Is there room in the lineup for yet another SUV? Ask just about any automaker out there and the answer you’ll receive will be a resounding “yes.” Mercedes with its (takes deep breath) GLA, GLC, GLC Coupe, GLE, GLE Coupe, GLS, as well as the legendary G and the electric EQ is about to add another one to its already comprehensive lineup. The GLB as it has been baptized will be revealed in full this summer ahead of going on sale before the year’s end, including in the United States.
With a reveal fast-approaching, Mercedes was kind enough to take off some of the swirly disguise and allow us to see more of the production metal. The vehicle’s exterior design is not exactly top secret taking into account the GLB was previewed by a namesake concept a little over a month ago at Auto Shanghai. Featuring a boxy shape reminiscent of the old GLK, the new arrival will represent somewhat of a departure from Mercedes’ usually curvy SUVs – with the obvious exception of the timeless G.
Set to be manufactured in Mexico and in China, the new GLB will be available in five- and seat-seven configurations as well as AMG 35 and 45 performance variants. There might even be an off-road version or package with a lifted suspension setup, extra plastic body cladding, and other similar updates, but Mercedes hasn’t made up its mind just yet.
The latest prototype spotted patiently waiting at a red light in a German intersection confirms the production model won’t stray away too far from the concept. While we can’t see what’s going on inside the cabin, the Concept GLB exhibited an oh-so-familiar look heavily inspired by other new-era compact cars from Mercedes.
Just about everything will be inherited from the latest A-Class-based models, while the base price in the U.S. should slot between that of the entry-level GLA ($33,950) and the larger GLC ($40,700). Following its summer reveal, expect the GLB to show up in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show for its European debut and in the second half of November in Los Angeles for its U.S. premiere. A pure electric EQB will follow in 2021.
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