Later in the day, the Mercedes GLC will be revealed in an event in Germany, with European sales slated to commence this autumn, shortly after the Frankfurt Motor Show. Here are 5 things we know about Merc's latest Audi Q5 rival:
1. Uses the C-Class's underpinnings:
The Mercedes GLC, as its name signifies, is based on the new C Class's MRA (Mercedes Rear wheel drive Architecture) platform which promises increased weight savings and agility. As a result, the GLC too is expected with the hybrid aluminium body, wherein 48 percent of the body is made from this material.
2. Engines and variants:
According to reports, at the time of launch, the GLC will come only with four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. A GLC 250 with a 2.0-liter petrol unit, and GLC 220d and GLC 250d with the 2.2-liter diesel engine will be seen initially. Later on, Mercedes is expected to offer the compact SUV with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder petrol engine on the AMG Sport variant, and a plug-in hybrid GLC 350e variant.
3. Gets the new 9G-TRONIC gearbox:
European media who were invited for a ride experience of the new GLC report that Mercedes will offer their 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, and a 9-speed automatic transmission on the GLC. However, later in its lifecycle, an entry-level variant with rear-wheel drive and a manual gearbox is also expected to be introduced.
4. Features and 4WD system:
The interior of the GLC borrows plenty of parts from the new C Class. The free-standing COMAND infotainment system operated by the fingertip-controlled touchpad, the wood-grain trim for the center console, the chunky three-spoke multifunction steering, buttons made from aluminium for the HVAC and a panoramic roof are some of the features on offer.
The GLC will also get an off-road pack with the AIRMATIC air suspension system, which gives it an additional 30-50 mm of ground clearance for better maneuverability off-road.
5. Expected to launch in India next year:
The big news is that the GLC is indeed coming to India, as Mercedes-Benz India's CEO, Mr. Eberhard Kern confirmed to IAB in January 2013. In the Indian market, which prefers the SUV bodystyle, the GLC will be nicely positioned against the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5. With Mercedes having expanded its production facility in the country, the brand could also choose to assemble the GLC without any constraints.
Mercedes GLC Coupe Concept - Image Gallery