Mercedes-Benz Concept GLC Coupe rolls into Shanghai
Characterized as a "near-production-standard study," the Mercedes-Benz Concept GLC Coupe made its global debut in Shanghai. This compact-scaled crossover-style take on M-B's next-gen GLK-Class -- which is being renamed the GLC-Class -- shares the same basic C-Class platform mechanicals as the upcoming GLC-Class SUV but boasts a sleeker profile and edgier style that will let its volume-build offspring go head to head with potential lifestyle rivals like the BMW X4 and Range Rover Evoque.
Contemporary character with classic cues
Calling its distinctive design idiom "modern and sensual," Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Daimler AG, says the Concept GLC Coupe also "gives a foretaste of future SUV models from Mercedes-Benz. However, he also notes the 4-seat show exercise "embraces the typical values of tradition-steeped Mercedes-Benz coupes." Finished in high-profile Solar Beam paint and modestly longer, lower and wider than the current GLK-Class, this slick M-B on/off-roader rides on a longer 111.8-inch wheelbase. Its boldly sculpted fascia treatments feature full LED lighting that match adaptive/dazzle-free lamps up front with rear units boasting sequential-style directional indicators. Familiar "A-wing" lower valance elements at either end are set off with protective underbody plates, and the Concept GLC Coupe's distinctive grille with its large three-pointed star and bright surround is counterpointed by dual staggered-stack polished stainless steel exhaust outlets out back.
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Viewed in profile, the flowing roofline of the Concept GLC Coupe and smartly contoured body panels impart a dynamic character that's reinforced by its elegantly trim greenhouse with frameless side windows, wing-style side mirrors, a subtle rear spoiler, protective perimeter cladding rendered in contrasting Gunmetal Mango and a suitably elevated ride height. Rounding out the adventurous character mix is a set of trick-looking 21-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 285/45 Goodyear Eagle NCT 5 tires.
A dynamic personality
To ensure the Concept GLC Coupe has a proper performance profile, the development team fitted it M-B's latest gasoline-fired 3.0-liter twin-turbo/direct-injected V6 tuned to make 362 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of peak torque, the latter of which is on hand from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm. This AMG Sport-spec engine is backed by a 9G-Tronic 9-speed Direct Select automatic transmission that sends motive force to each corner via the automaker's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. While not offering any specific sprint times, M-B does state the Concept GLC Coupe's acceleration is "emphatic," its performance is "highly sporty" and that the exhaust system has been designed to impart a suitably aggressive sonic signature that, depending on transmission mode, provides "a commandingly subdued rumble or the passionate sound of a high-powered sports car."
The new 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class compact SUV is expected to debut this fall in Frankfurt. If M-B continues on the same pattern instituted with when it introduced the larger GLE-Class and its GLE Coupe variant, if seems possible we could see a U.S. version of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe roll into view this November at the Los Angeles Auto Show on next January in Detroit.
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