New details have surfaced on the rumored Mercedes-Benz GLB, which will slot below the GLC in the automaker’s crossover lineup and serve as a rival to the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.
The new compact crossover will draw heavily from the Mercedes Ener-G-Force concept the automaker showed at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, giving it the appearance of a baby G-Class. It’s also said to pull some of its more modern styling cues from the 2014 Mercedes Vision G-Code concept.
The GLB will ride on an updated version of Mercedes’ MFA platform currently employed in the A-Class, B-Class, CLA and GLA. The new architecture will offer more flexibility in regards to vehicle production and will also be lighter than the version employed in the automaker’s current line of compacts. Similar to the Q3, the GLB will be offered in short- and long-wheelbase form, with the latter aimed at markets such as the U.S. and China.
Thankfully the GLB won’t follow in the archaic G-Class’ footsteps in regards to cabin styling. The interior of the new compact crossover will be a familiar place to anyone who has travelled in a CLA or GLA, utilizing Mercedes’ new Comand 6.0 touchscreen and a similar dashboard and center console layout.
Under the hood will be a range of updated gas and diesel four-cylinder engines. The entry-level gas engine is rumored to produce around 160 horsepower, with the AMG variant making up to or above 300 horsepower. Mercedes has also planned a gas-powered plug-in hybrid that will be able to operate in zero emissions mode for a brief period of time.
The Mercedes-Benz GLB will go on sale sometime in 2019, presumably following a late-2018 or early-2019 debut.