Like its sporty CLA 35 and GLA 35 siblings, the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 is due to play second fiddle to an even more powerful 45-badged sibling. While the three-pointed star has yet to reveal the boxy crossover’s most sporting model, a recent patent filed by the company with the United States Patent and Trademark Office appears to include illustrations of an upcoming Mercedes-AMG GLB 45.
Admittedly, it’s possible that these images show the already revealed GLB 35. A handful of distinct cues, however, give us reason to believe that’s not the case. Go on, give the illustrations a look and see if you spot the telltale signs of a 45-badged Mercedes-AMG model. See it? Those four exhaust pipes poking out of the rear bumper are a detail missing from the GLB 35, which features just two exhaust tips. Furthermore, the front bumper includes slight alterations to the lower fascia, including additional detail work within the stylized cooling ducts at the left and right corners of the crossover.
Yes, the changes are subtle, but is that really surprising? Consider the GLA 35 and GLA 45 look largely the same, save for the models’ mildly massaged front fascias, different exhaust tip orientations, and altered rear wings (the latter of which appears unchanged between the GLB 35 and GLB 45).
The real magic of the GLB 45 is not its exterior decor anyway, but what sits under the hood. In place of the lesser 35’s 302-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, the GLB 45 ought to employ a hand-assembled 382-hp turbo 2.0-liter four, which should shave more than 0.5 second from the GLB 35’s manufacturer-estimated 5.1-second trot to 60 miles per hour. Additionally, we anticipate the all-wheel-drive crossover will incorporate torque-vectoring at the rear axle to better help it carve through corners. An eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is due to serve as the broker between the engine and the drive wheels.
Expect the GLB 45 to arrive before the end of the year as a 2021 model year vehicle. While pricing for even the GLB 35 remains under wraps, we anticipate both it and the forthcoming GLB 45 to closely mirror the starting sums of the CLA 35 and CLA 45 sedans (or four-door coupe, if you prefer). As such, plan on dropping north of $45,000 for the GLB 35 and around $55,000 for the racier GLB 45—and that’s before diving into the two models’ options menus.
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