This prototype doesn’t give much away about the MLK’s looks, but sources say it will differ from the boxy, traditional SUV styling of the new M-class.
Expect a far swoopier roofline, and a wide chunky look. The funky details will take today’s edgy lamps, huge wheelarches and hyperactive sheet metal and turn them up a notch.
This cut and shut saloon is a platform mule, testing the offroader’s chassis and four-wheel drive system. It gives clues to the wheelbase (around 2800mm) and ride height – not massively jacked up over a Benz estate. That’s because the MLK is a soft-roader, with very much an on-road bias.
The 4x4 shares components with the new-generation C-class, which lands in showrooms next year. Expect independent suspension all round, with air springs and a self-levelling function. The four-wheel drive system will be based on the 4Matic C-class, not currently sold in the UK.
The MLK will measure around the same length as an X3, but the five-seat interior will be more practical. The rear seats fold independently, and can be removed. A big boot will swallow 500 litres of luggage.
The engine line up follows the X3’s lead, with only the one four-cylinder – the 150bhp 2.2-litre diesel. The new 3.0-litre V6 common rail, with either 190bhp or 224bhp, will be offered.
Petrol power comes from the 231bhp 2.5-litre and the new direct injection CGI, the 292bhp 3.5-litre V6 unveiled at Geneva, will also figure.
The new MLK will be built at Mercedes’ plant in Bremen, Germany.
Five-door MLK gets crossover looks – part SUV, part sports car – with a swooping roofline.
This on-roader is spun off the new-generation C-class saloon, but gets four-wheel drive.
Expect fourpot and V6 diesel power. V6 petrol linked to 7G auto’ box. AMG’s new V8 should fit the engine bay.