Mercedes gets serious with GLC
The Mercedes-Benz Concept GLC Coupe revealed at the weekend before its premiere at the Shanghai motor show this week is a sure sign of the company’s intention to release a BMW X4 rival in the near future.
This, the latest step in Mercedes-Benz’s expanded push into the booming SUV space worldwide, is billed as a “near-production-standard study” that downsized the formula the company uses on the 170mm longer GLE Coupe, which it revealed in January this year.
As the GLE Coupe is based on the new ‘‘regular’’ GLE, the GLC Coupe is based on the forthcoming ‘‘regular’’ BMW X3-rivalling GLC, which will launch globally later this year as the replacement for GLK.
The concept you see here gives us a pretty good indication of what the production ‘‘regular’’ GLC will look like (at the front at least). That car will premiere in production form in Frankfurt this September and Australia by December.
The GLC Coupe previewed by this concept will launch in production form a little later — bet on a Geneva motor show premiere in March 2016 — and is expected in New Zealand around August next year.
“With its modern and sensual design idiom, the Concept GLC Coupe gives a foretaste of future SUV models from Mercedes-Benz,” said Daimler AG head of design Gorden Wagener. “At the same time, it embraces the typical values of tradition-steeped Mercedes-Benz coupes.”
The short front overhang with upright radiator grille and twin-blade louvre is characteristic of sporty Mercedes-Benz models, and illustrates the fact that Benz sees this as a car to put the ‘‘sport’’ in SUV.
The rear end, it claims, “most clearly accentuates the coupe genes of the concept vehicle”. Narrow split tail-lights, a centrally positioned brand star and the sharp spoiler lip emphasise a design line that made its debut with the S-Class Coupe and which all Benz coupes have followed.
Power is sent to the road via a 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system and, at the rear at least, chunky 285/45 wide-base tyres on 21-inch rims. The GLC Coupe concept is a little longer and wider than a BMW X4, though about 30mm lower.