Mercedes throws down the gauntlet as it gears up for assault on ever-expanding SUV market
MERCEDES has thrown down the gauntlet to BMW and other rivals with the unveiling of its GLC Coupe concept SUV.
The top people's carmaker says it's a 'near-production ready' study that takes the larger GLE formula into the more compact segments such as those populated by the BMW X4.
Mercedes say the concept, with its sloping roof, is a foretaste of things to come and represents an all-out assault on the expanding SUV market.
The GLC Coupe is nearly 200mm longer, 160mm wider and 77mm lower than the outgoing GLK which didn't sell here.
It uses a tweaked version of the marque's MRA modular steel platform (it's in the C-Class).
While the concept shown in Shanghai this week has a 3-litre V6 petrol, rest assured there will be a good spread of diesels when cars hit the road.
And that's not all. Mercedes, in an official release, say ultimately there will be a seven-strong SUV range so people can order a 'tailor-made' model.
Indeed, the GLC is part of a Mercedes' push to add 11 models, that have had no predecessors, to its lineup. Earlier this year, Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche forecast that 2015 will be "the year of the SUV".
Given the rate of new concepts and production vehicles so far, no one is likely to contradict him.