Mercedes is taking aim at the BMW X6 M with its own high-performance SUV-coupe. This is the AMG version of the upcoming ML-class spin-off, thought to be called ML Coupe, not MLC has reports have suggested. The car’s styling was previewed by the Concept Coupe SUV design study revealed at the Beijing Motor Show earlier in 2014.
This AMG version, set to be badged ML Coupe 63 AMG, is given away by a fleet of trademark AMG design cues. The front bumper sports scalloped intakes like those of the CLA 45 AMG and latest C-Class, with an extremely deep chin valance aiming to trick the eye into thinking the ML Coupe is ground-hugging and planted. That’s matched by side skirts along the car’s flanks, where we can also see ventilated and drilled brake rotors with AMG-spec calipers behind the beefy alloy wheels.
At the rear, the ML Coupe 63 AMG sports rectangular quad tailpies, and it’s possible Mercedes will equip it with a lift-reducing tailgate spoiler, though that’s currently hidden under heavy disguise.
Under the skin, Mercedes will utilise the drivetrain of the ML63 AMG SUV for its new four-door coupe sister. That means a 5.5-litre V8 engine, boosted by twin turbochargers, driving all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic gearbox. The engine currently develops 518bhp and 700Nm in the hot M-Class, but it’s possible Mercedes will turn the wick up for the new ML Coupe, as it has done in the latest SL63 AMG, which employs the same engine tuned to develop 577bhp and 900Nm.
Those figures would give the ML Coupe 63 AMG the punch to worry the 542bhp Porsche Cayenne Turbo S and the next BMW X6 M, which should produce similarly titanic power from its own BMW M5-derived twin-turbo V8.
Measuring 118mm wider and 57mm lower than an ML, the ML Coupe has potential to be a much more dynamic machine than its boxy ML-Class relative. We’ll find out for certain in 2015.
Now check out our list of the fastest SUVs currently on sale...