Mercedes’ latest-generation G-Class 4×4 has been revealed in Detroit ahead of the model’s arrival in Britain this June.
Featuring increased off-road performance and a modernised interior, Mercedes claims the newcomer is “significantly more agile, dynamic and comfortable than its predecessor”.
Externally, little has changed, except for a small growth spurt. The already sizeable G-Class has been stretched by 5cm and widened by 12cm – a move that, according to Mercedes, gives the car ‘greater presence’.
Enlarging the car has also freed up extra cabin space, and the most important changes have been made in there. The new car’s dashboard will be totally alien to owners of the current G-Class, with two 12-inch widescreen infotainment displays dominating proceedings.
As in the E-Class and the forthcoming CLS, the screen in front of the driver will serve as a digital instrument binnacle with the ability to bring up navigation or media displays, while the central screen will be home to the on-board infotainment systems such as connected services and navigation control.
Under the new skin, meanwhile, the off-road-orientated G-Class sits atop a ladder frame chassis, while ground clearance, maximum wading depth and tilt angles have all been improved.
Mercedes claims that these improvements are matched by the 4×4’s on-road handling, which is described by the manufacturer as “agile and effortless”. Whether that’s true or not remains to be seen, but a clever new suspension set-up, extra torsional rigidity and a 170kg drop in weight compared with the outgoing car should undoubtedly uave some effect on the G-Class’ road manners.
UK engine options are yet to be announced, but Mercedes has confirmed that the range-topping G500 model will use the 4.0-litre petrol V8 from a C 63 saloon. This will send its 416bhp might to all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission and returns 25.4mpg.
Mercedes hasn’t given us any idea of UK pricing yet, either, but the entry-level model will cost just over €107,000 (£95,000) in Germany, putting it roughly on a par with the old G-Class.