At this week’s Shanghai Motor Show Mercedes-Benz will pull the wraps off its latest concept vehicle, the Concept GLB. Based on the Mercedes-Benz compact car platform, the Concept GLB is designed as a spacious compact crossover that will fit into the lineup between the GLA and GLC, but is spacious enough to include a third-row seat — a first for a Mercedes-Benz compact crossover.
Despite its compact size, the Concept GLB features protective fender cladding, aggressive off-road tires, a roof rack and other design elements to give it off-roader looks. The upright grille gets flanked by multibeam LED headlights, and the short front and rear overhangs increase clearance.
From the side, the Concept GLB displays a strong shoulder line while the lower edge of the window opening kicks up at the rear. The black roof incorporates shrouds for LED lights front and rear, and a roof box is mounted between the roof rails. The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tires with orange accents are mounted on 17-inch wheels with a two-color design.
The Concept GLB is finished in Designo Cashmere White Magno paint with gloss black cladding and a gloss black roof box. The grille gets orange highlights, while mirrors and tires include orange lettering.
The long wheelbase and large greenhouse help create enough interior space to include two individual third-row seats that can be folded separately — flush into the cargo floor. The second-row seatback is split 40/30/40 and can be folded separately to create a flat load floor. The second-row seat is divided 40/60 and can be adjusted 5.5 inches fore and aft to balance between third-row legroom, second-row legroom and cargo capacity.
As a concept show car, the Concept GLB is finished with luxury elements not expected in a compact crossover, including Nappa leather, nubuk leather, walnut and aluminum. The primary interior color is chestnut brown with orange accent light strips and stitching. The center of the seats have parallel rows of perforations in the woven nubuk leather that expose an orange fabric layer beneath.
The wood trim on the dashboard, center console and door panels is open pore walnut with a carved honeycomb pattern on the dash and door panels. The pedals are also walnut with the honeycomb pattern and high-gloss metal trim. The lower dashboard and center console feature tubular aluminum trim with both polished and brushed surfaces. Each door features a machined aluminum tube as a horizontal grab handle.
The dashboard looks similar to the B-Class with a widescreen cockpit; the display and functions are controlled by the Mercedes-Benz User Experience, or MBUX. Air vents are a sculpted turbine design familiar from other high-end Mercedes-Benz models and include orange accents. Below the three center vents sits a panel for climate controls with an analog look, and buttons that look as if they were milled from a single piece of aluminum.
The Concept GLB derives power from a turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine producing 224 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, combined with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission and 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive with variable torque distribution. Drivers use Dynamic Select to choose different driving characteristics. In standard Eco-Comfort mode, torque is split 80/20 between the front and rear axles, and the Sport mode split is 70/30. In Off-Road mode the all-wheel-drive clutch works as a center differential lock for a 50/50 torque split.
Mercedes-Benz has announced no plans to put this concept vehicle into production, but we expect to see some of the features and styling cues in future models from the German car company.