2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class flaunts more go-anywhere capability

Off-road credentials get a bump with the new G-Class

Every G-Class you see on the road has conquered Mercedes-Benz’s test mountain near the Austrian city of Graz. With gradients of up to 60% over the 5.6-kilometer route, every G-Class endures 2,000 demanding kilometers of this course. With the new G-Class, Mercedes-Benz takes a step further with the primary goal to be more effective off-road, with more comfort and control to boot.

A tried and true ladder-type frame, three 100% differential locks, a low range off-road focused ratio, and a new independent suspension with double-wishbone front axle and rigid rear axle make the new G-Class a cut above its predecessor. During development work, the engineers had the task of fighting for every millimeter, because off-road capability also means maximum ground clearance. The raised axle with independent suspension decisively contributes to this, and additionally increases the stiffness of the body with a strut brace. The components of the double-wishbone front axle are directly fixed to the ladder-type frame without a suspension sub frame. The attachment points on the frame of the lower wishbone in a Z-direction are positioned as high up as possible. This arrangement ensures good drivability beyond the asphalt.

One of the prerequisites for the improved off-road handling characteristics is the new “G-Mode”. The G-Class changes to “G-Mode” independently of the chosen drive program as soon as one of the three differential locks has been activated or low range has been engaged. This off-road mode adapts the adjustable damping of the chassis and the steering as well as the accelerator characteristic, avoids unnecessary gearshifts and ensures maximum off-road capability. The G simply swallows up major bumps, and even in extreme terrain the driver does not have to frantically hold on to the steering wheel to effortlessly maneuver.

For power delivery, the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with torque converter was specifically adapted to meet the needs of the new G-Class. The developers have managed to reduce the shift and response times of the 9-speed transmission by means of a dedicated software application. The wide transmission ratio not only makes driving quieter and more comfortable especially at low engine speeds, it also simultaneously contributes to reducing fuel consumption. The new transfer case is flange-mounted directly on to the 9G-TRONIC. It is adjusted in such a way that 40 percent of the drive torque reaches the front axle and 60 percent reaches the rear axle. The permanent all-wheel drive ensures maximum traction.

Additional features such as all-round visibility from a bird’s-eye view is possible thanks to the 360° camera, the reversing camera and three further cameras. This means that obstacles located below the window line or in front of the vehicle such as a hillcrest do not remain hidden. The information is presented clearly in full HD in a choice of different views on the multimedia system’s display. Dynamic guide lines show the road and the width of the G-Class. In addition, the off-road screen specially designed for the G-Class also displays data such as height, gradient, angle, compass, steering angle and activated differential locks. Furthermore, for particularly arduous applications, 18-inch all-terrain tires are available.

Additional details will be available soon, such as engine configurations and available trim levels.