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Mercedes GLB Concept Is The Rugged Off-Roader You'll Want

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The production 2020 Mercedes GLB is expected to break cover this summer.

After several teasers, Mercedes has lifted the wraps off the GLB Concept off-roader just before its debut at the Shanghai Auto Show this week. Mercedes says the GLB "shows what SUV ideas on the company's compact car platform might also be realized alongside the GLA as a sporty all-rounder," with an "emphasis on spaciousness and robustness." Measuring 182 inches long, 74.4 inches wide, and 74.8 inches high, the Mercedes GLB Concept has space for up to seven occupants thanks to its 111-inch long wheelbase.

"We asked ourselves whether there is still space between the GLA and GLC in our successful SUV range. The Concept GLB is the answer to this question. With it we are demonstrating the creative ideas we have for this segment, too", said Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales. "The Concept GLB is a durable and practical SUV with nonetheless compact dimensions. Whether it is a generous, seven-seater family vehicle or a versatile leisure time companion: we are certain that this concept will be of great interest to our customers."

The compact SUV's exterior looks extremely rugged, thanks to its muscular proportions, short overhangs, and clear contours. This is further highlighted by the body's protective cladding, roof rails, BF Goodrich off-road tires wrapped in two-tone 17-inch alloys, and roof-mounted LED spotlights.

Inside, the dashboard looks a lot like the GLA's, adopting a familiar dual-screen setup with the company's advanced MBUX infotainment system. Being a show car, all interior surfaces are covered by special nappa and nubuk leather in chesnut brown, with orange trim detailing and walnut panels.

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The third row of seats can be recessed into the luggage compartment to create more cargo space when not used. Mercedes says these seats rear seats aren't just for emergency trips, as there's comfortable seating for two medium-sized occupants. The second seat row is adjustable by 5.5 inches – 3.5 inches to the front to increase luggage space or legroom for occupants in the rear, and by 1.9 inches to the rear.

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter gasoline engine producing 224 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. Power is sent to all four wheels via the automaker's 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, which can lock its torque-split 50:50 between the axles with the Off-Road mode enabled. While it may be a concept for now, the rugged off-roader previews the upcoming production 2020 Mercedes GLB slotting between the GLA and GLC, which is expected to break cover this summer.