Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division has kicked off testing of the new GLB 45 4Matic on public roads some 12 months before its planned showroom debut.
The new Audi RS Q3 rival is differentiated from standard versions of the upcoming GLB by its reduced ride height, larger brake discs, multi-pot callipers and four tail-pipes at the rear, as opposed to the twin-exit arrangement of GLB 35 4Matic prototypes we’ve seen previously.
The GLB 45 is among a number of new Mercedes-AMG models set to run a newly developed four-cylinder engine based on Mercedes-Benz’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder 'M260' unit.
Also planned to appear in the A45 4Matic, CLA 45, CLA 45 Shooting Brake and GLA 45, the new powerplant is claimed to develop 383bhp in standard guise and 416bhp in a higher state of tune.
In the GLB 45, the new engine will be mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and a new four-wheel drive system developed in a partnership between AMG and Austrian engineering specialist Magna Powertrain. It uses electrohydraulic actuation instead of the electromechanical operation of the four-wheel drive system by transverse engine models built by AMG up to now.