The new model is expected to form part of Mercedes’ M-Class SUV stable, even sharing the M-Class’ platform and power train options.
Front styling on the test car appears to closely resemble that of the Coupe Concept, with LED headlights, copious front air intakes and a large grille with Mercedes-Benz badge all similarly placed.
The coupe-styling of the side profile and large wheels appear to unapologetically target the X6’s now familiar look, but rear styling on the test car suggests a more ‘pronounced’ look for the Mercedes when compared with the BMW.
The test car also sports road-going tail lamps in place of the concept’s thin and wide lamps which expanded the full width of the car’s rear, while a glimpse at the interior shows a large, centrally-mounted touchscreen.
Powertrain and transmission details are scarce for now, but the current M-Class offers a range of diesel and petrol engines in four-cylinder, V6 and V8 guises, and a hybrid power plant could also be on the cards.
A pumped-up version of the new SUV has also been spied testing, suggesting that an 'MLC 63 AMG' model will headline the new range.
Approval for the new SUV's introduction is due mainly to demand from the US and Chinese markets, and production is expected to begin at Daimler's Tuscaloosa, Alabama plant in 2015.
Timing for the MLC-Class will be important for Mercedes-Benz, as its main the BMW X6 has already been revealed in its second-generation form.