WATCH: Best save ever?

South African Moto2 rider Steven Odendaal pulled off one of the greatest 'saves' in motorsport at the Czech GP.

DRIVEN: The new Toyota Supra

Does the new Supra meet the expectations of our Janine Van der Post, a Toyota fangirl?

New Mercedes G-Class: History of the G-Wagon

2018-01-15 08:12

Image: Newspress

Detroit - Not only is it the passenger car series with the longest production run in the history of Mercedes-Benz but it's also the forefather of all SUVs to bear the three-pointed star - with the launch of the 2018 edition we reflect on the history of the G-Class.

2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class revealed

What began in 1972 with a collaboration agreement between then Daimler-Benz AG and Steyr-Daimler-Puch in the Austrian city of Graz is now a story peppered with superlatives and significant milestones. The first concept to be developed was already different.

The team designed a vehicle which impressed with superior off-road capability, while at the same time appealing to customers as a full-featured and safe vehicle suitable for recreational purposes. All-wheel drive and differential locks have also been part of the “G” since that time, as has the robust ladder-type frame.

Spring of 1979

At the time of its market launch, in the spring of 1979, it was available with a choice of four engine variants from 53kW to 115kW. Customers had the option of a Cabriolet with a short wheelbase or Station Wagon models with short or long wheelbase.

In 1989 the vehicles of the model series 463 marked the beginning of an evolutionary process for the off-roader that was not just about keeping pace with technical progress.

It was an evolution that also brought a steadily expanding fan base and emphasised its character as an exclusive vehicle for any occasion. And, since 1993, a vehicle with an official name: the G-Class.

Image: Newspress

The G-Class models used for the 'Popemobile' are famous world. The Mercedes-Benz 230 G painted in mother of pearl with a special transparent body accompanied Pope John Paul II on numerous journeys from 1980.

The 25th anniversary of the G-Class was marked by the arrival of a very special model on the market, honed by Mercedes-AMG: the G 55 AMG Kompressor. Its eight-cylinder power unit (350kW/700Nm) gave the robust off-roader an unprecedented level of performance and demonstrated the tremendous potential of the G-Class.

The G 500 4x4 of 2015 added not only a luxurious interior to the equation, but also a ground clearance of 45 centimetres and impressive on-road performance. Since 2015, the designo manufaktur range has been providing customers with the option to take a G-Class and make it their own individual 'G' – with exclusive equipment variants that are perfectly coordinated with each other.

Image: Newspress

Limited to 99 units

Thanks to the Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet, the iconic G-Class reinvented itself once more in 2017. With its V12 engine (fuel consumption, combined: 17.0 litres/100 km, combined CO2 emissions: 397 g/km), portal axles, electric fabric top and exclusive appointments in the rear compartment, this very special all-terrain vehicle, which is limited to 99 units, meets the expectations of customers who demand the very highest standards of their vehicle and is arguably the most exclusive form of open-air driving pleasure.

Image: Newspress

The summer of 2017 saw the 300 000th G-Class roll off the assembly line in Graz – a Mercedes-Benz G 500 in designo Mauritius blue metallic with black leather seats and contrasting white topstitching (combined fuel consumption: 12.3 litres/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 289g/km). Equipped with a range of off-road features including all-terrain tyres mounted on black 16-inch rims and a sturdy roof rack, the anniversary vehicle embarked this summer on new adventures.

G-Class fans around the world determined the vehicle specification by voting for their favourite equipment and appointments on the official G-Class Facebook page. 

Image: Newspress

Read more on:    mercedes  |  south africa  |  off road  |  suv

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.