2018 Detroit - Mercedes-Benz unveils the all-new G-Class

In an industry where change is inevitable, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class had defied all odds being in production for far too long without significant changes in the sheet metal. Yes, the G-Class’ shape and dimensions hardly changed since 1979, the year it was introduced. As legendary as the G is, the fact that it was too old and, dare we say, outdated to comply with the current safety and tech norms was more than obvious. 

As a result, out went the G-Class to be replaced by this all-new version. Well, wait, where’s the all-new version, you ask? Believe us, this really is the new second-generation G-Class that just debuted at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show!

Much to the relief of thousands of fans and loyalists worldwide, the all-new G-Class looks pretty much like the outgoing G-Class. The iconic shape has been left untouched with subtle changes here and there to bring the G-Class up-to-date. Up front, the circular headlights are bigger and incorporate integrated LED accent lights. The panels on which the lights are placed are angled ever-so-slightly to the sides, getting rid of the cardboard box-like angles of the older model. The signature ‘clam-shell’ hood and the prominent indicators on top of the front fenders have been carried over to the new model as are the exposed door hinges, the old-school door handles, the flat windscreen and the boxy appearance. Changes in the rear are, again, minimal with the bodywork around the slim horizontal taillights being the most significant.

Crucially, the G-Class has now grown in size over its predecessor. The new model is 53 mm longer and 121 mm wider, giving the occupants much-needed improvement in leg room and shoulder room. The rear legroom, G’s traditional weak point, is now up by a whopping 150 mm!

The interiors have been sufficiently spruced up so as to not turn down a potential G-Class buyer who walks into a Mercedes-Benz showroom and happens to look at the cabin of an E-Class or S-Class sharing the floor. An all-new, customizable Digital Cockpit integrates two 12.3-inch screens that form the instrument panel and the central display. A touchpad with controller is housed in the center console, allowing drivers to operate stuff without taking their eyes off the road. The steering wheel has been redesigned as well incorporating more functions than before. Circular air-conditioner vents, like the ones on every other Mercedes-Benz car out there, are in there as well. Playing an ode to the old G-Class are the grab handle for the front passenger and three prominent, chrome-highlighted differential lock switches in the dashboard.

For its second-generation, the G-Class has gone through significant mechanical changes as well. Most importantly, the solid front axle has been shown the door, replaced by modern double wishbones that are sure to improve the on-road handling and ride quality. The ladder-on-frame construction, selectable four-wheel drive with low range and the front, center and rear locking differentials have been carried over, essentially making sure the G loses none of its competence off-road. With specs that read 270 mm ground clearance, 31° approach angle, 30° approach angle and 26° break-over angle, there is no reason to think twice before venturing off-road.

Powering this boxy brute is a 4.0-liter V8 engine that produces 422 horsepower and a peak torque of 610 Nm. The bi-turbo engine is mated to a 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission that’s been specifically adapted to suit the off-roading needs of the vehicle. 

The new G goes on sale later this year with the United States of America, Germany and China expected to be amongst the first markets. As they say, the legend lives on!

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