It was close to two years ago that we saw the first test mules for the redesigned 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class, but since then prototypes wearing the completed version’s sheet metal have surfaced. As the spy shots confirm, the new GLK will be slightly larger than the model it replaces in order to make room for the smaller 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
The latest prototype clearly has a longer wheelbase than the current GLK, and its track is wider too. We can also see that the hood has been stretched and the front axle pushed forward to accommodate the longer wheelbase. This should translate to more interior space and improved dynamics. It also means the new GLK will better match rivals such as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 in terms of comfort and space.
Much of the design remains hidden beneath heavy camouflage but it looks like the vehicle will adopt some familiar Mercedes styling cues. The proportions appear much sportier than those of the current GLK and the roof more steeply sloped towards the rear. Look for elements from the smaller GLA-Class to carry over onto the new GLK.
The car’s mechanical package will be shared with the redesigned 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
. And with the new C-Class set to be manufactured at Mercedes’ plant in the U.S., there’s a good chance the new GLK will join it. This second-generation GLK will also finally get a right-hand-drive configuration, enabling the vehicle to enter new markets such as the U.K., Japan and Australia.
A four-cylinder turbo should remain the base option, possibly the 235-horsepower 2.0-liter unit debuting in C300 trim in the 2015 C-Class range. The current GLK’s turbocharged 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel should carry over into a new GLK250 BlueTEC, while the range-topper should continue to be a V-6, perhaps equipped with the new turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 destined for the 2015 C-Class’ C400 trim. It’s not clear if Mercedes will finally decide to launch an AMG variant, but we certainly hopes it does.
We currently expect the new GLK to launch early next year, as a 2016 model.
_______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.