Is this the new GLK? While not an official shot, many seem to think so.

Well, we suppose MLK might have confused some people (and might have resulted in some lawsuits out of Atlanta). Mercedes has instead announced that its new compact CUV will officially be called the GLK. This new German-built crossover will debut in Europe late next year, with U.S. sales following in early 2009. M-B is said to favor marketing it as a compact SUV rather than a CUV, however, and apparently has butched it up. A boxy, but disguised prototype was shown to journalists recently who said it is much smaller and lower than a GL. The interior was uncovered and showed two-row seating, "white leather seats with black piping, black wood trim, the Mercedes COMAND-Plus single-knob controller for many electronically controlled functions, and a screen in the dash for a navigation system." The prototype was probably a high trim level, we guess. Guesses on pricing, however, put it under $40,000 to match the BMW X3's $38,775 starting price and fall far enough below the M-Class MSRP of $44,425. Predictions are that we'll see the GLK-Class debut in Detroit next January.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req.]