Cars

Mercedes-Benz GLB debuts as a Concept to bridge the gap

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The world can’t seem to get enough of SUVs, from real ones to wannabes, you’ll get ’em in all sizes. Mercedes thinks there’s still some space to fit one between the GLA and GLC, and that’s how the Concept GLB was born.

The GLB is not a wannabe. According to the company, the compact crossover is spacious, robust and a capable off-roader too. While it is still referred as a concept, the GLB looks almost ready for production. The designers have added some muscle to the vehicle with chrome underguard at the front with integral air inlets, squared-off wheel arch cladding, roof LEDs, roof rails, roof box, and 17-inch bicolor wheels shod with rough-treaded off-road tyres. The rear-end too looks equally muscular.

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Inside, the seats and door panels are partially lined in nappa and nubuk leather, with the predominant colour tone being Chestnut Brown. The wood trim elements on the dashboard and centre console are of open-pored walnut. Adding some necessary contrast are orange trim strips and brushed aluminum elements.

The walnut panels have a chiselled honeycomb pattern that fades out towards the edges. The pedals in the footwell feature decorative inserts in the same material within a high-gloss metal surround, with an identical honeycomb pattern. While the MBUX system and turbine air vents makes the cabin look the same, the usage of materials eliminates the Déjà vu.

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Powering the Concept GLB is a 2.0-litre M260 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 165 kW (224 hp) and a peak torque of 350 Nm. An 8-speed dual clutch automatic transmission sends power to the all four wheels via 4Matic variable AWD system.

Three maps are available to control the all-wheel drive clutch. In regular driving, the drive programme Eco/Comfort is based on an 80:20 distribution (front axle : rear axle), while in Sport it is 70:30. In Off-Road mode, the all-wheel drive clutch acts as an inter-axle differential lock, with a balanced 50:50 distribution, the company said.

“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.

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“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,” added Seeger.

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