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Mercedes-Benz has detailed the drivetrains for its upcoming GLB seven-seat small SUV, including which variants will make it to Australia and why there’s no chance of certain globally available alternatives.
Hitting Australia’s shores some time in mid-2020 will be three GLB drivetrains, all of which will be petrol powered. The entry-level GLB200 uses a 1.3-litre four-cylinder turbo, while the GLB250 4Matic and Mercedes-AMG GLB35 will both employ a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo with all-wheel drive.
While Australia will be getting these three petrol options, there are a total of six GLB variants worldwide, with the other three remaining diesels ruled out for our market. Mercedes-Benz Australia brand representative Ryan Lewis confirmed that this was due to low local consumer demand for small capacity diesels.
Mr Lewis said that while small capacity diesels weren’t strictly ruled out, it didn’t make sense to launch the GLB with any at this time. This echoes comments made by Audi Australia when it came to the launch of its Q3, which also shuns diesel options for our market.
Sadly, for those looking to save more on your fuel bills, the brand also confirmed that there is no mild-hybrid option in the works, nor is there a chance of a plug-in (PHEV) version. In terms of a 48-volt mild-hybrid (as appears with Benz’ straight-six engine options elsewhere in its line-up) CarsGuide understands that the MFA2 platform was not designed with this system in mind, at least in its current configuration.
When it comes to a plug-in, it would seem the brand’s intention is to wait for the production version of the EQA concept – which was confirmed to be on track for a proper reveal in the near future.
The initial EQA concept previewed an electrified version of the brand’s compact platform. It had a suggested 200kW-plus power output and 400km of driving range, as well as close-to-production styling.
This strategy of skipping plug-in altogether is also one that mirrors Volkswagen’s stance on skipping its readily available plug-in hybrids specifically for the Australian market.
Given the existence of a GLB35 as part of the new compact SUV’s initial line-up, we queried multiple brand spokespersons on the chances of an even hotter GLB45 – although all confirmed that it was not in the plan for GLB.
CarsGuide understands that this is due to the brand wishing to differentiate the GLB from the sportier positioning of the GLA – which is on track to receive a GLA45 variant.
Expect to find out pricing and exact Australian specification for the GLB range closer to its arrival in Australia mid-2020. CarsGuide also understands the GLB35 will launch a short time after the entry-level GLB200 and GLB250 4Matic for supply reasons.