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by Tim Beissmann

The second-generation Mercedes-Benz GLK has been spied wearing production body panels for the first time, giving us our clearest look yet at the forthcoming mid-sized luxury SUV.

CarAdvice’s spy photographers snapped the new Mercedes-Benz GLK testing on public roads in Germany ahead of its anticipated global launch in 2015.

Mercedes-Benz-GLK-2

Based on the same platform as the upcoming 2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the next-generation GLK will be rounder and more car-like than the boxy original that launched in 2009 and was updated last year. It also appears larger than the current model, promising a more spacious cabin for passengers and cargo.

Initially under a cloud for our market, Mercedes-Benz Australia last year announced its intentions to add the new Mercedes-Benz GLK to the local line-up. It’s expected to arrive in Australian showrooms in 2015, when it will join the GLA, ML, GL and G models in the brand’s expansive SUV range.

Mercedes-Benz-GLK-8

The GLK will fill a gaping hole in Mercedes-Benz Australia’s line-up, giving it a much-needed rival for the likes of the popular Audi Q5 and BMW X3.

Unlike the current left-hand-drive-only GLK, the new model will be built in both right- and left-hand drive. It will share its rear- and all-wheel-drive underpinnings with the new C-Class, as well as its petrol and diesel (and potentially hybrid) powertrains.

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There will be no high-performance GLK AMG variant, however, with head of Mercedes-Benz AMG Ola Kallenius reiterating last month that the go-fast division had no plans work its magic on the next-generation mid-sized SUV.

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