Mercedes-Benz adds passion to SUV range with Concept Coupe SUV

The Concept Coupe SUV, being shown at the Beijing auto show, heralds a needed injection of style for the Mercedes-Benz SUV line.

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupé SUV
Mercedes-Benz debuts the design study Concept Coupe SUV at the Beijing auto show. Mercedes-Benz

Up until now, Mercedes-Benz SUVs have emphasized utility more than sport. Models such as the GLK and ML show little stylistic cohesion. But Mercedes-Benz seems determined to shake up its stodgy SUVs, unveiling the Concept Coupe SUV at the Beijing auto show.

This new design study, mixing coupe and SUV styling, heralds a potential new set of vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. The GLA-Class, coming into production this year, is already testing the ground with a small-format, stylish compact SUV. And Mercedes-Benz can look to the reasonable success of BMW's X6, which the Concept Coupe SUV most resembles, for sales potential.

The dramatically raked roof of the concept, fading back into a rear hatch, calls out the coupe elements of the vehicle. At the same time, its beltline sits high, leading out to broad fenders front and back. For the concept, Mercedes-Benz uses 21-inch wheels with wide, low-profile 305/45 R22 tires.

In a press release, Mercedes-Benz notes how the rear of the Concept Coupe SUV echoes that of the new S-Class Coupe. The company says this styling will become a common element on all its coupe models. The grille, with its single louver and rectangular insets, is similar to the company's most recent models.

As a high-tech feature, Mercedes-Benz specifies LED headlights, and notes that the turn signals light up in sequence from inside to out, indicating turn direction.

At almost 16.5 feet long, the Concept Coupe SUV would be one of Mercedes-Benz's larger vehicles, similar in size to the E-Class. Although Mercedes-Benz has so far made no mention of engines, it would likely come with a choice of 3.5-liter V-6, twin-turbo 4.2-liter V-8, or possibly a smaller diesel.

All-wheel drive is part of the drivetrain formula, and Mercedes-Benz notes that it would have four drive settings affecting the transmission, more than the two available in most new Mercedes-Benz models.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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