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by Tim Beissmann

A prototype of the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz MLC63 AMG has been spied for the first time, confirming the German luxury car maker plans to waste no time in launching its new flagship performance crossover.

The latest spy shots come less than a month after Mercedes-Benz was first spotted testing a regular MLC variant in Germany, which itself appeared just days after the Crossover Coupe SUV concept on which it’s based made its public debut in China in mid April.

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Gaping front air intakes, a lowered ride height, big brakes behind black alloy wheels, and quad exhaust outlets are obvious visual differentiators from the standard car, and pointers to the car’s sporting intentions.

CarAdvice’s spy photographers also referenced the unmistakeable rumble of an AMG V8 under the MLC prototype’s bonnet. The MLC63 AMG is tipped to feature the 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 from the ML63 AMG. In its current form in the ML63 AMG the engine produces 386kW and 700Nm, though it puts out as much as 430kW and 800Nm in the newer E63 AMG.

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The MLC63 AMG will rival the second-generation BMW X6 M, which our spies captured undergoing winter testing in February. The outgoing X6 M produces 408kW/680Nm from its 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 and accelerates from 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds. Both the new X6 M and the MLC63 AMG are expected to be quicker than the first-gen BMW, pointing towards an anticipated sub-4.5-second sprint time.

The Mercedes-Benz MLC will be revealed in production form next year before going on sale in Australia in early 2016. The AMG version isn’t expected to be unleashed overseas before late 2015, suggesting it won’t appear on local roads for at least two years.

Click the Photos tab for more images of the Mercedes-Benz MLC63 AMG.




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