Mercedes-Benz drops first new G-Class SUV in 40 years

Mercedes-Benz drops first new G-Class SUV in 40 years

Alongside the interior, the other major focus for the new G-Class has been improved handling, with Mercedes stating that "the primary goal of development was to redefine the quality of handling both on and off the road". "Mercedes also touts the G-Class" distinctive door handles and closing sound.

Despite all of these quality-of-life changes, the new G is more off-road capable than ever.

Case in point: the first version of the new G-class to be launched in New Zealand in the third quarter of this year will be the range-topping AMG model. This mode automatically engages if the driver activates any of the G-Class' differential locks, too.

The interior dimension has also increase with 1.5 inches more front legroom and 5.9 inches rear legroom.

The GLB will be the flagship for the next generation of Benz's new small auto family, which will start next month with the all-new A-Class, and will sit between the small GLA and mid-size GLC SUVs in both price and size.

Mercedes has retained the old car's famous differential locks and low-range gearbox, instead of fitting more modern push-button alternatives. The recirculating ball set-up, which dates back to the 1979 G-Wagen, has been replaced by a contemporary electromechanical rack and pinion arrangement, which is claimed to offer a precise and suitable steering response for on and off road. The body shell now comprises a mixture of high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel, while the wings, bonnet and doors are made of aluminium, making for a 170kg weight saving over the outgoing model.

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One of the only carryover components fitted to the 2019 G-Class is its engine, a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. There are two 12.3-inch screens available, taking inspiration from the E-Class and S-Class.

The inside of the auto has many changes and improvements, especially in the technology department.

The G-Class's biggest markets globally are Southern California, certain Texas communities, New York, Atlanta and South Florida - giving you some idea of who's shopping for such a unique vehicle.

"I think what is unique about this G-wagen is that it was built in Thal, Austria, which is where I was born", Arnold Schwarzenegger said at the reveal. There's all-new double-wishbone suspension at the front axle and a rigid rear axle (with trailing rods and a Panhard rod). Approach, departure, and breakover angles are all improved by one degree, and there's an extra 3.9 inches of fording depth when driving through water and mud. It can be modified between three different styles for the displays -"Classic", "Sport" and "Progressive" - depending on driver preference. It still offers a permanent four-wheel drive system, but this time it sends 40 percent of its torque to the front axle with the remaining 60 going to the rear, rather than splitting torque evenly.

Mercedes-Benz hasn't announced pricing for the 2019 G500 yet, but we don't expect it to be available for less than $125,000 when it hits showrooms in late 2018. Look for further details on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G550 later on this year.

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