Mercedes is wasting no time in getting its BMW X6 rival ready for the showroom. Less than a week after the Coupe Concept was revealed at the Beijing Motor Show, a pre-production prototype has been spied testing for the first time ahead of going on sale in 2015. Although Mercedes hasn’t yet announced what its latest SUV will be called, the MLC moniker has been rumored.
From the images it’s clear the svelte shape and sculpted lines will make their way onto the production model. The gaping air intake set low down in the front bumper, plus the large grille flanked by gently raked back headlights can be picked out.
At the back the vertical LED lights from the concept are also adopted, with the extended LED strip connecting the taillights hidden from view. We understand this will be a feature carried over to identify future Mercedes Coupe models.
Based on the M-Class, the Coupe Concept revealed in Beijing measured in at 131mm longer, 118mm wider and 57mm lower but shared the same 2,916 wheelbase. These proportions should be carried over to the production model, resulting in a sportier drive.
Mercedes’ intent to produced a more driver-focused car was clear from the off, with the concept featuring a 328bhp twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine borrowed from the E400 Coupe. Carbon ceramic brakes, 4MATIC four-wheel drive and Mercedes’ new 9G-TRONIC PLUS automatic gearbox were also fitted to the showcar, with these features likely to be carried over too.
When the MLC arrives in showrooms next year, diesel, plug-in hybrid and high-performance AMG models are also likely to be offered.