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Mercedes unveils all-new G-Class

Mercedes has unveiled the new G-Class – its iconic off-roader that dates all the way back to 1979 – at the Detroit motor show 2018.

The new model retains a similar look to the original, but has significantly enhanced the safety and dynamics of the iconic 4×4, as well as making it much lighter than before.

Other highlights include new LED headlights integrated into the round lights of the original, new driver assistance systems and all-new suspension.

Yet, it’s definitely not all about creature comforts as it can still perform admirably off road. The new G-Class features three differential locks that not only make it ride better, but also helps it to perform better off-road.

The Mercedes G-Class dates back to 1979 when the then-utilitarian off-roader first went on sale. While the model is now a firm favourite with rich inner-city dwellers, it remains a rugged choice. Iconic elements of the original remain, though, including the exterior protective strip, the bonnet-mounted indicators and the spare-tyre mounted on the tailgate.

It is also 53mm longer and 121mm wider – as if it wasn’t big enough already.

The interior has been thoroughly modernised, too, using the same instrument cluster fitted to the E-Class and S-Class saloons. It includes two 12.3-inch displays that can be personalised to display a selection of virtual instruments. It also has a touch pad, which means the driver doesn’t have to take their eyes off the road to use the menus.

Mercedes says the new model is more agile, dynamic and comfortable thanks to its new suspension that was created with help from Mercedes’ AMG division.

Ola Källenius, board member at Daimler AG, said: “The new G-Class is setting the bar higher still in all relevant areas – in terms of performance both on and off road as well as with regard to comfort and telematics. In short, the new ‘G’ is still a ‘G’, only better.”

‘G-Mode’ is the G-Class’ all-new driving mode system allowing it to go even further off road. The settings can change the chassis damping, acceleration and gear changes to aid performance in low-grip situations.

It is now 170kg lighter thanks to the use of high-strength steel and aluminium, while the new model makes use of Mercedes’ tried-and-tested nine-speed gearbox.

While full UK pricing and specifications are yet to be announced, the model starts from €107,040 in Germany (£95,000 at current exchange rates). Deliveries are expected to start in the summer.

Ted Welford

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January 15, 2018

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