Mercedes-Benz’s rival to the BMW X6 has just been spotted in prototype form testing at the Nürburgring. Our exclusive spy video shows two separate prototypes, one of which is a high-performance AMG variant.

The new X6 rival will share its underpinnings with the M-Class. The vehicle was originally thought to carry an M-Class Coupe title but lately there’s been rumors that it may be called a GLE-Class Coupe under a new naming strategy at Mercedes-Benz where the M-Class is renamed a GLE-Class to reflect its positioning in the E-Class range of cars.

Whatever the case, we already have a fairly good idea as to what the coupe-like crossover will look like thanks to the unveiling of the Concept Coupe SUV at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show. The prototypes appear very similar in both overall profile and in detail to the striking concept.

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV

In the powertrain department, expect the more potent offerings from the M-Class to be offered. This means the base trim will likely come with a 3.5-liter V-6 rated at 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Above this should sit a mid-range model with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 good for 329 hp and 354 lb-ft, and then will sit the AMG model, most likely with some variation of the Affalterbach tuner’s new twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8. A plug-in hybrid variant is also possible.

Due to enter production in the U.S. at Mercedes’ Alabama plant, the new crossover is expected to arrive as a 2016 model along with several other of the German automaker’s high-riding models. These will include a new GLK-Class (GLC under the new naming strategy), an updated M-Class (GLE) and an updated GL-Class (GLS).

Look for a debut at a major international auto show in the U.S. or China in the first half of next year.


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