Arguably, one of the biggest highlights of the 2018 Detroit Autoshow has been the all-new 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
The longest-serving member of Mercedes-Benz lineup, which has changed very little over the past 30-years, now boasts a comprehensive redesign of its chassis, powertrain, technology features and overall look.
In a detailed video, Mercedes-Benz takes us behind the scenes of its design, development and, testing of the new G-Class.
Only a few characteristic features have been carried over from the last generation; things such as the distinctive door handle and the characteristic closing sound, the robust exterior protective strip, the exposed spare wheel on the rear door and the prominent front fender indicator lights.
As Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG explains, “The car is almost a brand with over 30 years of history. I believe we cannot fundamentally change it, we have to keep the original DNA and character of this car,”
He adds, We just need to bring it into a new generation by making it more clean and contemporary, and of course, change the proportions to become the next G-Class.”
The new car retains key aspects of the G-Class, such as its ladder-type frame, low-range gear system and, triple locking differential system (front axle, rear axle, and centre transfer case) – and builds on these elements to make the G-Class more formidable.
By far the biggest difference of the new G-Class is skin deep. The overall dashboard architecture follows in the nature of the new models, in particular, the inclusion of the Widescreen Cockpit's twin 12.3-inch display screens.
Elsewhere, retrospective elements such as the grab handle in front of the front passenger and the chrome-highlighted switches for the three differential locks have been retained.
During the launch, Mercedes-Benz announced one variant, the G500, which is powered by a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 producing 422 hp and a maximum torque of 610 Nm between 2000 and 4750 rpm. The engine is mated to the company’s 9G-Tronic automatic transmission which has been specifically tuned for off-road performance.
The video also gives us a look at Mercedes-AMG’s involvement in the development of the G-Class’s double-wishbone front axle (independent suspension) system which works in combination with a rigid rear axle.
With regards to AMG models, Shirin Emeera, Head Of Product of Mercedes-AMG explains that AMG powertrains will be fitted with the new AMG Speedshift Plus 9G-Tronic transmission.
She also teases a new AMG engine, “that offers even more power than the one you’re used to right now.” Hinting at a new AMG model that could be introduced in the near future.