Mercedes-Benz designers and engineers asked the question few others had uttered and made it into a concept car: Is there room for a vehicle between the GLA and GLC? Of course there is! A whole letter’s worth thus the GLB Concept was born!
The German automaker took its coupe-like SUV or SUV-like coupe to Auto Shanghai to show off the result: a further evolution of Mercedes’ trend of utility vehicles with lower roofs aimed at giving the vehicle a more car-like feel.
“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,” says Britta Seeger, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales.
Customers seem to enjoy the small SUVs from Mercedes and their distinctive appearance. To date, more than 6 million customers worldwide have purchased a Mercedes-Benz SUV. In 2018, with more than 820,000 units sold, the SUVs were the strongest segment for Mercedes-Benz.
(Mercedes-Benz teases Concept GLB ahead of Shanghai show. Click Here for the story.)
Mercedes officials want folks to know that the GLB is all ute, meaning its tough and rugged with plenty of off-road capability despite its somewhat car-like exterior.
“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,” Seeger noted.
The concept’s exterior is designed to inspire confidence in its capabilities. At the front and rear, two shrouds emerge from the roof frame and accommodate LED spotlights acting as ambient lighting and orientation aids when driving off-road. The black roof rails end in a curve at the front and rear. A roof box is mounted on the rear area. The aggressive-tread off-road tires are on robust 17-inch wheels in a two-color design.
(Click Here to learn how Mercedes is leading in U.S. luxury car sales.)
The Concept GLB is powered by the M260 four-cylinder gas engine combined with an 8-speed-DCT dual clutch transmission, with a maximum output of 224 horsepower and peak torque of 258 pound-feet. The engine block of diecast aluminum with cast iron cylinder liners has CONICSHAPE technology, which is also known in-house as “trumpet-honing,” which improves fuel efficiency.
Looking good outside is means little if the inside doesn’t meet the stringent standards of Mercedes owners. The showcar reveals special leather features and trim elements. Additionally, the GLB gets a new first for a Mercedes compact – a third row seat.
The ute also gets two additional single seats that can be recess-flushed into the load compartment floor to increase load capacity. These seats are far more than emergency seats, the company notes, offering comfortable seating for two medium-sized occupants.
(To get an early look at Mercedes-Benz new GLC coupe, Click Here.)
The backrest of the middle seat row is 40:20:40 split-folding, and can be folded down to create a level load surface. The seat surfaces have a 40:60 division, and the second row is adjustable by 5.5 inches, including by 3.5 in to the front, meaning plenty of room for occupants or stuff. A total of four child seats can be attached in the second and third seat rows.