Mercedes is working on a new variation of the M-Class SUV to directly rival BMW’s X6 Sport Activity Coupe, reports suggest.
The new car will launch in 2015, be based on the same underpinnings as the M-Class and Merecedes GL, and spurn the practicality of those two models for a rakish coupe roofline and more sporting pretensions. Expect the MLS — the MLC moniker may be used instead — to pick up styling cues from the CLS and forthcoming ‘BLS’ coupe version of the B-Class compact hatch (pictured below).
The BMW X6 sold 46,404 units worldwide in 2010, above Munich’s expectations, and it would seem that Mercedes wants in on the action. The car will be made in Tuscaloosa, Albama where the German company has just commited $2billion into its manufacturing plant (£1.22billion). The factory currently makes the M, larger GL and massive R-Class MPV-cum-sports estate.
For the UK market the MLS is expected to come with a six cylinder 3.0 diesel in two states of tune, 204PS and 231PS; plus a V8 5.0 litre petrol with 387PS. The range is also likely to be joined by an AMG version using the twin turbo 5.5 litre V8 from the CLS, good for 525bhp, taking the fight to the disappointing X6M.
Expect an on sale price of about £45,000.