Mercedes-Benz G-Class: Details of the 2016 Transformation

No matter what a man does, the middle-age crisis can’t be avoided. Nonetheless, we could all learn a thing or two about this from the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The Gelandewagen, which turned 35 this year, is determined to remain young and will go through a major transformation process in 2016.
Mercedes G 63 AMG in Dubai 1 photo
Photo: original image by autoevolution
It was 1979 when Mercedes-Benz and Steyr-Daimler-Puch became partners in arms, launching the military-destined G unit. Over the years, Mercedes-Benz may have changed powertrains and added amenities, but the hard points of the vehicle are still in place.

This is about to change, with the latest report indicating this coming from Car Magazine. Mercedes invested one billion Euro in the E-Class facelift, making this the most expensive revamp in the world, so the carmaker is no stranger to such deep personal training for its cars.

To keep its mental halt, the G-Class will preserve its body-on-frame construction, but the current steel chassis will be replaced by an aluminum structure. The greatest change will come in terms of width, where the Gelandewagen is set to gain about 100 mm (inches). Fret not G-Class fans, the muscular sides of the car are here to stay.

The aluminum diet will see the Gelandewagen lose about lbs (375 kg), but the impressive figure will also arrive thanks to a host of other mechanical changes. For instance, the recirculating ball steering, which sacrifices all in the name of rugged terrain durability, will make room for an electric power steering, a feature that will be required by active safety systems.

The comfort and handling drawbacks of the live front axle will bring its demise, with the revised G-Class switching to independent suspension. While this means the front diff will be “lockable” via the brakes, the center and rear diffs will still offer a proper lock function,

The roof will also be lowered a little bit, with the changes set to dramatically boost the handling of the car and therefore allow it to cope with the ever-increasing safety regulations. As strange as it may sound, we’ll be able to put the G-Class in the same sentence with stuff such as LED headlights and active shutter grilles.

In the engine compartment, the changes will be smaller, but still important. We could expect the G65 AMG V12 behemoth to dissapear. This was more about vanity than actual assets when compared to the G 63 AMG V8 monster anyway, so we won’t be all that sorry if it gets the axe.

The latter will remain in place, allowing the driver to control 571 hp and 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque. It will be being joined by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 delivering 462 hp and 442 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque, as well as by a 3.0-liter straight six producing 367 hp and 354 lb-ft (480 Nm) of torque. As for the diesel side of the sales battle, this will be covered by a 3.0-liter L6 with 313 hp and 354 lb-ft.

The cabin of the Gelandewagen will see a major revamp, since all the Germans have done so far was to keep adding to the original teamplate. Yes, be prepared, the infotainment screen in your Gelandewagen will rival TVs from a few years behind.

Should you happen to still long for the G-Class you used to know, you mustn’t despair. All you have to do is enroll, as the military-destined 461 series will skip most of the changes of the civilian-dedicated 463 model.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Andrei Tutu
Andrei Tutu profile photo

In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories