Mercedes-Benz debuts Concept GLB in Shanghai

The GLB is expected to go on sale this year.

Mercedes-Benz has lifted the veil on its Concept GLB at the Shanghai auto show. As its name implies, the GLB is a compact utility vehicle that slots between the GLA and GLC.

The Concept GLB is intended to be a more rugged alternative to the typical small SUV. The GLB has chunky proportions and an upright stance. It's not quite on the same level as the Mercedes G-Class, but the Concept GLB looks more off-road ready than the sleekly styled GLA.

Exterior highlights include fender flares, body cladding, 17-inch wheels wrapped in off-road rubber, a roof box and integrated roof-mounted LED lights.

Inside the GLB sports an interior layout similar to that of the new A-Class sedan. Amazingly, Mercedes was able to fit three rows of seating inside the GLB, even though, at 182 inches in length, the GLB is only 2-inches longer than a Honda CR-V.

The Concept GLB is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 224 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed dual clutch automatic sends power to all four wheels via Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system.

"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.

Mercedes has not officially give the Concept GLB the production green light, but the automaker strongly hinted that a road-going version of the show car will go on sale later this year. It remains to be seen if the GLB will be sold in the United States.

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