As the name implies, the future Mercedes GLB-Class will slot between the GLA- and GLC-Classes. That Mercedes naming strategy switch is starting to make sense now, eh? However, unlike those SUV siblings, the GLB is going its own, blocky way that's clearly evocative of the G-Class and more than a little reminiscent of the old GLK.
Unlike that compact SUV, the GLB-Class will be based on a front-wheel-drive platform. Specifically, the next-generation MFA platform that'll also underpin the next GLA and indeed any Mercedes ending with an A. We can only hope for a much better transmission and ride this time around.
According to German website Autobild.de, with help from the good bots at Google Translate, the GLB will be 179.1 inches long putting it right in between the GLC and a BMW X1. Autobild says that would give it enough space for a third-row seat, but judging by these spy photos, we're guessing if that's the case, it would be an extremely small one. We have our doubts. However, the blocky rear portion of the GLB would back up the Autobild assertion that the GLB would have best-in-class cargo capacity.
Despite all the camouflage, the low suspension and small, ho-hum wheels, there are clearly visual comparisons to be made between the GLB test mule seen here and the Ener-G Force Concept from way back in 2012. However, it seems unlikely that a front-drive-based compact like the GLB could or would be turned into the sort of off-road-ready mini-G-Wagen one might imply with that styling. After all, today's customers are more interested in looking rugged than actually being rugged. Frankly, an AMG version seems more likely — say a GLB45.
Look for more information about the Mercedes GLB-Class in the coming months and additional spy photos of this compact SUV as it starts shedding more of its rather dumpy camo.