New Mercedes GLC Coming Soon To Battle The BMW X3

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Major camouflage has been shed.

Mercedes-Benz has entered the final testing phases of its second-generation GLC SUV. The current model dates back to the 2016 model year and was refreshed for 2019. The mid-life update will no longer be able to stay afloat as competition from its BMW and Audi rivals is stronger than ever. One key new player to the luxury compact crossover segment is the Genesis GV70 but Mercedes probably isn't concerned.

Details regarding specific features are obviously being kept under wraps, but what's peeling away today is the test mule's camouflage. For the first time, we can now see the production model's lights and general styling details instead of the previously heavily disguised tester.

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It appears the new model is slightly bigger but the overall shape won't be drastically different. One new styling element we can see is that the side mirrors have moved from the A-pillars to the doors. Sources also indicate a three-row option is a possibility given that the smaller GLB has a seven-seat option.

The new GLC will share a platform with the latest C-Class Sedan which means it'll receive the same engine options that consist of mild hybrid gasoline and diesels. The latter, obviously, are not coming to the US. A plug-in hybrid will arrive further into the GLC's lifecycle, as will new AMG high-performance versions.

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All engine options (for non AMGs) will be four-cylinders of varying power levels and a nine-speed automatic transmission will be standard across the board. The GLC-Class is not only limited to the traditional SUV body style but also the coupe variant. The prototype shown here is the former but a second-gen coupe is forthcoming. Mercedes won't let the BMW X4 off that easy.

The interior will also borrow a lot from the C-Class and that's certainly not a bad thing. Expect for there to be a few relatively minor changes. A full debut is expected to happen sometime next year, or perhaps as early as this September at the Munich Motor Show.

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