by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

SPY - First sighting of a 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class (X 247) test prototype

There is no secret that, in the near future, Mercedes-Benz will expand its compact car portfolio with additional models. The MFA 2 front-driven platform, that will underpin the forthcoming generation of compact-sized vehicles wearing the Three-Pointed Star, will offer more versatility and greater dynamics, with at least three brand new models to be premiered, among which the A-Class Limousine, A-Class Cabriolet and the GLB compact SUV are worth mentioning. We channel our attention to the intensively rumored GLB-Class 4x4 model, which was recently photographed, for the first time, wearing the final production body. Up until now, engineers were testing the powertrain and other technical bits using a modified GLA (X 156) mule.

The future GLB will sit along the GLA in the compact lineup. Internally codenamed X 247, the new model will be more of an SUV than a crossover, compared to the X 156 series. Its exterior styling will be heavily inspired by the Ener-G-Force concept from 2012 (see HERE) and, of course, the updated G-Class (W 464) which is set to bow sometime this year, most likely in H2. The silhouette is expected to be boxy, with several curvy, widened body panels that will give the compact SUV its rugged looks.

If the future GLA is intended to become more of a lifestyle crossover, the GLB will have its own strong points: greater offroad capabilities thanks to the improved 4MATIC system, improved cabin and boot space, greater practicality and an iconic, highly distinctive design that is set to turn heads on the street. All in all, the X 247 can be definitely be called a mini G-Class. According to latest rumors, the overall length will not exceed 4.60 meters, the trunk will boast a loading volume of 500 litres and the interior will be organized as to offer room for up to 7 passengers.

Power will come from a lineup of new small-displacement petrol and diesel engines developed in partnership with Renault. High-end models could use the new M264 petrol engines which are arriving this year on the new E-Class. Expect a sporty Mercedes-AMG model to be offered for the GLB as well. The entry level model could be the GLB 180 d, which will be powered by a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder diesel unit and will be rated at 109 hp, or possibly, 120 hp. Other variants might include the GLB 180, GLB 200, GLB 220, GLB 200 d and GLB 220 d, which will mirror the GLA lineup. The range-topping model will most likely be the GLB 250 4MATIC, powered by the M264 engine and capable of around 220 hp. The all-wheel-drive 4MATIC platform will be standard on high-end models, but it will be offered as an option for the lower-end variants where the front-wheel-drive configuration will be the standard equipment.
Image Source: Motori Online

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