We have the first photos of the 2012 Mercedes ML, a year before its launch. Expect quality improvement, a 4-pot ML250 and a hybrid ML300.
The imminent demise of the big SUV has been predicted by the hair-shirt-wearing, green halo brigade for years, but cars like the new 2012 Mercedes ML are like every successful creation – they evolve to survive.
So the news that’s come with the first photos of the 2012 ML that we will see the big Mercedes SUV sporting a lowly four-pot is much less of a shock than it would have been a few years ago.
But it’s much less of a shock because four-pot turbos have evolved to give us more than a six-pot would have done just a few years before, which makes a 4-pot in a Mercedes ML almost appealing.
The engine in the 2012 ML250 Bluetec will be a twin-turbo 2.1 litre with 201bhp and 396lb/ft of torque. Coupled to seven-speed auto ‘box and coming with stop-start and brake recuperation, the chunky SUV will turn in average fuel consumption of 47mpg.
Other models on offer will include the ML350 Bluetec with a 254bhp diesel, the barking mad ML63 with the new 5.5 litre twin turbo in place of the current 6.3 litre, and a diesel hybrid – the ML300 – which will get a 20bhp electric motor bolted on to the ML250′s engine.
Styling has been brought up to date, although its more evolutionary than revolutionary. The ML gets bigger and lower, although the wheelbase stays the same so we’re assuming no extra room will be found in what are the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee underpinnings.
The interior of the 2012 ML is all new and looks to have stepped up a notch or two on the quality front, which won’t harm sales one jot.
No word on prices, but with a year to go before the 2012 ML launches that’s no surprise.
2012 Mercedes ML Photo Gallery
(44 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)