Mercedes-Benz has marked its foray into an all-new segment with the Concept Coupe SUV. Unveiled at the ongoing Beijing Motor Show, the Concept Coupe SUV previews the production version of an all-new car which is expected to be unveiled next year as a 2016 model. Expected to be christened MLC, the car will fight it out against the BMW X6, which is also set for a major update around next year.
Speaking at the unveiling, Gorden Wagener, Head of Design, Mercedes-Benz said, "The Concept Coupé SUV stands out thanks to its extreme proportions and in doing so interprets our hallmark Mercedes coupé design idiom perfectly. With its superior sportiness it conveys a sense of modern luxury and aesthetic aspirations of sensual clarity."
The Concept Coupe SUV is based on the ML-Class platform and has been designed along Mercedes-Benz’s “Sensual Purity” design language, borrowing bits from other cars like the S-Class coupe, CLA and GLA. Mercedes-Benz has tried to emulate the BMW X6 by marrying the body of a coupe, to the chassis of an SUV. The front features an enlarged version of S-Class Coupe concept’s chromed front grille and all-LED Multibeam front headlamps. The car adopts BMW X6-like styling cues such as the short front overhang, a high beltline and a sharply raked coupe-like roofline. The rear houses wrap-around tail lamps which extend across the trunk and flat oval-shaped exhausts, integrated into the bumper.
The Concept Coupe SUV has no off-road aspirations as Mercedes-Benz makes it clear that the car explores the ‘possibilities of a more sporty and dynamic on-road line’. The car will be powered by a 3.0-litre twin turbocharged V6 engine, producing 333bhp and 480Nm of torque. The engine will power all four 22-inch wheels through a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox. What we might find inside the car is a mystery, as the German manufacturer hasn’t revealed any pictures of the interiors. The production version of this car is likely to use the V6 and V8 range from the ML-Class along with a high performance AMG version.
Choosing Beijing Motor Show was a smart move by Mercedes-Benz, as China is one of the biggest global markets for the BMW X6. Though it might not be one of BMW’s best looking cars, the X6 has surprisingly managed to sell in decent numbers in several markets around the world. With the production version of the Concept Coupe SUV, Mercedes-Benz will attempt to bite into the X6’s share, which currently holds the monopoly of being the only product in this niche segment. The Indian market hasn’t been kind to the X6, which led to the car being phased out a while ago, though, this might not stop Mercedes-Benz from launching their product in the Indian market, a few months after its international launch.