Mercedes-Benz GLB market launch confirmed for the end of this year

Nov 28, 2019   Vehicle Launch

Powerful proportions with short overhangs and off-road-oriented design as well as optional 4MATIC all-wheel drive and a special off-road light which helps detect obstacles in front of the vehicle at low speeds – the new Mercedes-Benz GLB is a versatile SUV. And a spacious family car: it is the first Mercedes-Benz in this segment that is optionally available as a seven-seater.

The two seats in row three can be used by people up to 1.68 metres in height. With powerful and efficient four-cylinder engines, the latest driving assistance systems with cooperative support for the driver, the intuitively operated infotainment system MBUX plus the comprehensive convenience control ENERGIZING Comfort, the new family member has all the strengths of the current compact-class generation from Mercedes-Benz. Also in the starting blocks: The new Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 4MATIC as an unrivalled alternative in the segment of compact SUVs.

"Every third Mercedes-Benz is now an SUV, every fourth a compact car. So a compact SUV such as the GLB blends all the success factors of our two highest-volume segments," said Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales. "The GLB also boasts some special features which we have not previously offered our customers in this segment, for example seven seats."

"Its iconic design lends the Mercedes-Benz GLB an unmistakable SUV character," said Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer at Daimler AG. "The clear forms with reduced lines and powerful surfaces convey our design philosophy of Sensual Purity."

At 2829 millimetres the GLB has ten centimetres more wheelbase than, for example, the new B-Class. Together with the function-oriented greenhouse this is decisive when it comes to the generous amount of space. The headroom in the first seat row is 1069 millimetres – an optimum in this segment. At 967 millimetres the effective legroom in the rear of the five-seater is at an especially comfortable level.

The load compartment capacity of 570 to 1805 litres (figures for the five-seater) boasts the qualities of an estate car. The backrest angle is adjustable in several stages as standard. Optionally, the second row can be moved fore and aft. This enables the boot to be enlarged by up to 190 litres and put to versatile use. For more on the variability, see the next page.

The new GLB is manufactured at the Aguascalientes (Mexico) plant and, for the Chinese market, in Beijing. The market launch is planned for the end of 2019.

With the new GLB the compact car family from Mercedes-Benz now consists of eight models: the A-Class, A-Class Saloon and long-wheelbase A-Class Saloon, B-Class, CLA Coupé, CLA Shooting Brake and the GLA are already on the market. In 2018 over 609,000 customers all over the world were able to take delivery of a compact model. Since the first A-Class was launched in 1997, over seven million vehicles of this segment have already been delivered worldwide by Mercedes-Benz.

The GLB is the first compact vehicle from Mercedes-Benz to offer a third seat row on request with two additional individual seats. The extensive safety equipment includes extendible head restraints, seat belts with belt tensioners and belt force limiters on all outer seats, a side window airbag which also protects the passengers in the third seat row plus ISOFIX and TOP-Tether anchorages for suitable child seats. These can be used to fasten up to four child seats in seat rows two and three.

Comfort details in the third row include two drinks holders between the seats as well as two stowage compartments with rubberised insert on the left and right in the load compartment trim, each housing a USB port. The seats can be lowered so that they are flush with the load compartment floor in order to extend the load compartment.

The powerful proportions of the GLB underscore the off-road focus of the design: the design emphasises surfaces, and reduced lines and uses reduced lines and precise panel gaps. This conveys superior sportiness and modernity. The upright front section with its striking headlamps is clear evidence of off-road genes, as are the short overhangs at the front and rear.

The instrument panel consists of a single solid, which has a cut-out in the driver and front passenger area. The driver faces a Widescreen Cockpit, with control and display via MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). A new feature is the off-road-like aluminium-look tubular element in the dashboard on the front passenger side. Below the round air vents positioned next to it are the air conditioning controls, whose buttons create the impression of having been milled out of an aluminium cylinder.

The robust character of the interior continues in the centre console. Tubular elements in said milled look provide a solid support for the components and controls here as well. Along the doors, the SUV character is underlined by the horizontal grab handle, which from the Progressive design and equipment line on up powerfully blends in with the overall sculpture and resembles a milled aluminium tube.

The LED High Performance headlamps and MULTIBEAM LED headlamps are available for the GLB on request. The latter allow extremely quick and precise, electronically controlled adjustment of the headlamps to suit the current traffic situation.

As an option there are also front fog lamps with LED technology. They distribute the light more widely than the main headlamps and thus illuminate peripheral areas better. Their low position in the front bumper helps reduce the risk of dazzling.

4MATIC models with large media display come with the Off-Road Engineering Package. In combination with MULTIBEAM LED headlamps, these models have a special off-road light. This makes it easier to see obstacles in rough terrain in the dark. With the off-road light, the cornering light of the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps is permanently switched on up to a speed of 50 km/h. This results in wide and bright light distribution in front of the vehicle.

The GLB is optionally equipped with the permanent all-wheel system 4MATIC, with fully variable torque distribution. This sporty all-wheel drive configuration allows the driver to use the DYNAMIC SELECT switch to influence the characteristics of 4MATIC. Three characteristic maps are available to control the all-wheel drive clutch, though the system responds flexibly to the current driving situation in any mode. In regular driving operation, the drive programme "Eco/Comfort" is based on an 80:20 distribution (front axle:rear axle), while in "Sport" it is 70:30. In off-road mode the all-wheel drive clutch acts as an inter-axle differential lock, with the basic distribution a balanced 50:50.

The new GLB places its trust in the four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines which were completely updated to relaunch the compact model series. In comparison to the previous generation, they are characterised by significantly increased power and torque and by improved efficiency and reduced emissions.

The gateway to the range of petrol engines is the M 282 with a displacement of 1.33 litres in the GLB 200. This engine has cylinder shut-off for efficient operation in the partial-load range.

The two-litre M 260 engine in the GLB 250 4MATIC has cast-iron cylinder liners in its die-cast aluminium engine block, which widen at the lower end as per the CONICSHAPE principle. In-house, the machining process for the cylinder bore is descriptively known as "trumpet honing". This reduces piston friction and lowers the consumption. In the aluminium four-valve cylinder head, the CAMTRONIC variable valve timing system allows two-stage adjustment of the valve lift on the intake side.

Thanks to the further expanded emission control system, the two-litre diesel engine (OM 654q) with 8G-DCT dual-clutch transmission already meets the RDE (Real Driving Emissions) Stage 2 requirements, and is certified to Euro 6d.

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