Mercedes-Benz has an interesting range of cars on display at the Shanghai Auto Show 2019. One of the main attractions is the Mercedes-Benz GLB Concept, a sporty off-roader, built on the company’s compact car platform. As the name suggests, the GLB is intended to slot between the entry-level GLA and the recently revised GLC.
The GLB Concept is described as ‘spacious and robust’. It has enough space for 7 occupants due to its long wheelbase. The concept incorporates a permanent roof box, providing additional space for equipment. Short overhangs at the front an rear mean that the GLB should perform admirably offroad too. The protective cladding should protect vital elements.
The front fascia is typical Mercedes-Benz. It incorporates multibeam LED headlights and chunky, curving design elements. Two creases create a power dome on the front bonnet and LED strip lights on the roof give the concept a rugged feel.
The Mercedes-Benz GLB Concept uses a designo cashmere white mango paint with high gloss accenting parts. Discreet orange highlights in the radiator grille and elsewhere, give an interesting contrast.
Inside, the third row of seating can be recessed flush into the load compartment floor to increase load capacity. As with most seven-seaters, the backrest of the middle seat row is 40:20:40 split-folding. The seats, fittings and door panels are partially lined in nappa and nubuk leather, the predominant colour tone is chestnut brown. There are orange trim strips and seams in a few places. The wood trim elements on the dashboard and centre console are open-pored walnut.
The basic architecture of the dashboard has the feel of the B-Class, with a widescreen cockpit facing the driver and the functions and
displays controlled via the Mercedes-Benz User Experience – MBUX.
Under the bonnet sits a four-cylinder petrol engine with 224 hp and 350 Nm of torque. Power is routed through an 8G-DCT dual clutch transmission. The engine contains some unique features, an engine block of diecast aluminium with cast iron cylinder liners, a cylinder bore which is widened at the lower end of the cylinder liners and Camtronic, a variable valve timing system that allows two-stage adjustment of the valve lift on the intake side of the valve assembly.
The press release reveals the level of success Mercedes-Benz has experienced with the SUV market. To date, the German company have sold more than 6 million with 820,000 SUV’s in 2018 alone. There is no word on whether Mercedes-Benz plans to put the GLB into production.