Mercedes builds an AMG G-Class, so why not also give the “baby G-Class” the AMG treatment?
If seeing models like the S-Class, SLC, and AMG SL 63 get axed from Mercedes’ lineup has left you wondering what the automaker is clearing up space for, then here’s your answer: more SUVs. Hot on the heels of Mercedes’ announcement of the new GLE 580, which will come loaded with the company’s award-winning twin-turbo V8, are spy shots of the upcoming and yet-to-be-revealed GLB.
After the release of the GLB Concept at the 2019 Shanghai auto show and reports that the GLB will break cover this summer, our spy photographers caught it undergoing hot weather testing in Europe and got a glimpse at how far along in the development process the mini SUV is.
The GLB is an interesting vehicle for Mercedes because it finds a niche in the SUV market that somehow hasn’t been exploited yet. While most small SUVs look sleek and sporty, Mercedes is building the GLB with more muscular and rugged dimensions, which are usually reserved for range-toppers like the G-Class. Despite this, the GLB will still be small, riding on the same compact car platform that underpins the Mercedes A-Class.
One good reason these spy shots aren’t a good indicator of how close the GLB is to production is the fact that the GLB will share powertrain and trim options with the A-Class, making this particular test mule the AMG GLB 45 that will be released after the base GLB 35 is out. That means the GLB 35 likely looks even more ready for the production line than this AMG GLB 45
The biggest clue that this is an AMG test subject and not just a normal Mercedes is the signature Panamericana grille up front. It’s complemented by sportier front and rear bumpers with the latter boasting a diffuser, a lower ride height that likely alludes to a stiffer, sportier suspension, drilled high-performance brakes, a sports exhaust, and what looks like an aerodynamic flap on the rear wing.
Like the AMG A 45, the AMG GLB 45 will pack a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that makes either 383 horsepower or 416 horsepower depending on whether it’s the regular GLB 45 or the GLB 45 S version. We’re almost certain the GLB 35 will debut by the end of this summer, so expect the AMG GLB 45 to hit the reveal stage not long after that.