Mercedes-Benz unveiled a prototype of what would become the GLA crossover at the Shanghai auto show six years ago. They’ve returned to to the event to unveil the Concept GLB.
The luxe ute sits somewhere in between the smaller GLA and larger GLC crossovers. With an aggressive posture highlighted by muscular proportions, a high-riding front end with multi-beam LED headlights, and off-road tires that hug two-tone 17-inch wheels, the Concept GLB looks more like a G-Wagen than either of is siblings.
Its powertrain is equipped with the same turbo-charged, 2.0-liter M260 inline-four endows other A-class vehicles with 224 horsepower, an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive.
Car and Driver suggests that another viable power plant might be AMG’s 302-hp hybrid version of the M260 engine. While that’s still no where near as powerful as the twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V8 that cranks out 577 hp in the 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63, it would be a less expensive alternative with plenty of guts.
The interior was presented with all of the luxury fans of the German marque have come to expect. The seats, fittings and door panels are lined in brown nappa and nubuk leather that matches the walnut trim elements on the dash and center console.
The widescreen cockpit, functions and displays are all controlled by the brand’s MBUX user interface, while tubular aluminum elements throughout give the cabin a tasteful amount of bling.
For the first time in a Mercedes-Benz compact model, the interior has stowable third-row seats that the company says can comfortably accommodate “medium occupants.”
The Mercedes-Benz GLB concept could arrive in its finished form as early as 2020, when prices will likely be announced.