The GLB will be based on the same platform as the upcoming Mercedes A-Class sedan and the next-generation B-Class
We had earlier reported that Mercedes-Benz is testing a new SUV, that could be the GLB, when a heavily camouflaged prototype was spied sometime back. Another new SUV, which should be the GLB only, has now been spotted with a clear exterior design. If it’s the GLB, then these images confirm that its exterior will be inspired by the GLS, which gets a near-horizontal conventional roof.
The compact crossover SUV in the pictures is not camouflaged but seems to be waiting for a paint job. The pictures have been clicked from quite a distance but the details are still comprehensive. Its front quarter panel shows resemblance to the bigger GLS. It won’t be as big as the latter, obviously, but a shrunken version, for sure.
It will be based upon the reworked version of the existing MFA (Modular Front Drive) platform which underpins the new-gen A-Class introduced at the Geneva Motor Show. Christened the MFA2, this new structure helps reduce weight and accommodates multiple drivetrains instead of the front-wheel-only setup possible on the previous version.
An extended version of this platform is expected to be used for the GLB as well as the upcoming B-Class and the A-Class sedan. The GLB might be offered as a plug-in hybrid as well apart from the conventional petrol and diesel engines. Related: Mercedes-Benz GLB SUV Spied For The First Time
The advantages of the MFA2 platform will also extend to the interface of the UI system. Called Mercedes Benz User Experience, it will have an advanced digital interface for the infotainment unit and the instrument cluster. It could be similar to the one seen on the recently showcased A-Class hatchback since both share the same platform. The A-Class gets a 7-inch display as standard whereas the higher variants upgrade to a 10.25-inch unit. Move further up and it gets the 10.25-inch display for the instrument console as well. Related: 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class: All You Need To Know
The GLB is expected to be introduced internationally by early 2019 so expect the production to start by the end of this year. Mercedes plans to produce it in Mexico, Europe and China initially. If it does come to India, expect it not to make it here before the middle of 2019.
As we earlier said, the German carmaker is expected to slot the GLB between the GLA and GLC, which makes sense given the labels. The GLA currently retails between Rs 31.72 lakh to Rs 38.03 lakh while the GLC costs between Rs 48.12 lakh to Rs 77.42 lakh (ex-showroom). Going by the pricing, the GLB is most likely to command a price tag in the range of Rs 40 lakh to Rs 50 lakh in India. Its possible rivals could be the upcoming BMW X2 and the Volvo XC40.
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