Having since seen Mercedes GLA mules testing in winter climate, our spies have caught the pack with some odd company in the form of boxier vehicles. Judging from its proportions, this could well be the early development prototypes for the upcoming Mercedes GLB.
While the GLA emphasizes sleek streamlined styling on a crossover body, the GLB makes no minces about being a true SUV by sharing proportions with the venerable G-Wagen – even reaching the point of being called a ‘baby G-Class’ among the Mercedes Benz internal staff. Supposedly built as a 7-seater, the GLB will still ride on the same MFA2 architecture small-car platform as the GLA but with an extended wheelbase.
The longer wheelbase allows for having a longer rear door to give access to third row seating. As an early prototype details are scarce, but our spies have been lucky enough to see the test mules already sporting what appears to be their production headlights and taillights.
Considering they share platforms, the GLB will likely share the same interior features and powertrain options as the GLA. That means the car will probably come standard in front-wheel drive with a 4-matic AWD version for higher trim levels. As for engine options, Renault will supposedly be in charge of supplying three-cylinder engines for the entry-level models while Mercedes themselves will provide the four-cylinder for the high-end models.
Engine options from a 1.6L, 2.0L diesel, and even a twin-turbo four-cylinder for the GLB45 AMG models are being thrown around as speculation. As with most contemporary Mercedes models, a PHEV plug-in hybrid version may also appear as well.
With this vehicle in early development, we may likely see this commence production sometime late in 2019.