A couple of months ago Mercedes-Benz showed us its new-for-2021 GLB compact CUV (with optional seating for seven), which is planned for assembly at the company’s plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As with everything Mercedes-Benz does these days, it doesn’t take long for the Mercedes-AMG version of a new car to follow it up. The new GLB 35 AMG is coming, with a manic 306-horsepower 295 lb-ft 2-liter turbocharged four, and seating for seven.
In an ongoing reduction in gaps between segments, the GLB slots in between the GLA and GLC, obviously. That said, both the GLA 45 and GLC 43 are more powerful. The GLB 35 essentially uses a pumped up version [from 221 hp and 269 lb-ft] of the GLB 250's engine. It’s using that engine to good effect, however, as this family hauler will sprint from 0-60 mph in just 5.1 seconds, and is limited to a 155 mph top speed.
Naturally, you’ll get an 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox in the new AMG, mated to standard 4Matic all-wheel-drive. The car’s suspension has been completely overhauled for more appropriate handling expected from an AMG product. New steering knuckles and control arms are said to reduce body roll, while optional electronically controlled AMG Ride Control dampers make it even better. Long distance comfort is said to have been a priority, along with high cornering abilities and low body roll.
And it wouldn’t be an AMG product without some massive four-piston brakes. Those silver-painted calipers are hidden behind a set of gorgeous multi-spoke 19" wheels, painted titanium grey. The car is available with optional 20- and 21-inch wheels, natch.
This is the first time the AMG-specific vertical grille has been employed on a 35-series AMG. That classic grille looks quite good on this model, if I’m being quite honest with you. As CUVs go, this one is actually kind of attractive. It would probably look better without the plastic cladding on the wheel arches, and chrome-accented door handles are always a bad idea, but it’s not bad.
While it’s absolutely absurd that we’re already talking about a 2021 model year car and it’s still summer 2019, this car will be making its world debut next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show. You can expect the car to reach U.S. dealerships by late 2020.
With the GLA 45 AMG priced at $53,350, and the GLC starting at $57,000 even, you can expect the GLB 35 AMG to split the difference somewhere in there.