Here it is, the first set of spy images of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLB. This will be the next model to join the three-pointed star’s compact model line-up, underpinned by the firm’s next-generation transverse-engine architecture, dubbed the Modular Front Architecture 2 (MFA2), which will form the basis of eight models in total by 2020.

The GLB will be a more rugged proposition as compared to the current SUV offering in the MFA family, the GLA – much like how the MPV-like B-Class hatchback is bigger and more practical compared to the A-Class. Rumours are the GLB will be offered in two body forms – a standard five-seater crossover, and a long-wheelbase seven-seater.

As seen here, the GLB employs more upright and square-cut roofline compared to the GLA which is positioned below it, drawing upon the G-Class for styling references and also to better accommodate the upcoming seven-seater, long-wheelbase version.

Its interior also appears as though it is set to receive the widescreen digital instrumentation panel as found in the A-Class, despite the camouflage shrouding details from our spy photographer’s sight. By extension, the hatchback’s circular air-conditioning vents should be present here as well.

Powertrain options for the GLB should include the full MFA2 transverse-layout platform gamut of engines and transmissions expected for the next A-Class, with options ranging from 1.2 to 2.0 litres in capacity, covering both petrol and diesel fuel types.

A Mercedes-AMG entry is likely too, though it remains to be seen if this boxy crossover will sport either AMG 35 or AMG 45 powertrain versions, or indeed both. The Mercedes-Benz GLB range is tipped for a debut in 2019.