The technology fitted to the G-Class is claimed by some insiders to secure the future of the G-Class well into the second half of the next decade. Much of the electronic architecture will be shared with the S-Class.
Why G-Class outlived the Land Rover Defender
The new G-Class has adopted a completely fresh design and a contemporary aluminium construction. The move, Mercedes officials say, helps contribute to a 160kg reduction in kerb weight over today’s mostly steel-bodied model while providing a 30% increase in torsional rigidity.
The military-grade off-roader also receives a widened chassis with new front suspension as well as adjustable damping. A new electric architecture supports a widened range of driver assistance systems.
Myriad changes, hidden beneath traditionally upright styling, are claimed to boost the on-road performance. The G-Class is also in line to receive a new range of engines. These include the latest evolution of AMG’s turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol unit and parent company Mercedes-Benz’s new 2.9-litre in-line six-cylinder diesel, in combination with a new nine-speed automatic gearbox.
The new G-Class’s design holds true to the look of today’s 38-year-old model with a boxy appearance that, despite a 20mm increase in width, is claimed to have the same 0.54 drag coefficient as today’s car.
The traditional styling aims to provide maximum off-road functionality. Autocar has been told the nominal fording depth of the new model has increased by up to 100mm. The approach, departure and ramp angles are all said to have been improved, too, if only marginally, over the outgoing model’s. Buyers will also be able to equip the 2018 model with a 360deg off-road camera for safer manoeuvring in tight off-road conditions.
Although early reports suggested the new G-Class was in line to adopt a monocoque construction, Autocar can confirm that it retains the tried and trusted ladder-frame chassis of its predecessor, albeit in heavily modified form.