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It seems that for every BMW SUV that comes into the market, there always needs to be a Mercedes-Benz competitor to follow suit. The X5 and X3 and the M-Class (now GLE) and GLK-Class (new one coming soon, badged GLC) have been sparring for years; BMW has announced it will build the X7 to battle the leviathan GL (soon to be called GLS), while Mercedes has finally responded to the surprise success of the X6 with the GLE Coupe. Now, Stuttgart has previewed its rival to the X4 with the Mercedes-Benz Concept GLC Coupe.

Unveiled at Auto Shanghai today, the “SUV coupé” may feature the word “concept” in its name, but it certainly looks rather close to production readiness. The approach is almost formulaic; there’s a lot of the GLE Coupe in the large twin-blade grille, powerful haunches housing large 21-inch wheels, twin strakes along the flanks, low-slung roofline, curved rear windscreen and slim tail lights.

There are cues to differentiate the GLC Coupe from its bigger sibling, however – the triple-projector LED headlights are slimmer, there’s a new “A-wing” in the lower bumpers framing the skid plates at either end, and the quad tailpipes are stacked vertically a la Lexus IS F. The hidden door handles and stylish wing mirrors look fantastic, but unfortunately appear to be concept-only items.

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Measuring 4,727 mm long, two metres wide and 1,593 mm tall, the GLC Coupe is 56 mm longer, 31 mm lower and a massive 119 mm wider than the BMW X4. Its wheelbase is also 17 mm longer than its Munich rival. It’ll be a massive, massive car, this.

Powering the show car is a 3.0 litre direct-injected twin-turbo V6 lifted from the AMG Sport models (C 450 and GLE 450 Coupe), producing 367 PS at 5,500 rpm and 520 Nm from 1,400 to 4,000 rpm. The mill is mated to a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic and sends power to the ground through a 4Matic permanent all-wheel drive system.