The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a car that has long baffled many petrolheads. What is a car that has made a name for itself as an exceptional off-road vehicle, is often Finally, Merc has made use of the Detroit Motorshow to unveil the new 2018 model. The new G-Class looks much like the old model and offers a very familiar look too the old model and is very clearly identifiable as a G-Class through boxy design that lives on in the new model. Rear passengers will be happy to know the chassis benefits from 53mm of length and 121mm of width. Weight is down 170kg through the use of aluminium and the front solid axle has been ditched for a more modern independent double wishbone setup and with this electromechanical steering replaces the aged truck steering of before. The design is more evolution than revolution as it retains the round headlights, which now offer greater lighting through modern tech and a more rounded front end with a rounded front bumper and bonnet improve the aerodynamic performance. At the rear, the changes are limited to new taillights.
True to form a collection of parts recycled from other models come to the party, but surprisingly the best of the E and S class has been chopped and screwed for the new G-Class. This has resulted in the use of high-quality materials and the latest Mercedes automotive technologies such as the 12.3 high-resolution widescreen cockpit as the instrument binnacle and the infotainment screen. The list of touches and finishes is rather extensive and very much in line with the premium ethos of the vehicle currently is gunning for. Standard fair is rather comprehensive with heated and electronically adjustable memory front seats which can be upgraded even further, with options.
On launch, the G500 will be offered with a 4.0 V8 with 310kw and 609nm, linked to the new 9-ratio automatic transmission, which has been enhanced to function best with the G-class’ driving modes, namely Comfort, Sport, Eco and Individual offered on the DYNAMIC SELECT rocker switch, signature of the modern Mercedes. A special G-mode is enabled when one of the three diffs or low range is activated and is designed to improve off-road ability.
Not that any will frequent such an activity, but the G is rather capable of the beaten track and is very much designed to climb, traverse and take you into the middle of nowhere and bring you back in absolute luxury. The figures are impressive with ground clearance at 24.1 cm, fording depth at 70 cm and tilt angle at 35 degrees. Approach angles sit a 31 and departure 30 degrees respectively while the break over angle is 26 degrees.
New 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-class pricing in South Africa
The only model on launch will be the G500 and the range will likely extended to more powerful petrol and diesel engines, the AMG treatment will naturally follow suit in the next few years. Pricing will be announced closer to the local launch later this year.