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Mercedes’ X6-battling crossover, nicknamed the MLC, to be released in 2015

As automotive enthusiasts continue to scratch their heads in response the “SUV Coupe” trend, customers continue to buy them.

BMW sold over 5,500 of their X6 “Sports Activity Coupés” in 2013, which has sent other automakers into a SUV-squishing frenzy as they try and release competitive models.

Porsche is hot on BMW’s tail with a new five-door Cayenne Coupe, due out in 2018, but Mercedes was a little quicker on the draw. Left Lane News reports that its Concept Coupe SUV, which debuted at the Beijing Auto Show last month, will wear the ML Coupe badge and be released next year.

Riding on the M-Class platform, the ML Coupe (known as the C292 within Mercedes), will be nearly indistinguishable from the beefy, oddly-profiled concept shown in Beijing, but with more conventional taillights as well as slightly redesigned bumpers.

A camouflaged ML Coupe was recently spied test in Germany, and I think it’s fair to say that the ML Coupe is not a very pretty car. From its ridiculous oversized front grill, to the enormous 22-inch wheels, to the squashed, squinty rear end, the ML Coupe looks like it hasn’t really grown into its body yet. Although to be fair, the ML Coupe’s competitors aren’t exactly beauty queens either.

The entry-level ML Coupe will likely share engines with its M-Class siblings. That means a 3.4-liter V6 will around 300 horsepower for the base model, or a 4.3-liter twin-turbo V8 with over 400 hp if you’re the adventurous type. An AMG version is inevitable, and will likely have a larger, 5.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with 500 hp or more, but stay tuned as details continue to pour in.

The ML Coupe will be built at Mercedes’ Tuscaloosa, Alabama, plant, and, although we don’t have price conformation yet, we expect it to fall somewhere close to the BMW X6’s $60,000 price point. The ML Coupe is due the first half of 2015. 

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