Mercedes-AMG’s unstoppable expansion streak will see a whole new model be christened with Affalterbach magic – the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLB is set to receive the new AMG 35 recipe, which employs the M260 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine that should be tuned to make 306 hp and 400 Nm of torque.

This prototype of the hot B-Class crossover was spotted testing in Spain by our spy photographers, though unfortunately it remains heavily covered in camouflage vinyl. There’s not much to go about, but we can expect the usual AMG styling pack that will help distance the GLB 35 away from its ‘lesser’ siblings, such as the GBL 200 and GLB 250. This includes larger 19-inch, potentially 20-inch AMG wheels, AMG body kit and AMG radiator grille.

Of course, design-wise the GLB will take on a shrunken-down look of the GLS, with angular headlight clusters, squared-off wheel arches, the more upright glasshouse and broad two-piece LED tail lights.

For the cabin, we can expect the GLB to feature Mercedes-Benz’s latest interior look with a large two-screen display panel and circular air vents, much like what we’ve already seen on the new W247 B-Class. Rumour has it, the SUV will be offered in five- and seven-seater versions, the latter with a longer wheelbase.

The GLB has been tipped to ride on the second-generation Modular Front Architecture (MFA2, shared with the new A-Class, B-Class, CLA and GLA) and will likely utilise the same turbo engines as the B-Class. These include a Renault-sourced 1.3 litre petrol engine and Mercedes’ own 2.0 litre petrol and 1.5 diesel mills, all with four cylinders and available with seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions.

However, the GLB 35 will most likely pack the same M260 2.0 litre four banger as that of the A 35, making in excess of 300 hp and 400 Nm of torque. This engine is also available in M264 mild-hybrid form (EQ Boost, not available with the A 35), producing 299 hp and 400 Nm of torque in the E 350 Coupe and Cabriolet. Don’t expect that to be available on the GLB 35, though.

The firm’s famous AMG Performance 4Matic fully variable all-wheel drive will be deployed, with power channeled through a seven-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission. Just as a benchmark, the A 35 sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, so we reckon the GLB 35 – with the same tuning – could manage the century sprint in under five seconds. Expect the new crossover range to be crowned by the GLB 45. What do you think?