Make the whole family live a quarter-mile at a time.
The Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 is a strange attempt at making a people carrier faster, but the upgrade wasn't fast enough for tuning house Vath's, which came up with a new package promising more go and more stick.
We quite like it, even though it's aimed at a niche audience. It fits in with AMG's ethos of making everything faster, even though it's not a true AMG. Mercedes says its engine is "AMG-enhanced." Translated from marketing into English, it means it's not a true hand-built unit like other AMG products.
If you do want a fiercer GLB, more closely aligned with AMG's usual crazy antics, Vath Automobiltechnik just introduced a new tuning package for the GLB. Vath is like Brabus, but a little less famous. It tuned the previous-generation E63 AMG up to 750 horsepower and gave the 2016 C63 enough grunt to hit 199 mph.
The standard GLB 35 turbocharged 2.0-liter four already packs an impressive 302 hp and 295 lb-ft punch, which is enough to get the kids motion sick within a mile of the house. Vath's upgrades will allow you to reduce that zero to vomit time in less than it takes to go a quarter-mile, thanks to a new total of 390 hp and 369 lb-ft. To put this power output in perspective, it's almost the same as the famous E39 M5, which had a 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8.
The increase in power is mostly the result of an ECU tweak, though the transmission's software has also been updated to cope with the extra shove. A new air filter is also part of the package, as is a ribbed exhaust to improve the four-pot's soundtrack. Finally, the 155-mph speed limiter is removed, though Vath doesn't supply a new claimed top-speed figure. The press release only states that it is capable of more than the Mercedes-allowed 155 mph.
Power is nothing without control, which is why Vath includes its own height-adjustable coilover kit. It can drop this family SUV between 0.6 to 1.4 inches closer to the ground. To help the GLB 35 stand out, it's covered in a Bronze Canyon Satin hue. The three-part forged alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires complete the look.
Vath is not the first to develop a tuning kit for the GLB AMG. Rival Brabus introduced its GLB kit late in 2020, but it only produced 267 hp from the GLB 250 base engine.