Mercedes has finally taken the wraps off of its much-anticipated new G-Class. Unlike previous updates to the famous working Wagen that’s been with us for almost 40 years, this is an all-new car – with just three components carried over from the previous model.
What’s funny about that is that, really, the new G-Class looks pretty much identical to the one it replaces. Mercedes is pretty unapologetic about that, though – the company says that G-Class sales have grown enormously over the past few years, and they attribute a lot of that growth to the car’s looks and image. If it ain’t broke, and all that.
As a result, to our eyes, the only way you’ll be able to tell the new and old cars apart is from the new LED headlights at the front. Otherwise, the new design sticks steadfastly to the original – though being able to do that has come at great expense, Mercedes tells us.
In terms of what you can’t see, the new G-Class is actually longer and wider than the old one. This helps when it comes to interior space – which you can read all about here. There are also smaller panel gaps than before, but apparently the doors still close with the same satisfying thunk.
Where there should be big improvements is how the G-Class handles itself on the road. Merc has ditched the old recirculating ball steering setup for a new, electromechanical, rack-and-pinion system. This should make the G-Class much more manageable on the road, and hopefully a little more controllable off the road. Mercedes has also added a drive select function, so you can choose between Comfort, Sport, Eco, Individual and ‘G MODE’, which is apparently the car’s full-on, off-road mode.
Indeed, Mercedes is still touting the G-Class as the ultimate off-roader. The front suspension is now independent, and approach, departure and breakover angles have all been improved by one degree. You also get an extra wading depth of almost four inches. Otherwise, you still get three locking differentials and low-range gearing.
Deliveries for the new G-Class start this summer, at which point the only one available will be the G500. That’ll come with a twin-turbo, 4.0-litre V8 good for 416 bhp and linked to a new, nine-speed automatic gearbox. In Germany, prices start at around EUR 107,000. So, in the UAE, you can expect to pay a whisker under AED 500,000 for your new G-Class.
Or, if you’re so inclined, you can wait for the inevitable AMG models, which should be along towards the end of 2018.
Check out more pics below. What do you think, Internet?