New Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 is an SUV playing hot hatch dress up
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A couple of months ago, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new GLB — a 7-seater SUV with slightly quirky proportions, plenty of tech, and a certain 'they're gonna sell heaps of these things, aren't they' appeal.
Now, Mercedes have taken things up a notch or two with an AMG variant that aims to make a case for being crowned the 'coolest 7-seater in the world'.
There's part of me that queries who the 2021 AMG GLB 35 4Matic is meant to even be aimed at. It's clearly going to be a compromised vehicle off-road, and how many people shopping in this premium performance space have a need for seven seats?
But in a way, the whole 'performance SUV' segment is an anomaly of vehicles that don't make sense but sell like hot cakes. For every car enthusiast that rolls their eyes at these things, there seems to be a bunch willing to part with their hard-earned money to own one.
And the GLB 35 is, on paper, a compelling vehicle in that space.
For a start, it'll hit 100km/h in less than 5.5 seconds. Top speed is an electronically limited 250km/h. Not bad for such a big beast of a thing.
These numbers are made possible by a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with 220kW of power and 400Nm of torque (sent to all four wheels via Mercedes' 4Matic all-wheel drive system). The engine is a stoked version of the power-plant from the GLB 250. So, no deep hearty V8 roar, but owners should expect some DSG-stimulated jeers from the exhaust.
AMG perhaps understands that the GLB is 'a bit different' when stacked up against the rest of the AMG SUV range, because curiously while it slots between the GLA and GLC respectively, it also has less power than the '43' versions of both. Although, this might be because a 'GLB 43' is still in the pipeline.
Local pricing and availability hasn't been announced just yet for the GLB 35 4Matic, but expect that information to be confirmed before the end of the year.
The model will make its formal international debut at September's Frankfurt Motor Show, with availability in markets like the United States forecast for the fourth quarter of 2020.