Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance division has added to its fast-growing small car line-up with the unveiling of the new GLB 35 4Matic.
Scheduled to make its public debut at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show, the new SUV is the fourth AMG model to receive the 35 treatment, following the recently introduced A 35 4Matic hatchback, A 35 4Matic sedan and CLA 35 4Matic coupe. It’s also the first model with AMG’s 35 bagding, to offer the option of a five- and seven-seat interior layout.
Like its stablemates, the GLB 35 4Matic is powered by an AMG fettled version of parent company Mercedes-Benz’s M270 engine. The turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol unit delivers 306hp at 5,800rpm and 400Nm of torque between 3,000-4,000rpm.
This represents an 81hp and 50Nm increase on the existing range-topping GLB model, the GLB 250 4Matic, which uses a less highly tuned version of the same engine.
Power is sent through an 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox with a Race Start function and multi-plate clutch four-wheel drive system capable of apportioning up to 50 percent of drive to the rear axle. Five different driving programs are offered via AMG’s Dynamic Select system: Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual.
An additional AMG Dynamic system offers two different agility programs: Basic and Advanced. They vary the characteristic of the handling dependent on parameters from the four-wheel drive system, speed-sensitive steering and stability control sensors.
Further upgrades centre around the brakes. The GLB 35 uses 350mm discs up front in combination with four-piston callipers and 330mm discs with single-piston floating callipers at the rear.
Mercedes-AMG is yet to reveal a kerb weight figure, though the brand quotes a 0-100kph time of 5.2sec and an electronically-limited top speed of 250kph.
The new 4,630mm long SUV is underpinned by a McPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension. It receives a number of upgrades over the suspension used by standard GLB models, including new steering knuckles and transverse control arms at the front as well as redesigned subframe and revised wheel carriers at the rear. Buyers can also add an optional AMG Ride Control set-up with electronically controlled damping and the choice of three levels of firmness: Comfort, Sport and Sport+.
The latest addition to the AMG line-up is the first of two GLB models. An even more powerful GLB 45 4Matic, packing up to 422hp and 500Nm of torque in top-of-the-line S form, is also under development and should be revealed in 2020.
The GLB 35 4Matic is differentiated from standard GLB models by a Panamericana style grille – the first time it has been used on a 35 model – within an AMG specific front bumper. Additional styling changes are concentrated around the rear end, with a prominent spoiler atop the rear tailgate and a reworked bumper featuring an aluminium look valance, housing two AMG-inscribed tailpipes and an integrated diffuser element. The standard wheels are 19-inch in diameter, with 20 and 21-inch rims available as optional equipment.
Inside, the new AMG model uses Mercedes' MBUX operating system. It works in combination with standard digital instruments and an infotainment display, both housed within a single panel within the top of the GLB 35 4Matic’s dashboard. The instruments can be altered across three different themes: Classic, Sporty and Supersport – the latter providing AMG specific car data.
As with other GLB models, the GLB 35 comes as standard with a five-seat interior layout. Buyers can also opt for an optional seven-seat layout with a third row of seats that consists of two individual seats and fore-and-aft adjustment of the second seat row.
The GLB 35 4Matic is produced on the same production line as other GLB models at Mercedes' factory in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
While there is no word on this hotter version of the GLB coming to India, though the standard model is likely to arrive in our market during the second-half of 2020, where it will rival taking on higher-end variants of the X1 and XC40, and the new Q3 as well