The Mercedes Concept GLB arrives at the Shanghai Motor Show as a bit of a baby G-Wagen, bringing traditional off-road looks to a small Mercedes SUV.
With exception of SUVs like the Mercedes G-Wagen, Jeep Renegade, Suzuki Jimny and the not yet arrived new Land Rover Defender, SUVs have become slicker and sharper, more like hatches of varying size on stilts than a rugged machine that looks like it could actually tackle a ditch or three.
But Mercedes now plans to join the ‘Rugged’ SUV fray with another model – one normal folk can actually contemplate being able to afford – and it’s previewed by the Mercedes Concept GLB, revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show.
Try and look at the boxy shape rather than the concept fripperies – like the roof box, spot lights and chunky off-road wheels and tyres – and you’ll be able to see the production Mercedes GLB we expect to arrive at the Paris Motor Show in the autumn.
Under the skin is the Mercedes’ A Class Platform, and inside it’s going to be another Mercedes A or B Class interior – not that that’s a problem – and it will feature three rows of seats, which is no mean feat in a car aimed to sit in between the GLA and GLC.
Under the bonnet of the Concept GLB sits a 2.0 litre turbo with 221bhp with power going to all four wheels through an eight-speed DCT ‘box. Expect the production version to have the choice of more petrol engines and a diesel, FWD options too, probably, and an electric EQB version at some point. Oh, and there’s bound to be a Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 in the mix.
With a reveal in production guise at the Paris Motor Show in the autumn likely, the GLB should be on sale later this year. Expect it to start the wrong side of £30k.