Mercedes G-class interior revealed ahead of Detroit debut
Mercedes-Benz has revealed the interior of its new G-class off-roader, which has undergone the most important reinvention of its four-decade lifespan to deliver greater luxury, technology and usable space for occupiers while not abandoning its utilitarian origins. The 4×4 enjoyed its most successful year yet in 2016, when almost 20,000 were sold internationally.
Full details of the new G-class – which has been four years in growth at Mercedes’ standalone G facility in Graz, Austria, and is alias ‘W464’ – will be fully revealed at the Detroit motor show in mid-January, but the familiar boxy shape of the current vehicle will be retained. However, the German manufacturer has made some of the most significant revisions in the 5-seater’s interior. While incorporating much of the technology and underlying electronic architecture from the latest E-class, Mercedes has retained many of the G-class’s iconic design features. The overhauled G-class will be wider than the current model. An increased wheelbase and improved packaging of major components have also helped liberate a considerable amount of space, inside. Rear passenger space – an area that was criticized in the current G-class – is said to have increased by 150mm, with approximately 40mm of that being freed up by the longer wheelbase. Although the new G-class retains its predecessor’s upright windscreen and square-jawed proportions, the seating position is slightly more car-like in the new model. “In the outgoing car, it is more like you sit on the car, but now you sit in it,” said Oliver Metzger, G-class design engineering chief.
The influence of Mercedes’ sedans can be seen on the center console and dashboard, most particularly on the multi-function steering- “The influence of Mercedes’ sedans can be seen on the center console and dashboard, most notably on the multi-function steering wheel, which features touch-sensitive controls for the infotainment system-wheel, which features touch-sensitive controls for the infotainment system, an electric handbrake and the gear selector stalk mounted on the steering column, as opposed to the more traditional gearshift in the center console. It brings the G-class in line with other Mercedes models equipped with auto gear transmissions and opens up space on the center console for the touchpad and rotary infotainment controller, as well as additional stowage areas. An analogue instrument panel comes as standard, but a ‘virtual’ display is available as an option. Design themes from the car’s exterior are mirrored inside, said Metzger.
. Although the new G-class will retain its forbearer’s off-road ability, it has experienced extensive testing on the Schöckl – the grueling mountain close to the Graz factory. It will also be more luxurious and offer greater potential for personalization through optional equipment packages and an AMG Line trim level.