A prototype of the Mercedes-Benz MLC has been spied for the first time, thus signaling an upcoming arrival of a proper BMW X6 competitor.

A prototype of the Mercedes-Benz MLC has been spied for the first time, thus signaling an upcoming arrival of a proper BMW X6 competitor.

It was only a few days ago when Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Concept Coupe SUV at the Beijing Motor Show in China and now the company has already started testing a production model derived from that concept which will have to confront the forthcoming second-generation BMW X6. Despite the heavy amount of camouflage this prototype is wearing we clearly can see the car's shape echoes its Bavarian rival.

The half crossover / half coupe MLC will probably ride on the M-Class' platform so expect just about the same engine lineup along with the concept's V6 3.0-liter twin-turbo delivering 333 PS (245 kW) and 480 Nm (354 lb-ft). There could also be a range-topping AMG version since BMW is already cooking up a second-gen X6 M.

The Mercedes-Benz MLC will likely be introduced early next year, possibly in January at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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Mercedes-Benz MLC makes spy photo debut