After nearly forty years since the inception of the now iconic marque from Mercedes, the Gelandewagen or as it is popularly known, G-Class, is receiving a new iteration in the form of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Since its 1979 release, the G-Wagen has mostly remained the same despite its popularity. Based on a military vehicle architecture, the vehicle can traverse any terrain the owner decides to go through. This utilitarian ruggedness is superb when off-road but less ideal for the road especially in the current SUV market. The trend has been for SUVs to be more luxurious, comfortable and handle smoothly when driving on the streets but still retain their off-road capabilities. With competition rising by the day, the new G-Wagen is sure to cement its place.
2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class – Improved Body and Interior
The general form has not changed due to its now iconic stature. However, it has grown considerably in girth adding nearly four inches as well as increasing in length. This translates to a more spacious interior. Apart from the few changes, the automobile still retains its iconic look. The wide fender flares are still present, near-vertical windshield and flat side glass and roof. In the back, a spare tire still hangs on the swing-away type rear door.
In light of recent developments in the SUV market, the 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class promises a new infotainment system, driver-assist features, and electromechanical power steering. The trimming takes a cue from the S-Class and E-Class for a luxurious finish. The standard front bucket, rear bench design will most likely remain leaving ample room for luggage behind the second row.
2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class – Engine and Associated Details
Buyers of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class will have numerous powertrain options, including diesel and gasoline. The base engine choice in the U.S is expected to be the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 producing 416 horsepower and a whopping 450 pound-feet of torque. A six-cylinder diesel option will be available in Europe although unlikely in the U.S. The engine will be mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. The new G-Wagen will come with a 4WD system as standard and a possible permanent AWD technology update later. Also, three differential locks are expected to remain.
The added width allows the adoption of a new suspension which will improve stability both on and off-road. It is speculated to switch to an independent configuration. Extensive use of aluminum and high-strength still has seen the new model shed 440lb from its previous 5665lb curb weight.
2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class – Availability and Cost
With no official pricing details released, it is safe to assume that the 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class will be priced more than the outgoing model. At $120,000 for the 2016 G550 in the U.S, expect the new G-Wagen to start at around $125,000. The AMG G63 starts at $139,000 while at the top end a V-12 AMG G65 goes for $217,900.
The unveiling of the new generation G-Wagen will be in late 2017, and the earliest models will hit showrooms in the U.S will be in 2018. This will correspond to its 40th anniversary. The Land Rover Range Rover is also expected to be unveiled later in the year sparking an age-old rivalry between the two brands.