by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

SPY: Mercedes-Benz begins development of the new 2015 MLC-Class (C 292)

In 2015, Mercedes-Benz will start production for a new model series at the US-based plant Tuscaloosa, Alabama: the MLC-Class will be company's first-ever SUV coupe. Initial photos and details should be officially issued by mid-December 2014, with the official introduction slated for NAIAS Detroit the following year and the market release later on in spring.

Internally codenamed C 292, the new MLC sits on a modified ML-Class chassis. We expect the vehicle will be substantially longer than its brother and also more dynamic and refined. The development stage kicked off recently, with photographers spotting an entire fleet of W 166 test mules for the future SUV coupe being deployed in Germany along with some BMW X6 vehicles, whom the MLC-Class is directly aimed at. First real test prototypes, featuring a finished design hidden under the camouflage, could hit streets in about four months from now.

As seen from the spy shots, the rear wings on the ML models are modified to accomodate the new components of the MLC-Class chassis. The car will be standardly equipped with the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel-drive traction, tweaked for best on-road performance and a sports ride. The ON & OFFROAD package with integrated management will be offered as an option, like for the ML and GL.

We cannot be very imaginative regarding the exterior design of the C 292. The tons of renditions that appeared since this model was rumored a few years ago might offer just a mild impression, miles different from the real car. Although it is not entirely a coupe (not if you count the number of doors), we expect Mercedes-Benz designers will deliver a spectacular exercise of style and elegance, paying a tribute to the 2-door models of the constructor into a very modern interpretation.

More details --> PREVIEW: Mercedes-Benz starts an aggressive offensive of coupe vehicles

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