SHANGHAI -- Mercedes-Benz, which is introducing four SUVs this year, is looking at bringing out an all-new compact coupe version as early as 2016 as buyers continue to favor the sporty models.
Almost 7 inches (18 centimeters) shorter than the mid-sized GLE coupe that's due to start sales in 2015, the "near-production" concept car with a low sloping back end would be pitted against the curvy BMW X4 SUV that went on sale last year.
The prototype, dubbed the GLC coupe, gives a "foretaste of future SUV models from Mercedes-Benz," Gorden Wagener, head of design at parent company Daimler AG, said in a statement for its unveiling Sunday at the Shanghai auto show.
Mercedes is rolling out four new or revamped SUVs this year in its effort to overtake BMW and Volkswagen's Audi division in worldwide luxury-car sales by the end of the decade.
The GLC is part of Mercedes's drive to add 11 models with no predecessor to the lineup. Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche in February declared 2015 to be "the year of the SUV" as demand jumps.