2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Assured to Be Off-road Ready

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
2019 mercedes benz g class assured to be off road ready

There’s been a lot of buzz around the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class, details of which “leaked” earlier this week. However, as the vast majority of those tidbits came straight from the manufacturer, Benz is really just whetting appetites for its updated SUV ahead of its official debut at the Detroit Auto Show in two weeks.

The good news is that Mercedes doesn’t seem to have muddled the G-Class’ iconic design; the bad news is that the company feels compelled to address concerns that the SUV won’t be a genuine off-road vehicle. Considering that I’ve never seen anyone but automotive journalists take the ultra-lux behemoth through the dirt, this didn’t seem like a problem that needed to be confronted.

Still, Benz does intend for the G-Class to journey across treacherous terrain, and there’s evidence to back up its claims.

Photographic proof comes via images of the model tackling Austria’s Schõckl Mountain test track — a course Mercedes says was instrumental in the G-Class’ development. Meanwhile, technical details confirm the new G SUV will persist with a ladder-type frame, making use of a trio of 100-percent differential locks and a low range ratio intended for rock crawling.

While the G-Class keeps a solid rear axle, it has been upgraded a fully independent suspension with double wishbones in the front. In order to maximize ground clearance, engineers say they directly fixed the wishbones to the frame — without a suspension subframe. While that’s fine for off-roading, it does call into question the issue of ride quality, something Mercedes hints will be improved on the updated G-Class. Out back, the new rigid axle is gets four longitudinal control arms on each side and a Panhard rod.

Persisting with the dirt-driving mentality, the 2019 model comes equipped with “G-Mode,” which engages anytime one of the three differential locks is engaged or low range is utilized. The system adapts the adjustable damping, steering, throttle response, transmission, and more to better cope with off-roading. We’re expecting something akin to Land Rover’s Terrain Response system.

Additional hardware updates include a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic specifically adapted to meet the needs of off-road use. Mercedes says the wide gearing should makes driving quieter and more comfortable at low engine speeds while also improving fuel consumption. The transmission itself isn’t new, however, it is mounted to a new transfer case that sends 40 percent of the torque to the front axle and 60 percent to the rear in normal driving conditions. Low range is available up to 25 mph.

The G-Class will also be available with a 360-degree off-roading camera system and digital readouts that indicate ride height, gradient, angle, a compass, and other data. While the readouts will no doubt come in handy, having a bird’s eye view of the surrounding terrain would free up any passengers from having to engage in spotting duty on all but the most extreme of trails.

More details on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class will be forthcoming once the manufacturer formally unveils it at the North American International Auto Show next week.

[Images: Daimler AG]

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  • Sub-600 Sub-600 on Jan 05, 2018

    I thought it was a Scion xB mule.

  • Sigivald Sigivald on Jan 05, 2018

    "however, it is mounted to a new transfer case that sends 40 percent of the torque to the front axle and 60 percent to the rear in normal driving conditions. Low range is available up to 25 mph." How does a transfer case work with a lockable center diff, since it also claims to have that? (Or is this loose terminology and it's some sort of Smart Center Diff, perhaps resembling a lockable version of a current-gen Haldex system?)

  • Bd2 Other way around.Giorgetto Giugiaro penned the Pony Coupe during the early 1970s and later used its wedge shape as the basis for the M1 and then the DMC-12.The 3G Supra was just one of many Japanese coupes to adopt the wedge shape (actually was one of the later ones).The Mitsubishi Starion, Nissan 300ZX, etc.
  • Tassos I also want one of the idiots who support the ban to explain to me how it will work.Suppose sometime (2035 or later) you cannot buy a new ICE vehicle in the UK.Q1: Will this lead to a ICE fleet resembling that of CUBA, with 100 year old '56 Chevys eventually? (in that case, just calculate the horrible extra pollution due to keeping 100 year old cars on the road)Q2: Will people be able to buy PARTS for their old cars FOREVER?Q3: Will people be allowed to jump across the Channel and buy a nice ICE in France, Germany (who makes the best cars anyway), or any place else that still sells them, and then use it in the UK?
  • Tassos Bans are ridiculous and undemocratic and smell of Middle Ages and the Inquisition. Even 2035 is hardly any better than 2030.The ALMIGHTY CONSUMER should decide, not... CARB, preferably WITHOUT the Government messing with the playing field.And if the usual clueless idiots read this and offer the tired "But Government subsidizes the oil industry too", will they EVER learn that those MINISCULE (compared to the TRILLIONS of $ size of this industry) subsidies were designed to help the SMALL Oil producers defend themselves against the "Big Oil" multinationals. Ask ANY major Oil co CEO and he will gladly tell you that you can take those tiny subsidies and shove them.
  • Dusterdude The suppliers can ask for concessions, but I wouldn’t hold my breath . With the UAW they are ultimately bound to negotiate with them. However, with suppliers , they could always find another supplier ( which in some cases would be difficult, but not impossible)
  • AMcA Phoenix. Awful. The roads are huge and wide, with dedicated lanes for turning, always. Requires no attention to what you're doing. The roads are idiot proofed, so all the idiots drive - they have no choice, because everything is so spread out.