Making a big splash with a display at a major motor show that will really get people talking isn’t always as easy as it may seem. And that’s especially the case when the new vehicle model concerned looks a lot like the model it’s replacing, and which has remained largely untouched since the late 1970s.
To its immense credit, Mercedes-Benz has certainly managed it by presenting the first production G-Class SUV from 1979 in a huge block of amber-colored synthetic resin (above) at the entrance to the Cobo Hall at the Detroit Auto Show.
The G-Class is a weighty vehicle in its own right, but the total of this one and its resin case is an incredible weight of almost 49 tons. The 1979 280 GE was suspended in amber-like resin and positioned so it looks as though it’s traversing downhill or over a particularly rocky road, which perfectly accentuates the vehicle’s rugged DNA. Mercedes says it “symbolizes the timelessness of the off-road legend and makes a conscious reference to the natural phenomenon of insects preserved in amber.”
It’s intended to make a statement about how the genetic material of the G-Wagen has been preserved for so long, and how the brand’s longest-running model series continues to embrace its fundamental genetics from one generation to another. Of course, it could also be looked at in a much more simplistic way as taking the boxy off-roader from the realm of actual utility vehicle to something that looks like life-size Hot Wheels display for kids and grown-up kids to marvel at.
Although the new G-Class still looks a lot like it always has looked, the manufacturer has revealed there’s more that is new about the new-generation than it might appear. The wheel arches and bumpers now form a more integral part of the body and look less like add-on features as they have done in the past, and the vehicle is now 53 mm longer and 121 mm wider than its predecessor. Under the hood is a high-performance 4.0-liter V8 biturbo petrol engine, which now develops 315kW and as much as 610 Nm of torque from 2000 to 4750rpm.
The manufacturer has admitted it took 90 days to create the installation for the Detroit reveal, which grew by only around three centimeters in height each day and now measures roughly 5.4 meters in length, 2.4 meters wide and three meters high. But don’t worry about missing out if you can’t get to see it in Detroit as the display is set to travel to other auto shows as the new G-Class makes its debut in additional markets. It is set to make its market launch in May in Germany. – AFP Relaxnews