Autocar reports that the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLG-Class – also known as the "baby G-Class" – will be based on a new small-car chassis called JC1. Able to accommodate two different wheelbases, various track widths, and both front- and four-wheel drive, the new platform is a joint project between Mercedes parent Daimler and corporate partner Renault-Nissan.
As we reported last year, the Mercedes GLG-Class is a subcompact model that slots below the existing GLK-Class in Mercedes' crossover lineup. Autocar reports that the project is known internally as City-G. The JC1 platform engineered for the GLG-Class could also be used for the forthcoming BMW X1-sized GLA-Class, as well as the next generations of the B-Class, A-Class, and even the CLA-Class four-door coupe. JC1 is loosely related to Mercedes' current MFA architecture which is used for the present versions of those cars.
Sized like the Volkswagen Polo, the Mercedes GLG-Class will adopt the butch, upright, and narrow appearance of the G-Class off-roader. As shown in the above rendering, it will look a lot like the big Geländewagen despite being built on such a small chassis. Actual off-road ability will be limited, as we expect the GLG to use road-oriented all-season tires, a simple Haldex all-wheel-drive system, and brake-based traction controls instead of locking differentials. In fact, many models will likely be sold with front-wheel-drive.
Autocar suggests the Mercedes GLG-Class will be offered with a range of small four-cylinder gasoline and turbodiesel engines that will be co-developed by Mercedes and Renault-Nissan. Expect the car to debut by the end of 2015 and reach showrooms by 2016.
Rendering courtesy AUTOBILD/LARSEN.