Mercedes-Benz’s appetite for controversial design shows no sign of abating, as this exclusive image of its new junior SUV — the GLC, as Stuttgart insiders call it — clearly reveals.
Set to go on sale in the UK in 2013, the new BMW X1 rival forms part of an impressive range of new models set to hail from the German car maker’s flexible new MFA (modular front architecture) platform.
Those models will also include replacements for today’s second-generation A-class and first-generation B-class, together with a new price-leading four-door coupé-like saloon that’s set to be badged CLC and potentially an estate, called CLT.
Styled at Mercedes’ main Sindelfingen studio in Germany, the GLC eschews the rugged look of the larger GLK for a highly contemporary design that adopts ideas first aired on the BlueZero concept, but on a more defined two-box body.
Its prominent styling features include Mercedes’ new, softer grille treatment, angular headlamps, bulbous wheel arches, scalpel-sharp feature lines down its flanks, a kicked-up waistline and a hatchback-like rear end.
The overall appearance, with its taut surfacing and heavy creases, is shared with the third-generation A-class and second-generation B-class. The GLC shares its platform with the new B-class, a version of the MFA that has been engineered to support both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive.
Among the four-cylinder engines that Mercedes has planned for the GLC is a turbocharged 1.8-litre, direct-injection petrol unit. It will be offered in two different states of tune: 168bhp in the GLC200 CGI and a gutsier 201bhp in the range-topping GLC250 CGI.