Stuttgart - As a compact seven-seat SUV aimed at families, the new Mercedes-Benz GLB was never an obvious candidate for AMG treatment, but the performance division has nonetheless created a ‘35’ version that should be perfect for those parents who are reluctantly trading in their performance cars for more practical wheels.

As you’d expect, the GLB 35 4Matic follows the same basic mechanical script as the A35 and CLA 35 models, with a 2-litre, turbopetrol four tuned to 225kW and 400Nm. While the extra bulk does slow it down, it’s still within half a second of its hatch sibling in the 0-100km/h sprint, which the GLB 35 completes in a respectable 5.2 seconds, according to claims.

A DCT 8G dual-clutch automated transmission, complete with a double de-clutch function for downshifts, channels power to all four wheels through an AMG-tuned 4Matic all-wheel drive system that can send up to 50 percent of the torque to the back axle, depending on the requirements at any given moment. 

Dynamic parameters like engine and transmission response, as well as steering and suspension characteristics can be controlled through the AMG Dynamic Select system, which offers five drive modes: Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. Incidentally, ‘Slippery’ is a new drive program that has been optimised for low-grip conditions.

In short, the GLB is aiming to be the perfect all-rounder, as Mercedes CEO Tobias Moers explains:

"With the new GLB 35 4MATIC we are extending our product portfolio by adding a highly attractive model for an active target group that attaches special importance to versatility.  

“This also includes the optional seven-seater capability of our new compact SUV, though without having to sacrifice the genes typical of an AMG.”

AMG-specific styling features

As with its siblings, the GLB 35 4Matic gets a number of unique design features inside and out, including an AMG-specific grille (a first for a ‘35’ model), as well as a front splitter, roof spoiler and 19-inch alloy wheels in Tantalum Grey.

Inside you’ll see sports seats in black Artico synthetic leather, with red double top stitching and red seat belts, while two optional leather packages, featuring two-tone upholstery, will be available on the options list.

IOL Motoring