Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class

BMW opened a whole Pandora's Box when it introduced the X6 back in 2008. Sure it made little sense, sacrificing all that "utility" for a little more "sport," but it's been a solid success for BMW – especially considering the nominal expense it cost to develop the X6 on top of the X5 on which it's based. Little wonder that, while BMW has already followed up with a smaller version in the form of the X4, other automakers are starting to catch up. And that includes Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUVThe German automaker is preparing to launch a new MLC, based on the M-Class but with a sportier silhouette, and previewed it with the Concept Coupe SUV at the Beijing Motor Show. But that's just the start, according to the latest report from Automotive News Europe.

Mercedes is reportedly considering spinning off an entire line of crossovers more for use on the road than off it. Which may go without saying for most crossovers on the market, but considering the Geländwagen with which Mercedes got its start in SUVs, would mean an even further departure than it has undertaken already.

Next in the pipeline could be a smaller coupe-style crossover based on the littlest member of the Benz SUV family, the GLA. The added model would likely be called GLC and give Mercedes another variant to spin off its new front-drive platform alongside the existing GLA, the CLA-Class four-door coupe and the European-market A-Class hatchback, not to mention the B-Class MPV.