Mercedes-Benz G-Class has been reinvented, and it is quite a ‘meet the new boss, same as the old boss’ sort of situation going on here. The 2019 Mercedes-Benz G550, unveiled recently at the Detroit Auto Show, still retains its boxy body from 40 years ago but is now more modern than ever. The new SUV now offers better performance, assistance systems, handling and safety. At the same time, the new suspension, the Dynamic Select driving modes, the ‘G-Mode’ and the three 100-percent differential locks enhance ride comfort and agility – on any surface.
The G-Class has in itself gone on to become an icon, especially since the external appearance has not changed significantly since 1979. Iconic elements continue to serve very specific purposes and to give the G-Class its unique appearance. All these are still found in the new G-Class: the distinctive door handle and the characteristic closing sound, the robust exterior protective strip, the exposed spare wheel on the rear door and the prominent indicator lights.
While the exterior maintains the iconic classic look, the interior of the G-Class has undergone a fundamental modern redesign which reinterprets the genes of the classic vehicle to reflect the exterior. With its off-road character and luxury appointments, the G-Class has always combined two extremes. Unmistakable at first glance and from the first touch, only high-quality materials are used. Every detail is finished by hand with the utmost care.
The completely redesigned instrument panel on the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class features timeless tube-look analogue round dials as standard. As in the new E-Class and S-Class, an instrument cluster in the form of a large display showing virtual instruments in the driver’s direct field of vision and a central display above the centre console is available as an option. In this case, the two 12.3-inch displays blend visually into a Widescreen Cockpit beneath a shared glass cover. Drivers can choose between three different styles for the displays – “Classic”, “Sport” and “Progressive” – and also select relevant information and views according to their individual needs.
In the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class, a high-performance 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine ensures powerful propulsion. The new bi-turbo produces an output of 422 hp and a maximum torque of 610 Nm at 2000 to 4750 rpm. For the transfer of power, the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with torque converter was specifically adapted to meet the needs of the off-road icon.
2019 Mercedes-Benz Glass has been equipped with five driving modes. This allows adjusting the vehicle characteristics in seconds at the touch of a button, as the system modifies the characteristics of the engine, transmission, suspension, steering and assistance systems at the driver’s behest. The four programmes – Comfort, Sport, Eco and Individual can be set conveniently via the Dynamic Select rocker switch.
The new ‘G-Mode’
The G-Class changes to “G-Mode” independently of the chosen driving mode as soon as one of the three differential locks has been activated or the Low Range off-road reduction gear has been engaged. This off-road mode adapts the adjustable damping of the chassis and the steering as well as the accelerator characteristic, avoids unnecessary gear shifts and thus ensures optimum control and maximum off-road capability.
The use of a new mix of materials comprising strong, high-strength, ultra-high-strength steels and aluminium has allowed the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class to be around 170 kg lighter. The rigid body shell is now made of a variety of steel grades, while the wings, bonnet and doors are made of aluminium.
What began in 1972 with a collaboration agreement between then Daimler-Benz AG and Steyr-Daimler-Puch in the Austrian city of Graz is now an icon. At the time of its market launch, in the spring of 1979, it was available with a choice of four engine variants from 72 hp to 156 hp. Customers had the option of a Cabriolet with a short wheelbase or Station Wagon models with short or long wheelbase. To mark its 25th anniversary, a very special model was introduced on the market, honed by Mercedes-AMG: the G 55 AMG Kompressor.
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