Mercedes-Benz’s next-generation GLK-Class is in the final phases of its development, and it looks like the popular small SUV will sport a very handsome new look—in addition to its new name
. Yes, as part of Mercedes' new naming strategy, the GLK will be retitled a GLC to reflect its similar positioning to the C-Class line of vehicles.
As for its new look, the latest spy shots confirm that the GLC will be slightly larger than the GLK it replaces. This is partially due to the smaller GLA bursting onto the scene. The GLC has a longer wheelbase than the current GLK, and its track is wider too.
The bigger footprint should translate to more interior space and improved dynamics. It also means the new GLC will better match rivals such as the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 in terms of comfort and space in the small SUV and crossover segment. A shot of the interior reveals the premium C-Class-inspired design.
2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC (GLK-Class) spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-MedienEnlarge Photo
The car’s mechanical package will be shared with the redesigned 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
. And with the new C-Class now being manufactured at Mercedes’ plant in the U.S., there’s a good chance the new GLC will join it. The GLC will also get a right-hand-drive configuration, enabling the vehicle to enter markets such as the U.K., Japan, India and Australia, where the left-hand-drive-only GLK was never officially sold.
A four-cylinder turbo should remain the base option, most likely the 2.0-liter unit found in the 2015 C300, which is good for 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The current GLK’s turbocharged 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel should carry over, and a gasoline V-6 should also be offer, most likely the turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 good for 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque which is found in the 2015 C400. The good news is that a high-performance GLC63
is being developed by the Mercedes-AMG skunk works, and we should also see a new AMG Sport variant as well as an eventual plug-in hybrid.
The new GLC, which arrives as a 2016 model, will debut later this year. It will be joined by three other high-riding Mercedes vehicles: the new GLE Coupe, the GLE (M-Class facelift) and GLS (GL-Class facelift).
Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.