Mercedes-Benz is wasting no time and playing no games with its upcoming MLC luxury crossover. Mere days after unveiling the Concept Coupe SUV at the 2014 Beijing auto show, a production prototype Mercedes-Benz MLC is already out testing. Spy photographers were there to capture the BMW X6-fighter hitting the streets.
Much of the Concept Coupe SUV’s shape and styling cues will apparently migrate over to the production Mercedes-Benz MLC , which is hardly surprising. From the prototype we can see the same large, upright grille; short front overhang; rakish roofline; fastback-style rear window; short decklid; and stubby rear end. Minor changes we can discern are a toned-down lower front fascia, dual hood vents which will match that of the M-Class SUV, regular door handles rather than the recessed ones from the concept, and possibly more traditional separated taillights instead of the concept’s Lincoln-style wrap-around rear lights.
Considering that the Mercedes-Benz MLC will be based on the existing M-Class, it’s reasonable to anticipate the same range of gasoline and diesel powertrains. Engine options should include a 3.5-liter V-6, a 4.6-liter twin-turbo V-8, and a 3.0-liter diesel V-6. We’d also bank on a 5.5-liter AMG V-8 model to challenge the wild BMW X6 M.
Insiders predict that the Alabama-built Mercedes-Benz MLC will begin production in either late 2015 or early 2015, as a 2016 model.