The AMG version of the all-new GLB-Class is still a bit of a mystery. There's no need for Mercedes to develop a super-hardcore version wearing the 45 S badge, yet this prototype is wearing a bulging Panamerican-style grille.
What should it look like then? Well, it already has two or three sister cars that have the right design, the A35 sedan and hatch, plus the CLA 35 four-door coupe. All feature a single horizontal bar holding the oversized three-pointed star logo.
Everything else about this GLB AMG prototype is coherent with the "35" theory. At the back, we see only two small exhaust pipes, while the fenders aren't massively flared as they would be on a top-end AMG model.
And while Mercedes went crazy with the 360 and 381 HP GLA 45 models a few years ago, the whole market is moving towards more "normal" 300 HP crossover utility vehicles. This list now includes the BMW X2 M35i, the Cupra Ateca that's not a SEAT and the Audi SQ2. A GLB 35, like we believe we have here, should produce 306 HP and 400 Nm for a 0 to 100 km/h sprint time of about 5 seconds. The magic of 4Matic and the 7-speed DCT will also contribute to the sensation of speed. Sorry, no manual.
It would also have a slightly firmer, sportier suspension setup compared to the normal GLB, which is what the test drivers seem to be playing with today. Speaking of which, after the debut of the concept at Shanghai Auto, we learned that production will start in China and Mexico before the end of the year, which means we could be looking at a Mexico-made AMG model too.
Inside, we should see similar treatment to the A35 and CLA35: color accents, sculpted leather seats and tweaked graphics for the double screens. It will also be one of the most autonomous 300 horsepower crossovers, much more so than the Cupra and Audi.