Like the rest of its German counterparts, Mercedes-Benz seems bent on expanding its crossover SUV portfolio. The R-Class may be driving off into the sunset, along with the two-door Gelandewagen, but Mercedes still offers the M-Class, GLK, GL and G-Class models. The new baby GLA is on its way, but that won't be the last addition to the range.
Car and Driver reports having spoken with two unnamed "high-level executives" at the German automaker who confirmed longstanding rumors of a new Mercedes crossover to target the BMW X6. The model would be based closely on the ML (pictured above) and is expected to carry the largely same engine portfolio - potentially including an AMG version - with the vital difference of a sloping roofline. The rakish roof would make the vehicle more aesthetically appealing but less practical, to emphasize the "sport" and de-emphasize the "utility" elements of the formula.
The idea may seem a bit ill-conceived considering that other models in this expanding niche (like the aforementioned X6, the Acura ZDX and the Infiniti QX70) have, as we just recently reported, been selling in small numbers. But as Car and Driver's sources point out, the development costs for such a model would be relatively low, and crossovers can be marketed in regions around the world. Whether the project proves worthwhile remains to be seen, but one way or another, it looks to be going forward.