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.
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.
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.