As consumer requirements are getting more and more sophisticated, vehicle manufacturers try to meet them by inventing new breeds of automobiles. Mercedes -Benz has recently transformed itself into a real trendsetter by launching into the battle for the first time a large crossover (R-Class) and a full-size four-door coupe (CLS-Class). But, for the near future, the trend setter gets to follow the trend imposed by its most important rival, and develop an equivalent model for the BMW X3, premium compact SUV. Due to launch in 2008, the latest vehicle to wear the Mercedes star is expected to be called the MLK-Class.
Mercedes will unveil its new compact SUV at the Geneva Motor Show next March, in the same time as the production version of Audi Q5. The 2008 MLK will feature a large grille, smart squared-off headlamps, rectangular exhaust tips, a small roof spoiler and a large vertical tailgate which opens down to the rear bumper. The newcomer shares its four-wheel-drive platform with the C-Class 4-Matic Estate. However, the SUV will be tuned for on-road handling rather than dedicated mud-plugging. The (...)