Mercedes has revealed its second-generation G-Class, which closely resembles the original utilitarian off-roader that was launched 38 years ago, and since then it has received several updates.
So iconic is the G-Class styling that Mercedes has only slightly refreshed its angular exterior design is instead focused on strongly to review the interior and enhance the driving comfort and agility.
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Details such as distinctive door handles and door closing sound remain, as does the outer protective strip, exposed spare wheel on the tailgate and important indicator lights.
Despite the visual similarities, Mercedes claims the surface quality is improved, and the consequent narrower, more precise gapsâ€, and the wheel arches and bumpers are the most integral part of the body, â€œto look less and less like the add-on features,â€ says the manufacturer of the car.
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The new G-Class is also 53mm more and 121mm wider than its predecessor. Now measure 4715mm long, 1881mm wide, it is still more compact than its Range Rover rival, which measures 4999mm from 1983mm.
Some of the new G-Class biggest aesthetic and technological changes that are inside it. Mercedesâ€™ intention is to provide greater comfort, technology and usable space for the occupants, while remaining faithful to the model utilitarian origins.
Echoing the interior of the E-Class, the G-Class has multi function steering wheel, which features touch-sensitive controls for the infotainment system, an electric handbrake, and a gear selector stalk mounted on the steering column, as opposed to the more traditional gear lever in the centre console.
Port the G-Class, in line with other Mercedes models equipped with automatic transmission, and the space opens up on the center console for the touchpad and the rotary infotainment controller, as well as additional storage areas. Analogue instrument panel is provided as standard, but a â€˜virtualâ€™ display is optional.
The characteristics of the original G-Class include a carry handle at the front of the front passenger and chrome switches for the three differential locks.
Large cars also means a 40 mm-longer wheelbase, contributing to more rear passenger space, an area that has been the subject of criticism in its predecessor. Mercedes claims rear legroom is increased by 150mm and the front leg room is 38mm. There are also increases in elbow and shoulder room in both the front and rear.
The rear seats can be inclined up to nine different angles, which means that it can be left in a vertical position to optimize stowage space in the trunk or reclined to the rear, greater occupant comfort for long trips. The rear bench also folds flat to increase the size of the luggage compartment. Mercedes has yet to announce the capacity of the trunk, but it is expected to exceed the outgoing model of 699 litres.
The rear view camera has been improved. Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche, speaking at the car’s reveal at the Detroit motor show, said: “Like any G-Wagon owner knows: the rearview camera in the current model, especially, shows the spare wheel. That’s why our engineers have now placed the camera under the spare wheel.” The camera is also “one hundred per cent waterproof”.
Next to the inside, the other big focus for the new G-Class management has been improved, with Mercedes, stating that â€œthe primary goal of development was to redefine the quality of management, both on the road and off the road.â€ As a result, it claims that the G-Class is still better off road but also â€œmuch more agile, dynamic and comfortableâ€ on the road.
Zetsche added: “[G-Wagon] is immediately recognizable, even better, in every size. This is the most secure, more efficient, more comfortable, but – first and foremost – the most off-road capable G-Wagon of all time.”
The G-Class retains the scale-frame of its predecessor, a heavily modified, which, together with a new aluminium body structure, means a 170kg weight loss.
The new suspension has been developed with AMG. The independent suspension uses a double wishbone front axle in combination with a rigid rear axle. The lifting of the axes, has contributed to an increase in the distance from the earth to the 241mm, up to 6mm.
Other improvements of off-road ability include a 70cm maximum fording depth (10cm more than before), a 30deg angle of departure and 31deg angle of approach.
The rigidity of the body is also improved ladder-type frame, with a strut tower brace at the front-end link to front strut towers. At the rear, the new rigid axle is controlled by four trailing arms on each side and a Panhard rod, which is claimed to make the on-road driving more comfortable.
Class G boss Gunnar GÃ¼thenke said: â€œWith the body, our main goal is to increase the vehicle stiffness, and the connections between the suspension and the transmission with the ladder-type frame.â€
The four-wheel-drive model also offers up to five driving modes. Comfort, Sport, Individual and Eco ways through most of the range Mercedes, allowing the features of the vehicle: engine, transmission, suspension and steering, to be changed. The fifth mode, G-mode, for off-road driving. Incorporates three differential locks offered on its predecessor, plus low-range gears. G-fit shock absorbers and steering and accelerator, avoiding unnecessary changes, which â€œguarantees the maximum control and maximum off-road capability,â€ says Mercedes.
Another significant change is the adoption of a new steering system. The ball, which dates back to the 1979 G-Wagen, has been replaced by a contemporary-electro-mechanical rack and pinion arrangement, which is claimed to offer a precise and appropriate steering response for on road and off road. It also allows for the implementation of driver assistance systems such as Parking assistance.
The model also gets the Mercedes nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission with torque converter, replacing the seven-speed gearbox of its predecessor. It has been specifically adapted to meet the needs of the car, says Mercedes, with reduced shift times and response.
The new G-Class will arrive in the UK in the month of August, the Mercedes G63 AMG guise, which is the most popular variant sold here. You will use the AMG-developed 4.0-liter V8 turbo petrol engine, with 603bhp and 627lb ft, and replace the current 5.5-liter turbo V8 engine that delivers 563bhp and 560lb ft.
The G63 is expected to cost just under Â£140,000, with an increase of around â‚¬ 4000 compared to its predecessor. The variant AMG will be launched with the First Edition of a version that is likely to cost Â£156,000.
An entry-level 350d to arrive in 2019 â€“ is expected to start from â‚¬ 85,000, less than the current model’s starting price of Â£92,070. This will be in a well-specified AMG Line trim. It is understood that a cheaper trim level is also being considered, which would bring the G-Class, under Â£ 80,000.
The 350d adopts the 2.9-liter straight six diesel engine slowly released over the entire range, including the S-Class and CLS. You will develop the 282bhp and 443lb ft.
A G500, which uses the same engine of the G63 is in a lower state of tune, is confirmed for other markets and is not excluded for the UNITED kingdom.
Zetsche, speaking to reveal, told the audience to “watch” when asked about electric, G-Class, hinting at Mercedes’ announcement last year that all of their models electrified by 2022.
Despite the imminent arrival of the new G-Class, the UK sales of the current model are up 30% year-on-year in 2017.
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