The three-pointed star is confident there's room in the lineup for yet another SUV.
If you made it through the whole Mercedes press conference yesterday, you already know Daimler’s board member responsible for the Mercedes brand made a major announcement. Towards the end of the conference, Britta Seeger talked briefly about the new GLB compact crossover, which we now know will be revealed in production form this summer. Wait, wasn’t the concept revealed just a few days ago at Auto Shanghai? Yes it was, but Mercedes is eager to introduce the SUV to the market and for this reason it’s wasting no time in launching the boxy vehicle.
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The Concept GLB isn’t actually on display at the New York Auto Show, but with the model shaping up to be quite important for Mercedes in the U.S., it makes sense the announcement was made in the Big Apple. Not only that, but Seeger also disclosed plans for a fully electric version scheduled to go on sale in 2021. Spotted undergoing testing a couple of weeks ago, the zero-emissions crossover will go by the name of EQB and will slot underneath the EQC currently on display in the Big Apple in a limited-run Edition 1886 guise.
Little else is known about the two crossovers, although it’s safe to assume the conventionally powered model will borrow most of the oily bits, technology, and interior cabin design from Mercedes’ other new compact cars. These include models such as the not-for-America A-Class hatchback and B-Class minivan, along with the first-ever A-Class Sedan and its fancier sibling, the CLA. The latter has already spawned a more practical CLA Shooting Brake, but the wagon sadly isn’t coming to the U.S.
As for its eco-friendly counterpart, spy shots have shown the EQB won’t stray away from the design of the ICE-powered model, but there should be some changes here and denote to denote it is electric and part of Mercedes’ new EQ sub-brand. Rumor has it the battery pack will have a capacity of at least 60 kWh, which should give it a maximum range between charges of 310 miles (500 kilometers) on the more realistic WLTP cycle introduced recently in Europe.
The promised summer reveal for the GLB means Mercedes will likely organize a dedicated event for the model in the following months instead of premiering the crossover at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.