By on January 4, 2018

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Camo

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. 

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Camo

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.

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Camo

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.

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Camo

[Images: Daimler AG]

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14 Comments on “2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Assured to be Off-road Ready...”

  • avatar

    List of changes to G-Wagen, 1980-2018

    Lights type
    Lights shape
    Grille guard design
    Wheel design
    Interior bits

    Mix and match as you choose. Looks like we get a lights edit and an interior this time around.

    • 0 avatar

      None of this matters. Around the DC area these are driven by men and women who like oversized sunglasses, shiny outfits, and umps umps umps music. A taste of Dubai in the US.

    • 0 avatar

      Uh, this is a new platform. There’s 5 things that are carrying over from the previous G-wagen and they’re mundane like the front sun visors. New things include:

      -It’s wider and longer
      -New rear live axle located by a Panhard rod vs. trailing links
      -Independent front suspension
      -9 speed auto

      …among other things

  • avatar

    Love this truck. Beautiful beast.

  • avatar

    On December 15th I purchased a used 2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI with a little under 237,000 km to serve as our new family vehicle. It may not be a Geländewagen, but it has good off-reading capabilities and is much roomier inside and therefore more practical. We spent the holidays in Kitzbühel and our GL performed admirably on slippery and snowy roads and paths.

    This is my first Mercedes and I am enjoying it. I admire the Geländewagen but the rear seating area was always very tight, especially for tall adults if you want my opinion. My three children are growing up fast and they would not be comfortable in the rear of a Geländewagen.

  • avatar

    If those 3 photo’s show the most challenging parts of the test track, colour me unimpressed.

    The G-Wagon 4×4 squared option with portal axles would be the one to get if offroading in luxury were your choice. I don’t think the 6×6 made it to North America.

    • 0 avatar

      “Or if you’re not a Saudi Prince or insane, you might just buy a Land Cruiser.”

      (Or an LX if it has the same ultra-beefed-up frame as the LC, but nobody seems to know or be willing to state that it does or does not on the Internet in a cursory check.)

      I mean, I love the idea of the G-Wagen as an offroader, but I’m never going to be rich enough to think buying one is a good idea – and natch in the real world I’m not sure anyone’s ever seen a non-military/heavily-used G-Wagen doing Serious Offroading?

  • avatar

    Wonder if it will be in Fallen Kingdom next June 22nd?

  • avatar

    I thought it was a Scion xB mule.

  • avatar

    “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?)

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