Mercedes-Benz already sells a GLA compact crossover SUV but for the automaker’s next generation of compacts we’ll see both a redesigned GLA plus a new GLB. A preview for the latter will arrive at this month’s Auto Shanghai 2019 in the form of a concept.
Mercedes has released a teaser sketch via social media showing the interior design of its GLB concept. Although the choice of materials and some of the features will likely skip the production model, the general layout should be what we see in showrooms.
Mercedes hasn’t said when the GLB will start sales but the vehicle is currently expected in showrooms later this year as a 2020 model. Production for North America will most likely take place at a plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where Mercedes is already building the related A-Class sedan.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Compared to the GLA, which is really more of a high-riding hatch than an SUV, the GLB will offer a taller ride height, more space, and a boxier, more rugged design. Sadly, it won’t be the mini G-Class we were all hoping for, judging by spy shots of prototypes.
Underpinning the GLB will be the same MFA2 front-wheel-drive platform found in the A-Class sedan. Also borrowed from the A-Class should be a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 188 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. A more powerful GLB35 from Mercedes-AMG is planned, and possibly a high-performance GLB45 as well. Plug-in hybrid and electric options are also likely in the pipeline, with the latter to also come with a unique body style and an EQB designation.
We’ll have more details soon as the Shanghai auto show starts April 16. To learn about other vehicles set to appear at the Chinese show, head to our dedicated hub.