Although it might not look like it from the outside, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has undergone a huge transformation since it was first launched almost 40 years ago. It started off as a hardcore, rough-and-ready off-roader for the German military and utility companies, but it’s now morphed into an entirely new life as a highly profitable, uber-luxury SUV.
Mercedes has just revealed the G-Wagen is getting the biggest update in its history, but if you think that will include a radical new look for the exterior then think again.
The overwhelming majority of updates will happen inside the Geländewagen (the German name for the G-Class), which will see the luxury nature of the cabin taken to even higher levels than it is already. Although it will be more closely aligned with the S-Class limousine than something you’ll be happy to climb into with boots covered in mud, it will have lots of signature features unique to this model.
There will still be the generous amount of headroom, the dashboard-mounted grab handle and the thin doors and A-pillars, but the enhancement of the luxury SUV’s technology features will be off-the-scale. But fans of the incredible off-road credentials of the G-Class have nothing to worry about as the new model is not going to be moving in any way towards being another soft-roader.
The three buttons for the mechanical-locking differentials in the center of the dashboard are being retained, and the rest of the dash is being built around them. The ladder-frame chassis construction is also being retained, but it will now be mostly aluminum, so torsional rigidity will improve by some 30 percent, while also dropping around 160 kg of weight.
At the moment, the G-Class is Europe’s last really serious and hardcore off-roader, at least until the arrival of a new Land Rover Defender. But the Mercedes has much more premium rivals to worry about such as the Bentley Bentayga and upcoming Falcon, Lamborghini Urus, a BMW X7 in the pipeline, and the increasing upmarket stretch of the Range Rover. – AFP Relaxnews