Compact seven-seat Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 SUV arrives with hot-hatch power lifted from the A 35
The wait for a hot version of the new seven-seat Mercedes GLB is already over: say hello to the new Mercedes-AMG GLB 35, which will make its full debut in the metal at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.
It adds another ‘35’ badged AMG model to the Mercedes line-up, alongside the A 35 hatchback and saloon, plus the CLA 35 and CLA 35 Shooting Brake. It becomes a more premium-edged rival for the Cupra Ateca, and a larger alternative to the Audi SQ2.
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The recipe under the bonnet is unchanged from the other AMG 35 models. That means a 302bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine is the beating heart, linking up with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox sending its power to a Mercedes 4MATIC all-wheel drive system. Maximum torque stands at 400Nm from 3,000rpm.
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With the car’s myriad of drive modes tuned into their most potent settings possible, Mercedes claims that the GLB 35 can do 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds, while as ever, top speed is an electronically limited 155mph.
Those drive modes include a new “Slippery” programme for low-grip roads and surfaces, alongside the usual Comfort, Sport and Sport+ selections on the AMG Dynamic Select switch. Toggling through the modes affects throttle response, gearbox behaviour, steering weight and suspension settings.
Elsewhere under the skin, the GLB 35 is supported by a set of high performance AMG brakes with four-caliper fixed calipers clasping onto 350mm disks at the front, and 330mm disks at the rear.
As standard those brakes are cloaked by 19-inch twin-spoke wheels, with optional items up to 21-inches in size available. The car receives an AMG bodykit, sporting up the look with new front and rear bumpers and a new, more aggressive looking grille. An optional AMG Night Package design pack is available, turning the finish on the front splitter, rear apron and exhaust tailpipe trim elements black.
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Inside, the interior of the GLB remains largely unchanged bar for some sporty touches. A flag bottomed, AMG emblazoned sport steering wheel appears with paddle shifters, as does carbon fibre finish on the dashboard and a pair of sports seats up front. Two optional leather packages with two-tone upholsteries are found on the options list, while the now familiar MBUX infotainment system gains some AMG-specific menus and graphics.
As standard the GLB 35 is a five-seater, but a third-row is optional, turning it into a compact, seven-seat hot SUV. AMG Ride Control suspension is also optional, introducing electronically controlled adaptive dampers.
Final UK specifications are still to be confirmed, but we anticipate a starting price of around £50,000 when the car goes on sale in Britain mid December with first deliveries in Spring 2020. It’ll be the only performance variant of the GLB, as an even hotter GLB 45 using the 415bhp 2.0-litre engine lifted from the new A 45 S is not planned.
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