Mercedes-Benz targets Audi Q3 with rugged GLB idea

The GLB is the eighth mannequin to be constructed on the MFA platform G-Class impressed compact SUV to supply 5 and seven-seat choices in manufacturing type Mercedes-Benz has previewed a brand new G-Class-inspired rugged compact SUV on the Shanghai motor present with its Idea GLB.  Scheduled to enter manufacturing later this 12 months, with 5 or seven seats, the GLB encompasses a boxy off-road design and variable four-wheel drive that Mercedes hopes will mix to provide the automotive some Land Rover Defender-style cachet as one in all its extra distinctive fashions. The GLB will function a rugged rival to the Land Rover Discovery Sport, BMW X1 and Audi Q3.  In addition to being provided with petrol and diesel engines, by 2021 the GLB might be obtainable as an electrical variant, dubbed the EQB.  The brand new SUV is described by Mercedes as providing class-leading ranges of versatility, and might be positioned between the upcoming second-generation GLA and the not too long ago facelifted GLC. The GLB follows the A-Class hatchback and saloon, China-only long-wheelbase A-Class Saloon, B-Class, CLA, CLA Taking pictures Brake and GLA because the eighth mannequin to be based mostly on the agency’s MFA structure.  “We requested ourselves whether or not there may be area between the GLA and GLC,” mentioned Britta Seeger, Mercedes-Benz board member liable for gross sales. “The GLB is the reply to this query: a sturdy and sensible SUV with nonetheless compact dimensions.”  The Shanghai idea is alleged to supply an in depth preview of the manufacturing model of the GLB, though quite a few styling components have been added to the outside in a bid to supply it with a extra rugged and upmarket look than that of its forthcoming showroom sibling. Among the many idea automotive thrives are widened wheel-arch cladding, reworked sills, further lights integrated into its glass roof and a cargo field nestled inside its roof bars.  At 4634mm in size and 1890mm in width, the idea is a substantial 149mm longer and 34mm wider than the Q3. The wheelbase is 2829mm – some 100mm longer than that utilized by the A-Class hatchback.  The Idea GLB receives an expensive inside swathed in a mixture of nappa and nubuck leathers, walnut trim and components milled from stable aluminium. Predictably, the manufacturing model of the brand new SUV might be much less opulent, though the essential format will stay unchanged.  “As with the outside, we’ve taken some liberty with the idea to supply a extra luxurious really feel,” mentioned Mercedes-Benz inside design boss Hartmut Sinkwitz. “However it's based mostly on the manufacturing model of the GLB.”  The dashboard options the identical configurable digital devices and infotainment panel as discovered within the GLB’s platform-sharing relations. The GLB additionally encompasses a uniquely styled centre console between the 2 entrance seats. With the gearlever mounted on the steering column, the console accommodates a touchpad and a big oddment bin housing a pair of cupholders.  In a transfer it claims will see it enchantment to household automotive patrons who might have in any other case opted for an MPV, Mercedes-Benz has developed the GLB with each a regular five-seat and non-compulsory seven-seat format.  Within the idea, the second row of seats might be slid by 140mm to unencumber leg room for occupants sitting within the third row. The backrests of the second row of seats additionally supply eight-stage inclination. They cut up in a 40:20:40 configuration and might be folded all the way down to create a stage load bay, with the third row sitting flush to the ground.  To ease entry to the third seat row, the outer seats inside the second row obtain a so-called easy-entry perform, which permits the backrest to fold down and all the seat to be pushed ahead. As much as 4 baby seats might be accommodated within the second and third rows.  Hinting on the prime engine deliberate to be provided in the usual GLB line-up, the Idea GLB receives a turbocharged M264 2.Zero-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. The transversely mounted unit, which makes use of a two-stage variable valve timing system amongst different efficiency-boosting measures, develops 221bhp and 258lb ft and is about to energy the preliminary range-topping GLB 250. Different engines, together with diesels, might be obtainable when gross sales begin, together with an much more potent model of the M264 producing 302bhp and 295lb ft and set to look within the AMG-badged GLB 35.  Drive is distributed via an eight-speed dual-clutch automated gearbox and a multi-plate clutch 4Matic fourwheel-drive system that includes Normal, Eco/Consolation and Sport drive modes.  Every drive mode apportions a unique distribution of torque between the entrance and rear axles. The Normal mode is 50:50 entrance to rear, in Eco/Consolation mode it alters to 80:20 and in Sport it turns into extra rear wheel-biased, at 70:30.  The GLB’s engine vary at launch is about to be petrol- and diesel-based, however Mercedes’ dedication to launch over 130 electrified fashions earlier than 2023 means a completely electrical model will seem inside the subsequent couple of years.  Becoming into the maker’s EQ sub-brand and on account of be dubbed EQB, the electrical SUV will sit beneath the not too long ago launched EQC and have an analogous, aerodynamically optimised redesign together with a bespoke entrance finish.  The EQB will use the EV driveline from the upcoming EQA hatchback, utilizing two electrical motors, with one mounted on the entrance and one on the rear, to energy each axles. Insiders recommend the EQA will use a battery of no less than 60kWh in capability, giving a claimed vary of round 310 miles.  Anticipate barely much less for the EQB given its additional weight and higher-drag physique, though a bigger battery variant may very well be provided given the extra flooring area. An 800V electrical system is anticipated for each fashions, offering speedy charging functionality.  Earlier than the EQB arrives, Mercedes-Benz will present a halfway-house hybrid GLB utilizing a plug-in petrol-electric system. A 2.Zero-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and gearbox-mounted electrical motor powers the entrance wheels, with a second electrical motor inside a ZF-produced rear axle meeting driving the rear wheels. A lithium ion battery guarantees an electrical vary of as much as 62 miles.  Pricing stays undisclosed, however the base GLB is anticipated to value round £31,000 when UK gross sales get below method later this 12 months following the official unveiling of the manufacturing mannequin on the Frankfurt motor present in September. Q&A Achim Badstubner, Mercedes head of exterior design Visually, the GLB is like nothing else in Mercedes-Benz’s line-up proper now. What’s the message behind its design?  “Once we first sat down to debate the design of the GLB, there was a really robust want to include a number of the design DNA from the G-Class, and the idea displays this. Practicality was a giant consideration proper from the start. We additionally wished it to look strong, like an actual off-roader. It doesn’t look that large from the skin, however its sheer sides and upright cabin ship distinctive roominess inside.”  Is it the most important mannequin in Mercedes-Benz’s compact automotive line-up?  “Sure, it's positioned between the GLA and the GLC. We took the longest wheelbase on supply to ship the most important doable inside we may. One key benefit over the competitors is the GLB’s means to seat as much as seven. It’s a bit like a Swiss military knife: it incorporates the best options for each state of affairs.”  How shut is the Idea GLB to the manufacturing mannequin?  “Very shut. We’ve used the manufacturing physique and lots of the particulars from the manufacturing model within the idea, however we’ve added some conventional off-road-inspired touches to provide it the character of a real SUV. It's 30mm wider general, however solely as a result of the cladding inside the wheelhouses has been altered to accommodate the off-road wheels and tyres. The manufacturing model is rather less daring, however not far eliminated.”  Will potential patrons be capable to choice the manufacturing model of the GLB to resemble the idea?  “We're discussing this. Initially there was no plan. However now we have off-road packages on different Mercedes-Benz SUV fashions, so there may very well be scope to do one thing. Personally, I feel it could be a good suggestion. Personalisation is turning into more and more vital. However I drive a G-Class, so I’m biased.” Learn extra Mercedes-Benz GLA evaluation Mercedes-Benz plans 2019 plug-in hybrid mannequin blitz​ Mercedes pulls PHEVs from manufacturing to make method for third-gen tech​