2016 Mercedes-Benz MLC-Class test mule spy shots
Mercedes-Benz can be seen here in catch-up mode, with the automaker from Stuttgart currently developing a test mule for a vehicle to rival the BMW X6 coupe crossover, soon to be entering its second generation. Audi, too, is in a similar position to Mercedes, though development of its own coupe crossover, the Q6
, started much earlier.
The vehicle in these latest spy shots may look like an ordinary M-Class but underneath the SUV body is the chassis of Mercedes’ new coupe crossover, whose final name is yet to be confirmed though most are suggesting it will be called an MLC. Other possibilities include MLS and GLS.
The only giveaway that this is a chassis test mule for the MLC is the vehicle’s widened wheel arches, which hint at a wider and more planted stance. Of course, there's also the fact that a pair of BMW X6 models are seen in some of the earlier shots, testing alongside the Mercedes test mules.
Production of the new MLC will take place at Mercedes’ plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, sometime in 2015. This means we’re likely to see it in showrooms listed as a 2016 model. We know production will start in 2015 because of a previous teaser image
that not only revealed the production start date but also the vehicle’s silhouette. The teaser showed what appeared to be a tall-riding vehicle with a coupe-like profile very similar to the designs of the BMW X6 and, to a lesser extent, the former Acura ZDX.
The MLC will be targeted primarily at customers in China and the U.S. and most likely feature the same engine lineup as found in the M-Class. An AMG version complete with a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 should also be launched, along with a possible hybrid model.
Stay tuned for updates as development of the new Mercedes MLC continues._______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.