Car fundi’s heading for the Detroit Auto Show mid-January will be in for a treat – the new Mercedes G-Class is one of the many new vehicles on display. And it’s completely different from the G-Class of old. Baroque Ground has all the details
Sure to be a standout at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2018, the brand new Mercedes G-Class is waiting for attention. And it’s well-deserved attention indeed, as the new iteration is completely different from its legendary predecessors, cars that in their own right took center stage in the almost 40 years that they have been making an impact off road.
Believe it or not, since 1979, over 300,000 different G-Class vehicles have given their owners a unique driving experience, something unachievable with any other car. But all of that is about to change – for the better. Sure, the 2019 G-Class looks very much like those models that have come before it. Why mess with that? It’s a winning formula, and the car is unlike anything else on the road. Mercedes knew that the only place to make any distinctive changes to an off-road legend was under the hood. Sure, the interior has been updated, and there are many new features. But, compared to the experience you’ll get when you are behind the steering wheel, they are mere window dressing.
Yes, you’ll feel comfortable opening the door of the G-Class with its distinctive door handle, you’ll enjoy hearing that characteristic noise it makes when you close the door. The exposed spare wheel on the rear door is still there, as well as those statement-making indicator lights. The car looks a touch more modern with its geometric shape and round headlamps, but the signature grab handle in front of the passenger seat is still there, as it has been since the original G-Class was created in 1979. You’ll also find the chrome-highlighted switches for the diff locks and air vents in the same position as the original. Those are characteristic features, so why mess with them?
Right, let’s get behind the wheel. The driver controls the entire entertainment system on the steering wheel, with touch-sensitive Touch Controls that respond in the same manner as a smartphone does, with swiping movements. You don’t need to lift your eyes off the road to do a thing. Inside, the interior is as classic and identifiable as ever, except for an expansive digital dash that was first seen on the Mercedes S-Class. It comprises two 12.3-inch digital screens, one for the infotainment system (already mentioned) and the other for the instrument cluster.
The 2019 G-Class G500 is powered by a 4.0-liter turbo-charged V8 engine with 400 horsepower and there will also be a G63 version with closer to 600 horsepower.