Mercedes is anticipated to be preparing a new GLB crossover to slot in the narrow space between the existing GLA and GLC lines. Just how the German automaker planned on differentiating and justifying the model has remained a mystery, but the latest reports seem to have at least a possible (even probable) answer.
Autocar projects that the GLB will be positioned as something of a mini G-Wagen, adopting a more upright and rugged style than the incrementally smaller GLA and larger GLC. That would make the GLB a smaller counterpart to the G-Class as opposed to another increment in a cookie-cutter lineup of car-like crossovers, not unlike the way that the CLA is geared as a mini-CLS.
Styling aside, at about 181 inches long, it would fit size-wise in between the GLA (174”) and the GLC (183”). A longer version is also mooted for markets like the United States and China, packing an extra row of seats for seven-passenger accommodation. An off-road package would further emphasize its rugged approach.
A range of gasoline and diesel four-cylinder engines (produced either by Mercedes or the Renault-Nissan Alliance) would likely feature, with a plug-in hybrid and 300-horsepower AMG version potentially to join later on.
The GLB is expected to join a lineup of eight compact model Mercedes has in the works. Alongside it the A-Class, B-Class, GLA, CLA, and CLA Shooting Brake, we’re expecting to see a new A-Class sedan revealed in concept form next month in Shanghai. The final member of the family remains a question mark, but we could be looking at a two-door coupe to rival the Audi TT or the on-again, off-again prospect of an SLA roadster to slot below the SLK/SLC.