While production of the A Class sedan just formally begun in Aguascalientes last September, Mercedes-Benz already performs the latest on-track evaluations of the GLB-Class that it also plans to build at the Mexican facility, according to a report by videoblogger Automotive Mike, who captured the rugged SUV on the legendary Nürburgring circuit in Germany.
The unit, which will debut as a 2020 model, will be the first attempt by the German premium automaker to venture into the competitive segment of the compact SUVs with a proposal with off-road capabilities and optional third-row seat.
According to the report, the prototype seen at Nürburgring featured all production parts, which means the vehicle is almost production ready.
The GLB-Class will be underpinned by the MFA2 compact vehicle platform used in the A Class, hence it’s likely to feature the same robust body-construction and high-tech bits onboard like the infotainment system with a wide screen that comes in the sedan.
It will be powered by a four-cylinder turbo gasoline engine with front wheel drive for the entry level, but an optional four-wheel drive is also expected. There’s even plans for a top-range AMG version although no specific features are known at the moment, according to the report.
The SUV is expected in showrooms across North America in the last quarter of 2019 hence the production model is likely to be unveiled whether in the Detroit or Geneva Auto Shows.
It is worth noting that some suppliers installed in Mexico have already confirmed that they will participate in the new Mercedes program.