Mercedes Benz Crossover-Coupe Spotted in Test Phase
We’ve seen the concept, now it’s time to see the real deal: The Mercedes Benz Crossover-Coupe was Spotted in Test Phase and it doesn’t disappoint!
In hindsight it was only a matter of time before Mercedes brought a sport SUV to the production phase and having spotted the test car out and about on manoeuvres, it’s expected that the crossover coupe MLC-class will be ready to roll out in under 12 months.
From the series of spy pics available over at carsales.com it’s clear that the concept coupe SUV that Mercedes eagerly showed off at the Beijing Motor Show earlier this year remains the inspiration for the design of the MLC-Class.
In spite of heavy padding and camouflage it’s easy to see that the shape of the MLC – including specific elements like the front fascia design and S-Class Coupe-inspired tail lamps – have carried over from the concept.
The eagerness of Mercedes to prove that its MLC has sporty prowess is inherently clear in its many dynamic design elements such as the curving roofline that tapers off at the rear along with slim tail lights and a more rounded rear screen, not to mention the larger front grille and lateral air intakes.
Naturally we’ll have to wait to see what the test car camouflage is hiding underneath before the whole picture becomes clear but for now it’s safe to say that the MLC is intended to be very different from the more practical M-Class and should appeal to drivers who want a little more ‘oomph’ from their Merc.
BMW fans will be quick to point out that the Mercedes MLC seems to take a lot of inspiration from the X6; perhaps this is unsurprising given that Benz likely sees it as the MLC’s main competition.
However, despite design similarities Mercedes staunchly maintains that the two cars offer markedly different driving experiences.
Perhaps the biggest selling point that Mercedes have to shout about is that the MLC will likely beat the X6 for engine power.
With a range of direct-injection petrol engines powering the MLC, including the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol V6 unit, it should achieve 328bhp and 354lb ft of torque.
This should ensure that the MLC comes off favourably against the 4.4-litre turbo-turbo V8-powered BMW X6 M.
The powerful engine configuration will be supported by Mercedes’ 4Matic four-wheel drive system along with brake energy recuperation and automatic stop/start systems.
Drivers can look forward to experimenting with up to five driving modes provided by the new ‘Dynamic Select Control’ system that is designed to allow for the smoothest ride tailored to changing circumstances on the road.
Even though the MLC clearly means business when going head-to-head with the X6 for performance, let’s not forget that Mercedes will no doubt maintain the luxurious feel of its more high-volume models such as the M and E classes.
The interior is expected to contain all the classic hallmarks of Mercedes brand comfort and style in terms of upholstery and should also feature the latest version of Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system with a touch-sensitive pad mounted on the centre control console.
Slated for an early 2015 release, we’re excited to see if Mercedes have managed to pull off the tricky task of making their crossover coupe sporty enough to take on the X6 at its own game while still maintaining the comfort and luxury hallmarks associated with the more traditional Mercedes Benz models.