Mercedes-Benz G-Class: See the changes side-by-side

Mercedes-Benz G-Class: See the changes side-by-side

A slow drip feed of information over the past few months has left little of the new Mercedes G-Class under wraps, but with its official reveal at this week's Detroit Motor Show we now know what it looks like underneath its previously camouflaged skin, and we have the full story on its improved offroad credentials.

The G-class is wider and features more space in the interior than previous models.

Engine options are the AMG G63 which gets the 4.0 litre V8 petrol with 603bhp and 627lb/ft of torque, a G 500 with a de-tuned version of the 4.0 litre V8 (which might not make it to the UK) and a 350 d with Mercedes' 2.9 litre V6 turbodiesel with 282bhp and 443lb/ft of torque. The G-Class gets a new 9-speed automatic transmission.

In the first revamp of the G-Class since the rugged sport utility vehicle's introduction almost four decades ago, Mercedes-Benz took the approach that if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The four-wheel-drive model also offers up to five driving modes.

It may look much the same as ever, but the 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Glass brings the 39-year-old classic right into the present... with the help of AMG. An analogue instrument panel comes as standard, but a "virtual" display is optional. "The new G is still a G, only better", said Mercedes board member Ola Kaellenius, clearly keen to stress the retro benefits.

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Curvier wing mirrors now attach to the doors at the base of the windows on the latest G-Class, rather than on the quite skinny A-pillars.

The inside of the vehicle has many changes and improvements, especially in the technology department. Thanks to a 1.6-inch longer wheelbase and repositioned rear seats, rear passengers have an extra six inches of legroom. This is a auto with exposed door hinges, and indicator repeaters borne proudly aloft the front wings. But G-Class sales grew 6 percent compared with the prior year.

Alongside the interior, the other major focus for the new G-Class has been improved handling, with Mercedes stating that "the primary goal of development was to redefine the quality of handling both on and off the road".

More than eighty per cent of all G-wagens made - as it was originally known - are still in active use. It ditches the old G's recirculating ball setup for electric power assistance, which enables Comfort, Sport, and Off-Road steering modes. It is an independent suspension with a double-wishbone front axle and a rigid rear axle. Priced from €107,040.50 ($130,532 / INR 82,81,668), the new Mercedes G-Class will go on display at the North American International Auto Show later today.

"This off-road mode adapts the adjustable damping of the chassis and the steering as well as the accelerator characteristic, avoids unnecessary gear shifts and thus ensures optimum control and maximum off-road capability", Mercedes-Benz says.

Unfortunately, we'll still have to wait for pricing and fuel economy data till the new SUV hits the market in late 2018, but we expect those numbers to stay close to their current counterparts.

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