As is so often the case with public unveilings, what is said struggles and fails to attract the interest captured with insouciant ease by that which is not.
Such was the case with the pre-show unveiling last night of the new coupé version of the Mercedes-Benz GLC compact SUV. Of course, it’s not a coupé at all, any more than a Koala is a bear or a lizardfish or a Bombay duck. But that’s not the point.
The car itself was quite surprising because it looked so very, well, normal. This new category of mongrel motor that professes to be both a hard as rock SUV yet slick and sinuous like a traditional coupé has led to some highly original styling solutions, and you need only look at the originator – the BMW X6, or its X4 kid brother that will provide the GLC coupe’s most direct competition - to know it. And yet the new Benz provides no kind of challenge for the eyes at all. It’s not gorgeous like a CLS, but then coupés and saloons are very close relatives, but it’s smart, sleek and fluently executed so as not to cause offence.
Indeed, if you speak to Mercedes exterior design chief Robert Lesnik, he uses the language of moderation to describe the car. It has been styled to have "less drama" than you might expect, "more neutral" lines, and "cleaner more subtle surfacing". He didn’t say than what, but I expect he didn’t really have to, given the proximity and similarity of its BMW opposition.