It might be the year of the Sheep in China, but at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz is celebrating the year of the SUV with the release of a near-production ready GLC Coupe concept to take on the BMW X4. If it goes forward, which seems like a sure thing at this point, the sporty concept would be the seventh SUV in the automaker’s lineup.
The GLC Coupe is modeled after Mercedes’ new 2016 GLE Coupe and is designed as a more compact version. At 186.2 inches long, it’s a full 7 inches shorter than the GLE and rides a 111.4 inch wheelbase versus the GLE’s 114.8 inches. Its SUV coupe styling can be seen with the whopping 21 inch wheels. All these factors will create what Mercedes calls the “almost dramatic proportions of the sportily youthful coupe generation with the characteristic off-road touch.”
Make no mistake, the GLC is designed for luxury driving both on and off the road. Mercedes gives the GLC Coupe concept a high enough ground clearance to allow for “dynamic off-road ambitions.” It also has the power to match with a 3.0L bi-turbo V6 engine churning out 367 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. This is coupled with with the Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC all wheel-drive and nine-speed automatic transmission. To summarize, the GLC is ready for more than a romp in the park.
With its extended sloping roof line showing off its sport coupe design, the GLC is lined up class-wise with the BMW X4. This emphasizes that Mercedes is serious in its goal to overtake BMW and Audi for worldwide dominance in the luxury auto market.
“With its modern and sensual design idiom, the Concept GLC Coupé gives a foretaste of future SUV models from Mercedes-Benz. At the same time, it embraces the typical values of tradition-steeped Mercedes-Benz coupés,” Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG, said.
With the demand for SUVs on the rise in a sports performance driven market, Mercedes plans to release four new or redesigned SUVs this year alone. Mercedes says “the wide range of models allows customers the flexibility to order a tailor-made vehicle to suit their personal preferences.”
No official sale date yet for the GLC Coupe, and Mercedes-Benz hasn’t officially announced it’s coming to the U.S, but we’re pretty sure it will and sooner rather than later. Since it’s being touted as “near-production-standard” it can’t be long before it’s rolling off the assembly line. We expect more details later this spring.