Witness two pervasive trends in the German auto industry especially: First, the proliferation of sport-utes and crossovers. Second, the blurring of traditional market segments with increasingly bizarre bodystyles. Mercedes-Benz, in particular, has been a pioneer of sorts in both, ballooning its SUV and crossover lineup to no fewer than five models, and kicking off the segment-busting craze with the CLS four-door coupe. Now, the two may come together in a new product, if emerging reports prove accurate.

According to the ever-churning rumormill, the marque of the Three-Pointed Star is currently developing a new model to be called the GLC – short-hand for Geländecoupé. Now before you protest that the long-serving Geländewagen (or G-Class for short) has already bred a two-door model, the GLC will share nothing with the inimitable off-roader. Instead it is tipped to be a crossover, with a sloping roofline like the BMW X6 but in a smaller package that may even be offered with two-wheel drive as standard. Sources expect the GLC to hit the road sometime around 2014, but as yet, there's no word yet on how Mazda feels about all this.

[Source: AutoZeitung via eMercedesBenz]