concept cars and prototypes including the Mercedes AAV prototype and the modified M-Class Mercedes used by Steven Spielberg in the film "The Lost World -- Jurassic Park."

Valued at approximately $500,000, the "Millennium GLK," was build by Fountain Valley, California-based Metalcrafters, and is powered by the rugged and reliable 3.0-liter G-series wagon Turbodiesel six-cylinder engine, which yields 177 hp. Outfitted to a five-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive powertrain, the vehicle is well suited for off-road efforts. Adorned in Sunburst Yellow, the body rides a full foot higher than the stock SLK for road clearance, and has been dressed with full fender flaring and a step-up rocker system for ease of entry.

"I chose the Mercedes-Benz because of its well-recognized dependability, reliability, integrity, style and service," Rogers explained. "I know it would be able to make it around the world."

source: via www.theautochannel.com

Engine & performance:

Type: 6-cylinder, 24-valve, turbo diesel

Capacity: 3-liter

Power: 177 hp @ 4400 rpm

Torque: 330 Nm @ 3600 rpm

Top speed: 170 km/h

0-100 km/h: 15 s


Wheelbase: 2400 mm