The Mercedes-Benz GLB concept is rugged enough for the next Jurassic Park film
On the eve of the Shanghai Motor Show, Mercedes has revealed a concept for a future off-roading compact SUV called the GLB.
We have the GLA, GLC, GLE and GLS already, so this could become a further addition to Mercedes' compact SUV family
While the GLA is more focussed on drivability and a bit of sportiness, this concept looks to maximise interior space as well as upping the ruggedness of Merc's popular SUV platform. Also, we'd like to think this is a first look at the next automotive on-screen star of the Jurassic Park films, a series that has had a tie-up with Mercedes off-roaders since 1997.
There's room for seven seats now thanks to an extended wheelbase, as well as brash front and rear roof lights, emphasising the off-road capabilities of a car that Mercedes says 'feels right at home on rough farm tracks'.
Further ruggedness comes with plastic cladding around the car to protect the body from the worst that Mother Nature can throw at it, although we can't see too many of these things taking to a muddy track if it makes it to production.
The interior is mostly lifted from the B-Class but includes milled Aluminium tubing to increase the rugged factor
The outdoor vibe of the GLB concept is furthered by a gloss roof box for storing trainers or floatation devices or whatever a 'leisure' person brings to an overly intense day out.
There is a stainless steel underguard at the front and rear, so the Mercedes engineers have genuinely made tweaks that could turn this GL product into a capable off-roader.
The rear seats aren't the largest but can be tucked down and flush into the floor to increase boot space. Nice nappa and nubuk leather, too.
The tyres aren't exactly standard; the 17-inch rims are wrapped in deep-treaded off-road rubber that should be perfect for bumbling through the dense jungle of Isla Sorna. Or your local farm track, whatever takes your fancy.
Those treaded tyres are the final contact point for the 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, a sneakily-capable system that is often overlooked for its xDrive and Quattro rivals. In eco/comfort mode it'll keep things heavily front-biased but flick to sport or off-road modes and it'll deploy 70:30 and 50:50 power distributions respectively.
The concept doesn't come with an AMG motor out of the blocks; the GLB pitches itself with Mercedes' 224hp, 258lb ft four-cylinder engine attached to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
There's no further news as to whether this concept will make it onto the road in this exact form but this is a properly cool take on making a compact SUV that bit of flair that most are desperately in need of.
We can't report yet on any explicit connection with Jurassic Park but the we hope to see this striking piece of kit having its own shot at becoming a Tyrannosaur hunter. Or, as normally happens, the hunted.