The iconic Mercedes-Benz off-road vehicle continues to be a resounding success with better-than-ever sales on a global basis. Since it was originally conceived in 1979 as a vehicle to be used primarily in tough off-road terrain, the G-Class has undergone an astounding evolution. Over the course of 35 years, Mercedes-Benz has refined what was initially a very practically-oriented off-road specialist by giving it a premium interior and road-going qualities on par with those of the premium sedans from Mercedes- Benz.
The G-Class today is considered the top model among luxury-class cross-country vehicles, and has provided the gene pool for other very successful SUVs built under the Mercedes-Benz brand. The G-Class has been voted offroader of the year countless times over the past years, most recently this year. A comprehensive range of features ensures that this classic cross-country vehicle remains in a class of its own in the off road sector.
These highlights include two powerful V8 biturbo engines, a significantly extended range of appointments, a luxurious interior and a few discreet external modifications that nevertheless manage to preserve the timeless, classic design – virtually unchanged since 1979 - that has made the G Class a true automotive style icon. Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "Our G-Class has been a force to be reckoned with for the last 34 years. In its latest evolutionary stage, it offers state-of-the art, powerful engines, a further improved range of luxurious appointments and the very latest safety features, as well, of course, as its now legendary off-road capabilities. At the same time the design remains true to its down-to-earth, unmistakable style."
In particular, the interior is characterized by high-quality appointments finished with exquisite materials, and the instrument cluster and center console have been completely redesigned. The driver is greeted by a color instrument cluster display between two round dials. Other standard features include the latest COMAND infotainment system featuring mbrace2, including a navigation system and internet access. Standard safety
features include the addition of Blind Spot Assist, the parking aid PARKTRONIC and the adaptive cruise control system DISTRONIC PLUS. The G63 AMG with an eight-cylinder biturbo engine and the ECO stop/start system as standard continue to dominate the model mix in the USA.
Discreet exterior modifications, a complete look inside
The external modifications for model year 2013 included LED daytime running lamps and exterior mirrors. The AMG version also features a, characteristic AMG radiator grille with double louvers, plus distinctive bumpers with large air intakes. Red brake calipers and 20-inch wheels complement the emotive appeal of its exterior.
The instrument panel and center console have modern controls and are generously proportioned, with exclusively designed trim elements. These give the interior of the SUV a fresh, premium look. Drivers benefit from a TFT color display in the instrument cluster between the two round gauges. A large color screen, conveniently positioned in the center, is part of the COMAND system and incorporates a DVD changer and the standard COMAND Controller.
This infotainment system offers, amongst other features, a navigation system with special additional off-road functions, voice-operated controls and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. In order to ensure that the G-Class nevertheless does not lose any of its character, certain specific design elements in the interior have been preserved. The G-Class retains the grab handle on the front-passenger side, the switches for the three differential locks – clearly aligned within the driver's field of vision and highlighted in silver trim – and the redesigned shift lever in the lower section of the center console.
Standard safety features include DISTRONIC PLUS, Blind Spot Assist and the parking aid PARKTRONIC with reversing camera. The ESP® system has been completely revised and now includes Trailer Stability Assist and a HOLD function. Further individualization options from the exclusive designo range are available as enhancements to what is already a very high-quality interior.
Sophisticated engines with high power reserves
The available engines for the G-Class include the powerful 5.5-litre V8 gasoline engine in the G550, which has an output of 382 hp and offers excellent torque of 391 lb-ft. The engine is mated to the familiar 7-speed automatic transmission. This sixth generation of the stepped automatic transmission that has been developed and produced by Mercedes-Benz since 1960 has once again been thoroughly revised, and optimized with regard to both consumption and comfort. The G63 AMG with a V8 biturbo engine with 536 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque, which features the ECO stop/stop system as standard.
The technical qualities of the G-Class continue to be highly prized. The tremendous torque of its engines makes the luxury off-roader an excellent vehicle for towing, while its three electrically controlled 100-percent differential locks, ladder frame and rigid axle characteristics make it an unrivalled proposition in rough, off-road terrain.