Mercedes, a company famous for innovative body shapes such as the CLA four-door coupe and CLS Shooting Brake, has applied coupe styling to a full-size SUV. Designed to take on the BMW X6, the Mercedes Concept Coupe was revealed at the Beijing Motor Show this week and will spawn a production model in 2015, likely to be badged MLC.
Based on the M-Class platform – a car it will be built alongside – its actually 131mm longer, 118mm wider and 57mm lower, but shares the same 2916mm wheelbase. Huge 22-inch alloys, raised ground clearance and polished aluminium scuff plates give the concept it SUV stance, while the flat, arcing roofline is sportier than anything we’ve seen from a Mercedes SUV up to this point.
Staying low and swooping from the top of the windscreen into the tailgate in one smooth line, it’s the roof that gives the car its sleek profile and stretched, frameless glass area. The rear end has been design to tie-in with the new S-Class Coupe, so features a similar full-width taillights and a registration plate incorporated into the rear bumper. The rounded top edge of the rear windscreen in another classic large Mercedes Coupe design cue.
Finished in a matt ‘Alu Beam’ paint – like all recent Mercedes concepts – the Concept Coupe SUV features a unique interpretation of the latest Mercedes face. The upright grille, bisected by the three-pointed star mounted on a single bar, and full LED headlights are now a familiar combination, but the large pinched lower intake and three-rectangular vents are something new.
When it arrives in showroom, Mercedes wants to make the MLC much sportier than the M-Class to drive – which is why full technical details for the concept have been provided. Five driving modes – Comfort, Slippery, Sport, Sport+ and Individual – are available to tailor the steering and powertrain responses, while the concept is fitted with carbon-ceramic brakes, 4MATIC four-wheel drive and Mercedes’ new 9G-TRONIC PLUS automatic gearbox.
Under the bonnet Mercedes’ have shunned electricity in favour of its latest 328bhp twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine – as fitted to the E400 Coupe. When it goes on sale next year, expect a V6 diesel model and a MLC63 AMG – fitted with AMG’s new 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 – to be offered, along with a plug-in hybrid.