Mercedes-Benz is stripping camouflage from its hugely important new-generation GLC mid-size SUV ahead of the full reveal – expected later in 2022.
With the new C-Class not being offered in wagon or All Terrain crossover forms in Australia, the GLC will be required to plug this gap, and build on the current car’s success against the BMW X3 and Audi Q5.
While only the conventional SUV variant has been spied, we expect a GLC Coupe will also appear in the next-generation line-up as per the current one. Higher-performance AMG variants have also been previously spied.
It’s been a while since we last saw a next-generation Mercedes-Benz GLC prototype but our spy photographers were able to catch a glimpse of one seemingly without any camouflage at all.
The prototype was spied being loaded onto a truck outside Mercedes-Benz’s Stuttgart plant and its side profile can be partially seen.
The car’s painted silver and has a similar silhouette as previously spied prototypes. There are also large alloy wheels that are already available on the current-generation GLC.
At this stage there aren’t any other photos showing different angles but our spy photographers also snapped two other camouflaged GLC prototypes during their trip.
Both of these prototypes have charger port on the rear left wheel arch indicating they have plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain.
Just like the current-generation GLC, the next-generation will align closely with the redesigned C-Class in terms of interior and exterior design, powertrains and technology.
Changes include a new LED lighting signature as well as smoother body panels in line with the latest Mercedes-Benz design language.
Down back there are slim tail lights that appear to be heavily inspired by the C-Class.
At this stage we still haven’t got a proper look at the interior of the upcoming GLC yet.
Like the new C-Class, it could receive a free-standing digital instrument cluster measuring 12.3-inches, as well as a 11.9-inch portrait-oriented infotainment system that’s tilted towards the driver.
The new touchscreen will run the second-generation MBUX operating system, with slicker graphics, an available augmented reality navigation system, and over-the-air updates.
We also expect to see a restyled dashboard with more squared-off air vents, with those on the centre stack mounted higher.
Under the bonnet, we expect to see largely the same range of turbocharged, electrified four-cylinder engines as the C-Class.
The new C200 uses a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with a 48V mild-hybrid system, with total system outputs of 150kW of power and 300Nm of torque.
The C300 features a larger 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces 190kW and 400Nm.
The C350e, available in other markets, uses a detuned 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a 25.4kWh battery pack. It has a total system output of 230kW and 550Nm.
There are also a number of turbo-diesel powertrains available in other markets too.
All engines feature a nine-speed automatic transmission.
GLC43 and GLC63 AMG models are expected to follow, with the latter adopting a turbocharged plug-in hybrid four-cylinder powertrain.
The A45 AMG‘s M139 engine – re-engineered for longitudinal applications – can be combined with an electric motor developing up to 150kW/320Nm, though combined power and torque figures have yet to be released.
In 2021, Mercedes-Benz sold 3435 GLC wagon and 771 GLC coupe models, for a total of 4206 sales.
That put it slightly behind the BMW X3 (4242 sales). Throw in the 981 X4 sales and this widens the rift between BMW and Mercedes-Benz’s mid-size SUV line-ups. The GLC did outsell the Volvo XC60 (3688 sales), Audi Q5 (3604 sales), and Lexus NX (3091 sales) though.
Click an image to view the full gallery.