According to IHS Automotive, global sales of premium SUVs are expected to rise 32 percent by 2020, and to attract a larger share of those purchases, Mercedes-Benz will be launching a new crossover SUV next year that will take direct aim at the BMW X6. Previewed through the Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV that debuted late last month in Beijing, the new production model will be positioned as a sleeker, coupe-like version of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class and is intended to provide similar on-road driving dynamics to a sports sedan but in a more versatile package.
Borrowing style elements from the luxury automaker’s S-Class Coupe concept, the Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV sports a large upright grille with a prominent three-pointed-star logo, while a broad air intake spans the width of the lower front fascia. A pair of design lines along the sides help to emphasize the model’s high beltline, while a raked roofline smoothly flows into the fastback rear window. At night, the Concept Coupe SUV can make a clear statement with all-LED Multibeam front headlights and a wraparound tail lamp that stretches from one rear fender to the other. Meanwhile, all four of the vehicle’s bold 22-inch wheels are put in motion by 4MATIC all-wheel drive.
“The luxury-SUV market is expanding to meet the needs and desires of a wider range of buyers, and the real appeal of the Concept Coupe SUV is that it completely blurs the line between a crossover and the four-door coupe style that Mercedes-Benz has made popular,” said James Buckley, general manager of Smith Motor Sales, a Haverhill, MA Mercedes-Benz dealer. “The eventual production version will allow drivers to make a grander style statement than they could with a sports sedan while still gripping each turn tightly on the road.”
In addition to targeting upmarket buyers with its new X6-challenging model, Mercedes-Benz will also be courting first-time luxury shoppers when the new entry-level GLA-Class compact crossover SUV arrives at dealerships this fall. On sale initially as the all-wheel-drive 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4MATIC before the front-wheel-drive GLA250 joins it early next year, the GLA-Class will house a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, an impressive output that will be put to good use thanks to the model’s class-leading aerodynamics. Inside, the new Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class will offer standard in-car technology to appeal to younger buyers, including the mbrace2 infotainment system and active-safety systems like Collision Prevention Assist and Attention Assist.