THE banana in the corner of the 2015 Shanghai motor show is the Mercedes GLC Coupe. The GLC is Mercedes' answer to the BMW X4 SUV, and is essentially a coupe version of the GLK replacement.
The big banana is based on the C-Class platform but rides on 21-inch wheels in show guise, and is draped with a body that carries the same design language that started with the A-Class. It puts on a Mercedes grille and LED headlamps, aping the C-Class’s front and rear bumpers with sharp, sculpted sides, a swooping roofline and elongated glasshouse that gives it the name. Of course, it still has four doors and is essentially a preview of the GLK replacement, the regular GLC that will take on the BMW X3 with its higher roofline.
It's much smaller than the similarly styled GLE Coupe, with a 4.73m length and 2.83m wheelbase, and sits just 1.63m high. Those wheel arches will be able to comfortably house 21-inch wheels for production, says Mercedes, which for the show are shod in 285mm wide tyres. They will cop the full brunt of the 274kW/520Nm twin-turbo V6 that's currently offered in 245kW guise the Mercedes E400 sedan, and sends its power through a nine-speed auto to all four wheels.
The production version of the GLC Coupe will likely kick off with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, but the fact that Mercedes has shown a coupe points to a Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 powered by the growling 375kW 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that's also under the bonnet of the C63 AMG. Yet Mercedes hasn't confirmed an AMG version, which would make a natural enemy to a BMW X4M that's also yet to be confirmed.
The GLC Coupe is one of seven SUVs Mercedes-Benz will eventually offer, with the Stuttgart-based brand soon to fill its showroom with more SUVs than its domestic rival, BMW. Mercedes will offer the GLC that's expected to be shown at Frankfurt in September this year, as well as a production version of the GLC Coupe that will sit above the A-Class based GLA, and below the GLE and GLE Coupe twins. There's also the brash and boxy G-Class, which will be renamed GLS under the new Mercedes nomenclature.
The Mercedes GLC Coupe is expected to be on sale in Australia in 2016, starting at an estimated $70,000.
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