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Upcoming Mercedes-Benz MLC-class spied testing

Mon, 14 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700

Just a few weeks after the debut of the Mercedes-Benz MLC in concept form, prototypes have been spotted testing in Colorado earlier this month. The MLC is meant to offer packaging similar to the BMW X6, combining the SUV shape of the ML with a more coupe-like exterior design.

The MLC will make its public debut at the Moscow International Motor Show in August of this year, a location that is perhaps indicative of the target audience for this upcoming crossover. The crossover will be positioned between the GLK-class and the ML-class SUVs, and it is expected to offer just a bit less room on the inside than the ML.

Codenamed C292, the MLC-class will reportedly go on sale during the second half of 2015 and will likely feature engines carried over from the ML-class. The MLC will be manufactured in the U.S., at the Tuscaloosa, Ala., plant, alongside the ML-class and the GL-class. The MLC will borrow the ML-class' mechanicals heavily, though at the same time Mercedes-Benz promises "very dynamic handling."

The MLC-class prototype in the photos is moderately camouflaged, though with its debut looming next month it does appear largely ready to be seen in pre-production form, sans grille. Don't be put off by the BMW 7-series-style hatch; a number of commentators have observed that it is likely wearing something on the trunk to throw off automotive spies. Other shots of MLC-prototypes featured a much more tapered trunk design, which is most likely how it will appear in pre-production and production form once it is revealed to the public next month.

If the ML-class engines do carry over directly to the MLC, we are likely to see a 3.0-liter diesel V6, a 3.5-liter gasoline V6, a 4.6-liter gasoline V8 with twin turbos, in adittion to the likely AMG variants. In concept form in Beijing, the Coupe Concept was equipped with a 3.0-liter diesel V6.

By Jay Ramey