Mercedes-Benz (DDAIF.PK) has something BMW doesn’t: a three-row, large luxury SUV in the GL Class. However, that’s a two-way street, as BMW has something Mercedes doesn’t: a sporty, coupe-like SUV in the X6. That might be changing soon, though, as CarScoops is reporting the Daimler brand has unveiled a vehicle that is meant to compete directly with BMW’s genre-bending SUV-coupe-thing.
“This study will be officially unveiled in just under two weeks from now at Auto China in Beijing,” said Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche at the company’s annual shareholder meeting. “But we wanted to show you this vehicle today. We see major potential for Mercedes-Benz in particular in this combination of a coupe and an SUV.”
The crossover, which was not given a name, will be based on the structure used for the current M Class. As you can see, the vehicle takes the flowing and elegant design language from the CLA and CLS Class “coupes” and applies it to a vehicle of an SUV’s stature. While these vehicles have been met with mixed results (Acura ZDX, anyone?) Mercedes-Benz’s use of the formula is undeniably gorgeous — it’s arguably the best-looking Mercedes SUV yet.
However, it does bear some striking similarities with BMW’s X6, with which it’s meant to compete. Excluding the front grille and some minor cosmetic details, the two could easily be confused. Further, the league that these vehicles are playing in is considerably niche: they don’t offer the full practicality of a regular SUV, they aren’t that much faster, and they’re more expensive. Essentially, you’re paying for the unique body style.
Some people really love it though, enough for BMW to continue making the peculiar X6 and X6 M (it’s also working on an X4), and it’s evidently a justifiable investment if Mercedes is wading into the “sports activity vehicle” pool. Since there’s an X6 M, it’s more than likely that an AMG model of the Mercedes version will come along, as well.
No pricing has been discussed yet, but BMW’s X6 starts at a lofty $60,800, so we can expect the base model to fall around there. For reference, the Mercedes M Class starts at $47,790.
CarScoops reports that ”while technical details remain thin at this time, the Concept Coupé SUV is [a] lightly disguised version of the upcoming production model believed to carry the MLC designation.” The model also further illustrates the race between the German manufacturers to cater to virtually every demographic and possible niche customer in their quest for sales.