Mercedes-Benz Reportedly Confirms BMW X6 Rival

Mercedes-Benz Reportedly Confirms BMW X6 Rival



We heard Mercedes-Benz was planning a rival for the BMW X6 a while ago, but now it looks like it’s more than just a rumor. Two high-level Mercedes executives confirmed the brand's plans to launch a competitor to the sporty Bavarian crossover toCar&Driver magazine.
Mercedes’ model will likely be called the MLC and will be based on the M-Class architecture – just like the X6 sits on the X5 platform. While the design of the MLC will be sleeker than the ML's (pictured below), running gear is expected to be virtually the same.
The crossover will probably be available with a choice of six- and eight-cylinder gasoline engines in the U.S., plus a range-topping AMG model. Europe will obviously get diesel models as well.
One of the unnamed sources said the business case for the MLC is simple: the BMW X6 proved that there is demand for such a vehicle, engineering work and costs are low, and the profit margins will be high. Furthermore, this type of crossover can appeal to customers in all major markets, including the U.S., Europe, Russia and China.
However, the report argues that this segment is not big enough - at least in the U.S., where the BMW X6 is outsold by every other BMW model except the Z4 roadster. This is why C&Dforecasts the big Mercedes-Benz crossover won’t sell more than 5,000 units a year in the United States. That depends on many factors though, with pricing being one of the most important.
I tend to agree that Mercedes-Benz could roll out much more interesting models than the MLC that would be both cheap to make and successful. The CLA Shooting Brake and the 3-door A-Class hatchback would be my top choices.
By Dan Mihalascu

PHOTO GALLERY

2012-Mercedes-ML-12012-Mercedes-ML-22012-Mercedes-ML-32012-Mercedes-ML-42012-Mercedes-ML-5BMW-X6_3BMW-Special0Editions-5[8]BMW-X6-M-Design-Edition-3[3]

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