The new version of Mercedes’s square-jawed off-roader, which first reached in 1979, will be revealed to the public at the Detroit motor show in January 2018 and go on sale in the UK in the spring. The leaked image, posted on Dutch website AutoWeek, shows the wide-screen infotainment screen and metallic trim that will be fitted to the model. Like the S-Class’s, the G-Class’s dashboard features fewer buttons and a cleaner design, with metallic button controls on the steering wheel.
The G-Class gets more butch metallic vent surrounds, however, as a nod to its more rugged character. The technology fitted to the G-Class is demanded by some insiders to secure the future of the G-Class well into second half of the next decade. Much of the electronic building will be shared with the S-Class.
The new G-Class has adopted a completely fresh design and a contemporary aluminium construction. The move, Mercedes executives say, helps donate to a 160kg decrease in kerb weight over today’s mostly steel-bodied model while delivering a 30% rise 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 usually upright styling, are demanded to boost the on-road performance. The G-Class is also in line to accept a new range of engines. These contain 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 20-mm growth in width, is demanded to have the same 0.54 drag constant as today’s car.
The traditional styling aims to provide maximum off-road functionality. 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. Underpinning the 2018 G-Class is a new suspension system. It adopts a new independent front end as well as seriously studied geometry at the back, both offering added levels of wheel travel and axle articulation over the old model. In a move that’s claimed to provide next year’s model with greater comfort, it receives adaptive damping control too. Another significant change is the adoption of a new steering system. The recirculating ball system, which dates back to the 1979 G-Wagen, has been replaced by a modern electromechanical rack and pinion arrangement, which is demanded to bring a greater degree of precision.