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by Tim Beissmann

CarAdvice’s spy photographers have captured the all-new Mercedes-Benz MLC-Class testing in Germany just days after a concept of the coupe-style luxury crossover debuted in China.

The MLC-Class prototype is seen here on the streets outside Mercedes-Benz’s research and development centre in Sindelfingen. Though covered with a camouflage wrap, the test car provides a first look at the new SUV’s production body panels, revealing details of how the final version will appear when it is released next year.

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Fans of the swoopy Crossover Coupe SUV concept will delight in the spy images, which confirm the production MLC will retain its imposing, low-slung, muscular stance. As with the concept, the test car features short front and rear overhangs, wide shoulders and hips, a heavily raked windscreen, a shallow glasshouse, and a sweeping roofline flowing to a stubby boot lid lip – design elements made famous by the BMW X6, against which the MLC will compete.

The Crossover Coupe SUV concept measured 4935mm long, 2044mm wide, 1739mm tall, and featured a 2916mm wheelbase, making it 59mm longer, 61mm wider and 55mm taller than the X6, though 17mm shorter between the wheels.

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The Mercedes-Benz MLC is expected to inherit a number of engines from the large ML-Class SUV on which it’s based. The concept teamed a 245kW/480Nm twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine with a nine-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Our spies believe it will also be offered with 3.0-litre V6 diesel, 3.5-litre V6 petrol, and 4.6- and 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engines, the last of those reserved for the anticipated MLC AMG performance flagship.

The Mercedes-Benz MLC-Class SUV will be released overseas next year before going on sale in Australia in 2016. It will go head-to-head with the X6, and is expected to launch with a starting price to rival the BMW’s $111,045 entry point.

Click the Photos tab for more images of the Mercedes-Benz MLC-Class prototype.




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