IAB Report - Mercedes commences testing 2015 M Class (facelift)

07/12/2013 - 12:38 | ,   | Anjan Ravi

Spies have photographed the first ever prototype of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz M Class facelift. The fully camouflaged test mule was spotted in the Arctic Circle, presumably where winter testing of the car will take place.

Mercedes M-Class ML 250 CDI at the Chakan plant
The third generation M Class went on sale globally in late 2011. This is the locally assembled M Class from its launch at the Chakan plant this year, and not the Arctic circle!

Now in its third generation, the new M Class was introduced globally in 2011. Since the model is over two years old now, Mercedes has started working on a refresh, which could be introduced later next year as a 2015 model.

In the styling department, Mercedes designers are likely to alter the headlights and grille, thus introducing the new family face (seen on the 2014 S Class) for the SUV. Inside, the center console is completely camouflaged, making us believe that Mercedes would introduce the new COMAND screen and fingertip-operated interface (which will first be seen on the new C Class).

2014 Mercedes E-Class 7G-Tronic Gearbox
The new ZF-developed 9G-Tronic 9-speed gearbox debuted on the E Class at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The entire engine lineup is expected to see upgraded efficiency and reduced carbon dioxide emissions, given that the EU has proposed new emission norms starting 2016. It is very likely for Mercedes to introduce the new 9-speed 9G-Tronic gearbox on this car as well. This ZF-developed gearbox is currently available only on the E350 BlueTEC sedan and estate.

The M Class is made at Mercedes' Tuscaloosa plant in Alabama, USA. The plant also ships CKD kits of the car to Mercedes plants in Pune, India and Bogor, Indonesia.

[Head to AutoEvolution to view the spy images]

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