Mercedes' rugged off-roader turns 30 next month
16 January 2009

The Mercedes G-wagen, the rugged off-roader turned Hollywood celebrity favourite, has been in production for three decades, turning 30 next month.

The original Mercedes G-wagen was launched in 1979 and came with a choice of four engines and five body styles. It remained unchanged until 1991, when it was replaced with an updated model that is still on sale.

Many new Mercedes G-class models have been introduced in the intervening years as the 4x4 has moved away from its utilitarian roots.

The most famous and extreme are the high performance AMG versions. The current G55 AMG is powered by a 5.4-litre V8 engine producing 493bhp and 516lb ft and is capable of reaching 62mph in 5.5sec.

Throughout its 30-year life the G-class has been used in a variety of different roles and has even served time as a US military vehicle. A G500 cabriolet is also one of several Mercedes cars used by Pope Benedict XVI.

George Barrow

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