The MLC is Mercedes' answer to the BMW X6, and it has been caught undergoing the 'hot and dry' cycle of testing in Death Valley, California. Accompanied by an M-Class, the test vehicles were camouflaged but a few things still can be deduced.
The test mule echoes the Concept Coupe SUV from the Beijing Auto Show, and features LED headlamps as well as tail-lamps. The former seems to be in the same vein as the S-Class, rather than an all-LED array like the Audi A8. The pictures also show two different test mules, one with 'ordinary' ten-spoke alloy wheels of a standard size, and the second with the star-shaped five-spoke alloys that AMG has made so popular. The AMG package makes it look vaguely Tonka truck-ish but that also means that it appeals to the little boy within all of us.
The MLC is expected to launch with a range of petrol and diesel four and six-cylinder engines mated to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The four-cylinder models also have a good chance of being fitted with the new single-clutch 9-speed transmission. The MLC will have an AMG package at launch, we're sure, but a true AMG car will probably follow a while after the model launch.
Judging by the sales of the BMW X6, there isn't a very big market for the MLC in India, but we expect it to come to our market sometime next year, or in 2016. Besides the stunning silhouette, there will be a host of features to help sell the MLC, including the price, which will not be much more than the current M-Class's, at Rs 70-80 lakh, ex-showroom.