New Mercedes G-class revealed at Detroit motor show

Merc’s iconic G-class undergoes its biggest changes yet, focusing on modernisation without messing with the aesthetics.

It may not look it, but the new 2018 Mercedes G-class has undergone its biggest suite of changes since it was first put into production in 1979.

Featuring a new engine, interior and redesigned chassis components, Mercedes has tread that fine line between modernising a classic and not messing too much with a design that has made it such a hit with buyers. The G-class enjoyed its highest sales to date in the UK last year, 65 per cent of which were the range-topping AMG G 63.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

The new model's biggest changes are under the skin, the new G-class introducing modern components like an independent front axle and rack and pinion steering for the first time. Off-road ability has remained a top priority, so the previous car’s ladder chassis, three locking differentials and low-range transmission remain, but the new components aim to dramatically improve on-road dynamics, previously a significant compromise when compared to modern SUV rivals.

> Click here for our find out more on the 2018 Range Rover

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The new G shares a similar body shell to the outgoing car, but it’s now 53mm longer and 121mm wider. Thanks to added use of high-strength steel and aluminium weight is down by 170kg over the previous model too. Classic design elements like exposed hinges and the top-mounted front indicators have also been maintained, so as not to compromise the current aesthetic. The lighting units front and back have been swapped for new LED versions, the front with circular coronas forming the G-class's new lighting signature. The bumpers have also been re-profiled, again focusing on maintaining steep approach and departure angles so not to inhibit off-road ability, although the forthcoming AMG model will no doubt toughen up the visuals when it eventually arrives.

Inside, Mercedes has made far more significant changes, aligning the G-class with other flagship Mercedes products like the E-class and S-class. The new dash is dominated by Merc’s usual pairing of 12.3-inch screens sat behind a single glass pane. Below this are the G’s classic set of differential lock controls and HVAC and infotainment controls borrowed from the E-class. Interior accommodation has also improved thanks to the larger body, a common complaint with the old car.

> Click here for our review of the current Mercedes-AMG G63

The only engine to have been specified at this point is a 4-litre bi-turbo V8 petrol powering the G 500. Producing 416bhp and 450lb ft of torque, this power unit is obviously aimed at the American and Middle Eastern markets, but we expect more engine options, including an AMG version, to be released in time. UK prices and specifications have also yet to be released, but it should start at somewhere around £100,000 when order books open in March.

The update comes as no surprise as the G-class still represents a strong revenue stream for Mercedes despite its undeniable age and antiquated dynamics. The changes will keep the G fresh for another model-cycle, and so long as the G-class remains a trendy SUV to buy, it will surely continue to be a success for German marque.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/land-rover/sport-svr/202618/range-rover-sport-hst-2020-review
Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Range Rover Sport HST 2020 review - is the new straight-six petrol a good fit?

14 May 2020
Visit/land-rover/range-rover/202616/next-generation-2021-range-rover-spied
Land Rover Range Rover

Next-generation 2021 Range Rover spied

14 May 2020
Visit/alfa-romeo/stelvio-quadrifoglio/202582/fresh-2020-alfa-romeo-stelvio-quadrifoglio-revealed
Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio revealed alongside Giulia

7 May 2020
Visit/suvs/202501/volkswagen-touareg-r-line-tfsi-review
SUVs

Volkswagen Touareg R-Line TFSI review

22 Apr 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/used-cars/20402/cheap-fast-cars-2020-the-best-budget-performance-cars-on-the-market
used cars

Cheap fast cars 2020 – the best budget performance cars on the market

The cheap fast car is a wonderful thing, if you buy right and do your research. These are our favourites from £1000 to £10,000
4 Jun 2020
Visit/features/17660/the-best-four-cylinder-engines-ever-we-pick-our-favourites
Features

The best four-cylinder engines ever

We've gathered a selection of our very favourite four-pots ever produced
27 May 2020
Visit/bentley/mulsanne/202688/bentleys-675-litre-v8-engine-is-no-more-we-pay-homage-with-a-classic-road
Bentley Mulsanne

Bentley’s 6.75-litre V8 engine is no more: we pay homage with a classic road trip

After 61 years of service, the end has come for Bentley’s 6.75-litre V8. To mark the occasion, we take one on a road trip from London to Geneva
3 Jun 2020
Visit/chevrolet/202690/c8-chevrolet-corvette-uk-prices-and-specifications-revealedchevrolets-new-mid
Chevrolet

C8 Chevrolet Corvette UK prices and specifications revealed

Chevrolet’s new mid-engined C8 Corvette is an American supercar for less
3 Jun 2020