Hotter variant of the upcoming Mercedes MLC spotted testing ahead of a likely launch next year, which gets more aggressive styling twin-turbo V8 power

Mercedes-Benz is working on an AMG-badged version of its upcoming MLC, as these fist spy pictures show. The MLC, which could be badged as ML-Coupé when it goes on sale, is due to launch during the second half of next year in standard form, following a likely public debut at the Paris motor show in October.

While still keeping the bold styling and overall shape of the Concept Coupé SUV seen at the Beijing motor show earlier this year, this AMG variant features significantly larger front air intakes than the standard model, a more aggressive front bumper and the usual AMG performance exhausts at the rear. A stiffer suspension setup and new AMG alloy wheels are also expected,

Reports suggest this range-topping version of the MLC will use the same 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine as the ML63 AMG, which develops 518bhp alongside 516lb ft of torque. With an optional performance package the car could have as much as 550bhp available.

The ML63 AMG Coupé will be aimed squarely at BMW's upcoming X6 M when it goes on sale. While the standard MLC will go up against the new X6, both performance versions will also do battle. The X6 M is due to go on sale at the end of this year following its debut at the LA motor show in November. Power for the X6 M will be provided by a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the same unit found in the M5, which should provide 537bhp and 500lb ft of torque. 

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