GLB-Class Spied Testing in Electric Mode: EQB or Plug-in Hybrid?

GLB-Class Spied Testing in Electric Mode: EQB or Plug-in Hybrid?
Mercedes has been making these compact cars since 2011, longer if you include the smaller, less popular stuff. However, with the exception of the B-Class Electric Drive of 2014, none of them rolled around on electricity.
GLB-Class Spied Testing in Electric Mode: EQB or Plug-in Hybrid?
Today, German car spy WalkoArt captured this short video of what looks like a couple of GLB prototypes running around only on electricity. In addition to the bespoke motor sound, the models are back to wearing full camouflage, including bumper pads that would suggest a completely new hood and grille have been installed.

But what could this mean? Well, the GLB is only a few months away from coming out. But the Mexico-made crossover will only have conventional powertrains like the ones offered with the A-Class and CLA-Class. This is clearly something different.

One option would be a plug-in hybrid. Reports pre-dating even the launch of the new A-Class said Mercedes was working on two PHEV systems that would work with all these compact models. Both would use a 1.3-liter turbo engine at the front with a small electric motor installed within a redesigned rear suspension, which is a lot like the MINI Clubman PHEV.

We even have a few power figures. In both cases, the e-motor makes 90 HP (66 kW) while the 1.3 turbo delivers 136 HP for the A 220 e, for example, and 163 HP in the case of the A 250 e. There's no telling what that means for the combined output, but it's probably around 200 and 230 HP, respectively, not that anybody drives a green car in full-power mode anyway.

In addition, Britta Seeger, member of the Daimler AG board responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales, revealed that an all-electric GLB is coming in 2021. Likely to be called the EQB, this should offer competitive range and power. But which do you guys think is the culprit here?

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