Launched with just a single variant for now, the G500, the new G-Class has a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 under the bonnet and bona-fide off-road credentials that do justice to the G’s hard-earned reputation for unburstable go-anywhere capability. On top of that, there’s now an interior that could actually be described as luxurious.
Speaking of which, the exterior dimensions have swelled by 53mm in length and 121mm in width, with all that extra room going into the creation of more interior sprawling space.
There’s an extra 38mm of legroom up front, an additional 150mm in the rear, 38mm of extra shoulder room in front (27mm for backseaters), and 68mm of additional elbow room for front passengers. Those in the second row gain an extra 56mm.
All that adds up to improve the G-Wagen’s liveability, while Mercedes-Benz has decked it out with enough kit to have you thinking you are rolling in an E-Class instead of a hairy-chested legend of the off-road world.
There are three locking differentials to help the G-Class keep on rolling when the bitumen ends, and the 310kW/610Nm turbo eight sends power to all four wheel via a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Ground clearance measures in at 241mm, with approach and departure angles of 31- and 30-degrees respectively.
Through the use of lightweight building materials, Mercedes-Benz has also managed to shave 170kg from the G-Class’s kerb mass, while simultaneously improving torsional rigidity by 55 percent.
"Enhancing an icon such as the G‑Class in technological terms was both a challenge and an opportunity at the same time,” explains Dr Gunnar Güthenke, Head of the Off-Road Product Group at Mercedes-Benz. “Each part and every bolt came under close scrutiny.”
Meanwhile, the exterior design is a case of evolution rather than revolution, with the Mercedes icon still unmistakable in its looks.
The G-Class is expected to launch in Australia in the third-quarter of 2018, with the yet-unreleased G63 slated to spearhead its arrival.