Mike Stevens | Mar 23, 2012

Mercedes' updated-for-2012 GLK midsized SUV has made its European debut this week, bringing revised styling, new features and new engines.

Local Merc fans hoping to plant the X3 rival in their driveway will be going without once again, however, with news that the update will not be offered in right-hand-drive.

Plans for an Australia-friendly GLK have been on the cards since its 2008 launch, but problems with adapting the all-wheel-drive configuration to right-hand-drive have moved Mercedes-Benz to write the project off.

Speaking with TMR today, Mercedes-Benz Australia's David McCarthy said that plans for a rear-wheel-drive RHD option have also been canned.

"A rear-wheel-drive version of the GLK was looked at for the right-hook markets, but we couldn't get it over the line," Mr McCarthy said. "We'll have to wait until the next-generation model."

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Right-hand-drive markets include the UK, Australia, Japan, South Africa, Indonesia and Thailand. BMW, Audi and Land Rover offer options in all of those regions.

The updated GLK will make its global debut at next month's New York Auto Show, where it will launch with an updated front end, a subtly revised rear and a host of new options.

Engine options will include four diesels and one petrol mill, starting with a 105kW 2.2 litre diesel and ranging through to the top-shelf 195kW 3.5 V6 diesel and 225kW 3.5 V6 petrol.

Merc's 7G-Tronic automatic transmission will handle gear-shifting duties, and features will include Attention Assist drowsiness dectection, Active Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist.

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