The venerable Mercedes-Benz G-Class celebrated its 38th birthday last year. It hasn’t changed much over the course of its unusually long production run, but it’s finally preparing to retire. We’ll see a brand-new G on January 15 at the Detroit Auto Show, and Mercedes has published the first official pictures of its next SUV. A separate report sheds more insight into what to expect — and, importantly, what not to expect — under the hood.
For the time being, the German company is only showing us the interior, which on first impression looks appreciably more upmarket than before. The layout is similar; the dashboard is tall and shallow and the windshield is flat. Everything else is new. Tech features like the cutting-edge dual-screen setup and the touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel come straight from the bigger S-Class. More basic models settle for a single infotainment screen and an instrument cluster made up of a driver-configurable color display flanked by analog gauges.
There’s more than meets the eye, though. Mercedes promises the G-Class now offers numerous hidden storage bins, an available wireless smartphone charger, and considerably more space than before for all five occupants. The latest electronic driving aids will seep down into the G from Mercedes’ sedans, too.
By Mercedes’ own admission, the G’s appearance has changed very little. It’s still boxy, it still has round headlights, and the spare tire is still mounted externally out back. And Magna-Steyr still builds the G by hand in its Graz, Austria, facility. No surprises there. It’s wider than before, however, and we’re told everything under the skin (including the frame) was redesigned. The steering system received comprehensive updates, too.
Engine options, like much else, remain unconfirmed. If we were to bet, we’d say there’s a good chance Mercedes’ ubiquitous twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 engine will power the entry-level model, at least here in America. A V8-powered version Mercedes-AMG will join the lineup a little later in the production run. We’re not ruling out a mild hybrid model with Mercedes’ turbocharged straight-six engine and a 48-volt electrical system, either. It’s too early to tell whether such insane models as the G550 4×4² will return.
The berserk V12-equipped model might die along with the current-generation G, however.
“The v12 market has changed and I think it could be that we have to call it done. We still have V12 aficionados but they’re more into Maybach. We don’t need a luxury car like that in our AMG portfolio, so it could be that this is the last generation of V12 AMG S-Class,” said AMG boss Tobias Moers in an interview with Top Gear.
The interior shots confirm an important detail about the drivetrain: the next-generation G retains the outgoing model’s three differential locks. They’re activated using switches located between the air vents on the center console. We also see a switch labeled “low range,” meaning it will continue to offer a transfer case. In other words, the toughest off-roader on the planet isn’t going soft. It’s just putting on a Hugo Boss suit instead of showing up to dinner in hiking parka from The North Face.
Has the brand-new 2019 G-Class piqued your interest? It certainly has our attention. Stay tuned — we’ll bring you more details about Mercedes’ next off-roader as they become available in the coming weeks.
Teaser No. 2
Despite rumors that the outgoing G could retire its ancient body-on-frame construction, the new G-Class actually retains its ladder-type frame. So it’s more of a complete makeover rather than a completely new model from the ground up.
Though it builds upon it by improving the suspension at both ends, it says “tschüss” to the outgoing car’s solid front axle for a fully independent double-wishbone setup, while retaining the rear’s solid axle. The result promises much improved steering and more stable on-road handling, without sacrificing the Gelandewagen’s world-class off-road capabilities.
In fact, many of the Gelandewagen’s capabilities are greater than the car being replaced. For instance, ground clearance increases by a quarter of an inch, maximum fording depth increases by four inches, and angles of departure, approach, and breakover all increase by one degree.
There’s also a new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic with an integrated transfer case and low range capabilities, which can operate at speeds of up to 25 mph. When changing over to high range for normal driving, the modes can be switched at speeds of up to 43 mph.
The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class leaked
It seems the cat was let out of the bag. Earlier today, new pictures surfaced on the web via Dutch outlet AutoWeek.nl, of what appears to be the much-anticipated 2019 Gelandewagen. No official word from Mercedes-Benz themselves, but nonetheless, this is it. Say hi to the new G-Class, everyone!
With the camo removed, the G-Class still retains its original design, though subtle changes occur with new headlight, taillight, and bumper designs aft and forward. Otherwise, at its core, the G-Wagen is still a G-Wagen.
So you could rest easy if you feared the Gelandewagen would change significantly for the worse. Buyers of the famed Gelandewagen have repeated expressed their desire for Mercedes-Benz to continue production, despite being an ancient, if modernized, dinosaur. But that’s simply part of its charm and main appeal. And we’re thankful that the Silver Arrow is keeping with its tradition.
2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class teased officially
Amid the media frenzy surrounding the leak and revealing of the revised 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Mercedes-Benz released an official teaser photo of what seems to be a bunch of snow flying.
Somewhere behind that flying snow however is the latest G-Class, and you can make out the right-rear three-quarter view, showcasing its updated rear taillight.
Stay tuned for more.
Teased officially again …
Update: Added another latest official teaser photo of the Gelandewagen from Mercedes-Benz.