For over 33 years now the Mercedes G Class exterior looks have generally remained unchanged. However Mercedes have been making minute changes to keep it fresh and modern.
|Mercedes G 63 AMG|
The front of the vehicle is characterized by a distinctive three-louver radiator grille, featuring a central three-pointed star, steeply raked A-pillars and the upright windscreen. The round bi-xenon headlamps with integrated oval fog lamps now come with cornering light function. The side view is described by its clear lines and broad, flat surfaces. The side skirts and roof edge are aligned in parallel.
|The G-Class in action|
Two large windows in the rear are a further characteristic of the long-wheelbase Station Wagon. Twin chrome exhaust tips pop out at the side on the AMG models. It has a broad track and distinctive wheel arch lining give the G-Class a composed stance when seen from the rear.
|Rear of the G-Class|
The rear fog lamp and reversing lamp are integrated into the rear bumper. Access to the load compartment is via a large rear door, hinged on the left, which carries a spare wheel prominently mounted on the outside. New to the G-Class is a completely redesigned dashboard with central free standing 7 inch display unit.
|Side profile of the AMG versions|
It also comes with a restyled centre console with centre dome and generously sized trim elements. A new instrument cluster with round dials instruments and a multifunctional steering wheel with shift paddles are also new to the G-Class. It also comes with Mercedes COMAND (Cockpit Management and Data System) Online Controller and a new air conditioning unit.
|Rear of the AMG versions|
There are new LED daytime running lamps below the headlamps while at the side are mew exterior mirrors with integrated indicator lights. The G 500 comes with standard 18-inch 5-spoke light-alloy wheels while G 350 BlueTEC has 16-inch 5-spoke light-alloy wheels. The AMG versions, the G 63 AMG and G 65 AMG, come with a new radiator grill with twin intakes, new front and rear bumper, new red brake callipers and huge 20-inch rims.
|Distinctive wheel arch lining|
Its two variants, that is the four-door long wheelbase Station Wagon and the Cabriolet with short wheelbase, come with a range of engine options. The entry-level version, the G 350 BlueTEC, comes with a 3.0 litre 6 cylinder diesel engine.
|Name says it all|
The engine has an output of 211hp. The top of the range G 500 version comes with a more powerful 5.5 litre V8 petrol engine. This has an output of 387hp. Married to the engines is a new 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. The transmission has been revised to offer smooth gear changes and also optimise on fuel consumption.
|V8 AMG heart|
The AMG versions, G 63 AMG and the G 65 AMG come with even more powerful engines. The G63 AMG comes with a biturbo V8 engine with an output of 544hp while the G 65 AMG comes with a biturbo V12 engine that gives out 612 hp. The G 63 AMG accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just 5.4 seconds, and has a new limited top speed of 210 km/h.
The G 65 AMG accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in just 5.3 seconds, and has a limited top speed of 230 km/h. Hence G 65 AMG is the most powerful series-production off-roader in the world. Married to both monsters is the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS seven speed-automatic, used in most AMG models. This has smooth shorter shifting time and also offer improved fuel economy.
|The entry level diesel engine|
It’s amazing off road capabilities have also been improved. Its high ground clearance of 21cm, clever suspension and new electronic traction system with three differential locks combined with its 4 millimetre thick underbelly ensure that major vehicle components remain protected when negotiating over obstacles.
|Most powerful series-production SUV|
The new improvements also give the G-Class series, a maximum depth of 60 cm over water and an approach and departure angle of 36° at the front and 27° at the rear. A host of new safety features are available.
|Front featuring daytime running LEDs|
It has an all new reconfigured Electronic Stability Program (ESP) especially suited for the off roader. The system combines a start-off assist and a HOLD function to offer easier hill starts. In case of an emergency, the system ensures the brakes work at their maximum capability by increasing more pressure on the brake pads.
|Overall 33 year shape remains unchanged|
Blind Spot Assist and the adaptive cruise control system DISTRONIC PLUS have also been installed in the new G-Class range. DISTRONIC PLUS adjusts the distance to the vehicle in front automatically. If necessary, it can apply the brakes to bring the off-roader to a stop, and then accelerate again.
|Twin chrome exhaust tips visible on AMG versions|
This takes some of the strain off the driver, particularly in bumper-to-bumper driving conditions. If the distance starts to narrow too quickly, the system gives visual and acoustic warnings, thereby prompting the driver to take action. Brake Assist (BAS) also intervenes to help. Blind Spot assist issues a warning if it identifies the presence of a vehicle on the driver’s “blind spot”. The warning takes the form of an acoustic alert while a signal appears on the exterior mirrors.
|Blind Spot Assist in action|
Its enhanced exterior looks are also reflected inside. Its redesigned dashboard, instrument cluster and new center console give a modern twist to the old looks of the G-Class. The dashboard incorporates an instrument cluster with two sporty round dials, while a 7 inch TFT multifunctional screen, displays on-board computer information relating to assistant system.
The driver sits behind an adjustable 4-spoke multifunctional steering wheel while the rest of the passengers enjoy the comfort provided by the leather covered seats. The driver seat has memory function while all the seats are heated. NECK-PRO high-comfort head restraints on the front seats and electronically adjustable lumber support give a comfortable ride on long journeys. Entertainment is taken care of by the new COMAND Online system with internet access.
|Fresh and new cockpit|
It also acts as the car radio and CD/DVD player in one. It comes with either a 4 speaker 25 watts amplifier entertainment unit or with Harman Kardon Logic7-surround sound system. The system has a six-DVD changer, voice operated command system, a hard disc for storage of music and navigation maps and a TV and satellite receiver. With internet access one can get the latest maps from Google, download maps to an SD card and get the latest weather reports and news.
|Comfortable front seats|
Although the G-Class range is over 33 years, Mercedes have proven that it’s still has what it takes to beat the new boys on the field. G 350 BlueTEC is priced €85,311.10 euros (Kshs. 9.5 million) while the G 500 goes for €99,948.10 (Kshs 11.2 million).
|Mercedes G 63 and G 65 AMG|
The G 500 Cabriolet goes €100,900.10 (Kshs 11.3 million) while the G 63 AMG is priced at €137,504.50 (Kshs. 15.5 million). The top of the range G 65 AMG goes for a whopping €264,180.00 (Kshs. 30 million)