Mercedes-Benz’s latest compact seven-seater SUV, the GLB, is about to get a whole lot hotter when the top AMG GLB 45 joins the line-up. It’s been spotted making rounds before, but the prototype version of the barnstorming model was seen once again with less camouflage, revealing lot more skin than before.

Up front, the GLB 45 is expected to wear the Panamericana radiator grille with multiple vertical slats, which complements the deeper air intakes and more aggressive front bumper. The plastic body claddings remain masked, but the full-fat AMG model should get those in body colour, although it’s unclear if the fenders will be flared out to make way for bigger wheels.

Speaking of wheels, the prototype unit here sits on 20-inch test wheels shod with 255/40 profile Michelin Pilot Sport 3 rubbers. There may not be larger hoops, considering the space left within the wheel wells. Elsewhere, the GLB 45 gets the customary AMG exterior treatment, including a more chiselled rear bumper with integrated dual exhausts.

On the inside, expect minor changes on the whole, save for AMG-specific features such as sports seats with Alcantara upholstery, AMG graphics for the display and instrumentation, AMG badging, as well as additional drive modes and an exhaust flap toggle.

And now we get to the meat and potatoes. It’s no secret that the GLB 45 will share the new M139 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the new A45 and CLA 45, perhaps right down to the tune of 387 PS and 480 Nm in base configuration, or 421 PS and 500 Nm in the hotter GLB 45 S 4Matic+ model. The hand-assembled engine will be mated to an eight-speed AMG Speedshift DCT 8G dual-clutch transmission and AMG Performance 4Matic+ fully-variable all-wheel drive system.

Based on that recipe, the AMG GLB 45 should be quite the rocket, possibly sprinting from zero to 100 km/h in under 4.5 seconds while topping out at 250 km/h. Other upgrades include stuffer AMG suspension with bigger cross-drilled and ventilated brakes, as well as AMG exhaust system for the unmistakable Affalterbach soundtrack. Anyone eyeing this already?