Right after the Mercedes GLC Coupe Concept made its world debut at Auto Shanghai, officials revealed it would hit the streets.
Thomas Weber, Daimler AG’s board member responsible for Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development, confirmed that the dynamically styled SUV will go into production. The concept car is a “near-production-standard” study that transfers the styling of the GLE Coupe into the midsize segment and shows the design of upcoming SUV generations.
Weber declined to say when the concept would hit showrooms because “first of all there will be the world premiere for the GLC (in June), followed by the GLS.”
“The GLE Coupe, that was unveiled in Detroit, will arrive on the markets this fall. In China, the year 2015 is the year of the goat, but for us it will be the year of the SUV.”
The GLC Coupe is the seventh model that Mercedes is adding to its portfolio and presented in Shanghai as the “Magnificent Seven.”
“There is a healthy interest in SUVs, not only in China, but also worldwide,” Weber said. “Globally, the segment is good for 26% of the car sales and is expected to further increase. We are very confident about our future in China, where we have added 100 dealerships in 2014 and increased sales by 28% to 270,000 units. This year, the company expects to sell considerably more than 300,000 units, while also adding another 50 dealerships.”
The GLC Coupe concept shows a sporty styling that is enhanced by large 21-inch wheels. As usually the case with a concept vehicle, the designers have some freedom and used small mirrors with round turn signal lamps, and placed the diagonal double exhaust pipes above the rear bumper.
“Such details will not make it into production,” said Eberhard Kelz, chief engineer of the new model. “But underneath the CFRP body, there already is the real thing.”
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The GLC is based on the C-Class and uses the MRA-architecture, but the suspension in the rear is different, because there will also be a hybrid model with the battery above the rear axle.
“With 4Matic all-wheel drive, the car has good off-road qualities,” according to Ketz.
During the presentation, CEO Dieter Zetsche said that the GLC Coupe is “born to race on every ground” and will offer sporty on-road capabilities. The suspension is suitable for a truly dynamic handling style and drivers will get a choice of five driving modes.
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Under the hood of the concept car is the V6 bi-turbo engine, which we know of the GLA 45 AMC. It has 270 kW/367 hp and 520 Nm of torque and works together with a 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. The GLC models (W 253) will be offered in North America with V6 engines and in Europe and China mainly with new four-cylinder patrol or diesel engines. As right-hand-drive-markets are very important to Mercedes, we may expect that the GLC Coupe will eventually also become available there.
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The Coupe will be built in the Mercedes plant in Bremen, the GLC in Bremen and in China. Recently Daimler announced to plan to invest one billion euro in the plant that works under its joint venture with BAIC.