These test drivers are definitely putting the Sport in SUV.

Mercedes-Benz recently debuted its Concept GLB crossover at Auto Shanghai in April, giving us a taste of how the production-spec GLB-Class will look. The automaker followed up that reveal with an announcement that the boxy, compact people mover would actually debut this summer, despite the Concept being brand new. It’s aimed at what’s arguably the most competitive automotive segment in the world right now, and Merc’s speed on getting this to market shows just how eager the automaker is to capture a larger piece of the SUV pie.

This 16-minute spy video further demonstrates the accelerated timeframe under which Mercedes engineers are working. Either that or the test drivers in these GLB prototypes are just out to have some fun blitzing the Nürburgring. Make no mistake – aside from a few moments outside the track, these rides are getting a very thorough workout at the Green Hell. Judging by the bellowed howling and incessant scrubbing of rubber through the corners, these tires aren’t merely being tortured but outright slayed.

Gallery: Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class Spy Screenshots

It’s possible some of these prototypes include the high-performance AMG-tuned variant that’s also forthcoming, but the standard-issue SUV is spied getting its groove on as well. There’s some athleticism built into it – the GLB uses the underpinnings from the new A-Class, though it will obviously offer a bit more ground clearance to go along with its crossover nature. The interior layout is expected to resemble the A-Class as well, save for an optional third row of seating to give the GLB-Class a seven-passenger capacity.

Power should come from a turbocharged four-cylinder driving just the front wheels in basic trim with all-wheel-drive optional. The AMG GLB 35 coming later will almost certainly wield a tuned-up version of that engine, possibly sharing the 302-hp mill from the AMG A35. An electric EQ model will also debut down the road, but before all of those models arrive we will see the standard GLB-Class revealed. And that should happen soon, because summer is just around the corner.

Source: Automotive Mike via YouTube