2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class – Click above for high-res image gallery

You might think that the BMW X6 is about as useful as the proverbial screen door on a submarine, what with its high-riding, back-breakingly stiff suspension and sloping roofline that all but eliminates any use of the cargo area or rear seats. But that doesn't seemed to have deterred customers from buying them. Nor has it stopped rivals from copying the format.

Acura was first to follow BMW's lead with the ZDX. Audi is said to be working on a Q6 to fit the same mold. And now Mercedes-Benz is reportedly following suit with its own slope-roofed crossover.

Dubbed the GLS, the crossover would be based on the M-Class, but ditch its five-seat configuration in favor of a four-seat cabin under a slanted roofline. Styling would be akin to the CLS, but riding higher, while engines would likely include V6, V8 and hybrid models, with an twin-turbo V8 AMG model at the top of the range.

This isn't the first time such reports have surfaced. Around this time last year a similar GLC program was said to be in the cards. However the latest reports suggest the GLS could arrive as early as 2014, with production slated for the Tuscalosa, Alabama, plant where the M-Class is currently built.

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