Mercedes-Benz previews Concept GLB ahead of Shanghai debut

The long-rumored baby G is almost here.

The long-rumored Mercedes-Benz GLB will make its global debut as a concept car during the upcoming Shanghai auto show. The German company published a teaser image on its social media channels to give us an early look at the next addition to its ever-growing crossover line-up.

Like its name suggests, the GLB will fill the void that separates the GLA and the GLC. Rumors claim -- and spy shots confirm -- that its exterior design will borrow styling cues from the second-generation G-Class. Its front end will be relatively tall, upright, and boxy, and its silhouette won't be as swoopy as the GLC's.

Mercedes released a sketch of the interior to whet our appetite. The dashboard gains a single screen for the digital instrument cluster and the infotainment system, a layout found in a growing list of Mercedes models, and turbine-like air vents that look a lot like the ones in the G-Class, among other cars. Wood trim and aluminum accents add an upscale touch to the design.

The G-Class influence won't permeate beneath the sheet metal. The GLB will ride on the same modular platform as the GLA, the A-Class, and the CLA, among other models. That means a four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive will come standard, and all-wheel drive will be available at an extra cost. It's too early to tell whether AMG will get its hands on the GLB.

We expect the GLB will arrive as a close-to-production concept, meaning it will stand out from production model through minor details like bigger wheels. The toned-down model we'll see in showrooms will most likely make its debut this fall at the Frankfurt show, and it will arrive in showrooms for the 2020 model year.

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