All hail the new 2016 GLK: Mercedes Concept GLC Coupe unveiled at Shanghai | CAR Magazine

All hail the new 2016 GLK: Mercedes Concept GLC Coupe unveiled at Shanghai

Published: 19 April 2015 Updated: 20 April 2015

► Mercedes-Benz Concept GLC Coupe
► Shown at the 2015 Shanghai motor show
► It’s a preview of the new GLK replacement 

Mercedes-Benz is showing the new Concept GLC Coupe at the 2015 Shanghai motor show – it’s the brand’s answer to the BMW X4 and our first look at its GLK successor. 

It’s a compact SUV given the swooping-roofed coupe-crossover, 21-inch-wheeled look. A little bit gangsta, in other words.

And that ‘Concept’ bit of the name? Yes, it’s a show car, but this one is perilously close to production and is expected to make the leap from catwalk to showroom with little change becoming the company’s seventh SUV line.

Even Mercedes calls it a ‘near-production-standard’ concept. Expect to see the GLC range – available in sensible upright SUV and in sleeker coupe form – later in 2015.

How big is the Merc Concept GLC Coupe?

Think of it as a shrunken baby brother to the GLE Coupe, already unveiled in production guise. What you see today is Daimler’s X4 to that car’s X6.

The mud-plugger that’s donned sportswear is 4730mm long and rides on a 2830mm wheelbase. In other words it’s a bit bigger than a BMW X3 or Audi Q5, but tellingly it’s a mite lower too, at just under 1600mm tall.

This is in line with that new name – worth decoding again:

GL Sub-brand for Merc’s cross-country cars, or gelandewagen
C Aligned with the compact C-class family
Coupe The sportier bit, hence rakish profile, athletic mores 

A twin-turbo SUV

As you’d expect of a crossover coupe making its world debut in the melting pot of the Shanghai show, the GLC Coupe is a pure V6 petrol model with the accent on performance. 

The Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe

In this case, there’s an AMG-derived direct-injection bi-turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine tuned for 362bhp and 384lb ft. A switchable exhaust lets drivers choose from a refined engine note or a ‘passionate sound of a high-powered sports car.’

Drive is through Daimler’s nine-speed 9G-Tronic auto transmission and four-wheel drive.

The design vision

Gorden Wagener, Merc’s design chief, said: ‘With its modern and sensual design idiom, the Concept GLC Coupe gives a foretaste of future SUV models from Mercedes-Benz. At the same time, it embraces the typical values of tradition-steeped Mercedes-Benz coupes.’

Further proof, were it needed, that the new-car market has become incredibly fragmented. And Mercedes with its ever-expanding range is right at the forefront of model plurality.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words