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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Detroit Preview: Mercedes-Benz Spills Some Details On 2019 G-Class Off-Road Ability

      Only 2 percent of G-Class buyers will take advantage of it


    Mercedes-Benz has been releasing a surprising amount of information on the upcoming 2019 G-Class before its debut at the Detroit Auto Show. Last month, the German automaker dropped some information concerning the interior. This latest batch of information deals with the off-road capability, something that only a small number of G-Class owners will take advantage of.

    Mercedes says the 2019 G-Class will retain a ladder-type frame, three differential locks, and a low range ratio. The front features an independent suspension setup with double wishbones on the axle. The rear retains a solid axle with four longitudinal control arms on each side. Ground clearance is slightly higher than the current G-Class  - 9.49 vs. 9.26 inches. 

    The 2019 G-Class will also come with 'G-Mode' that automatically adjusts the engine, transmission, suspension, and steering to improve off-road performance. G-Mode will automatically come on when one of the differential locks is engaged. A 360-degree view camera system helps with driving in difficult terrain.

    Mercedes will be fitting the G-Class with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Aside from improving fuel economy, the transmission will make driving the G-Class more comfortable and quieter.

    For now, you can look at pictures of a camouflaged 2019 G-Class tackling Austria's Schõckl Mountain test track.

    Source: Mercedes-Benz
    Press Release is on Page 2


    The new Mercedes-Benz G-Class: The legend on the Schöckl: More control, more comfort

    Every G-Class has to conquer the Schöckl. Mercedes-Benz uses the 1,445 metre high local mountain near the Austrian city of Graz as a test track. The 5.6 km route includes gradients of up to 60 percent and lateral inclinations of up to 40 percent. During the development stage, a "G" has to endure a good 2,000 strenuous kilometres on this very demanding course. The new G-Class masters the route with noticeably more control and comfort.

    The primary goal of development was to make the new G-Class even more effective off-road. The G thus remains a true G – thanks to its standard ladder-type frame, the three 100-percent differential locks and LOW RANGE off-road ratio. Its suspension is the result of collaboration between Mercedes-Benz G GmbH and Mercedes-AMG GmbH. The result is an independent suspension with double-wishbone front axle in combination with a rigid rear axle. During development work, the engineers had the task of fighting for every millimetre, 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.

    Agile off-road as well

    The components of the double-wishbone front axle are directly fixed to the ladder-type frame without a suspension subframe. 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 driveability beyond the asphalt. Specifically for the G-Class, the new front axle is designed in such a robust way that the off-road performance and off-road capabilities of its predecessor are maintained and partly even surpassed. The new rigid rear axle is guided with four longitudinal control arms on each side and a Panhard rod. The off-road vehicle stays on track more robustly, and is agile and effortless in off-road applications.

    The exceptional handling characteristics and driving safety on account of the driver's high level of control can only be experienced first hand. The following figures, however, clearly show that every little detail to improve the off-road characteristics has been checked and optimised where possible.

    As before, high ground clearance and long suspension travel form the basis for the further improved off-road characteristics of the G-Class. The figures speak for themselves:

    • Slope climbing ability of up to 100% on suitable surfaces
    • Ground clearance between the axles, 241 millimetres, plus 6 millimetres maximum fording depth now 70 centimetres in water and mud passages, plus 10 centimetres
    • Driving stability at angles of 35°, plus 7°
    • Angle of departure: 30°, angle of approach: 31°, plus 1°
    • Breakover angle: 26°, plus 1°
    • Suspension travel: Front axle: Spring/rebound travel of 85/100 millimetres; rear axle: Spring/rebound travel of 82/142 millimetres

    The new "G-Mode" paves the way where there are none

    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. A small "G" icon discreetly lights up in the instrument cluster. 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 manoeuvre.

    New automatic transmission on board

    For the power transmission, the 9G‑TRONIC automatic transmission with torque converter was specifically adapted to meet the needs of the off-road icon. 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.

    The low-range ratio can be engaged via the LOW RANGE switch in transmission mode N at speeds of up to 40 km/h. The gear ratio of the transfer case is then changed from 1.00 in HIGH RANGE to 2.93. It is possible to switch from LOW RANGE to HIGH RANGE at speeds of up to 70 km/h. The gear ratio of the transfer case is 2.93 and thus significantly shorter than in the predecessor model (2.1), which becomes noticeable particularly when pulling away on an extreme gradient.

    All-round visibility from a bird's-eye view is possible thanks to the optional 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 hill crest 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 tyres are available.




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    26 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    Hmmmm They really pushed the nose out there. It isn't actually a lot but for how flat the last one is this one looks pretty different. The rest looks the same which is perfect. 

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    It's a very subtle redesign.  The Autocar article said it was all new with a noticeable weight reduction.   I wonder if they have eliminated some of the classic details like the exposed screws that Balthy liked 

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    12 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    So, I can't tell if this is just a refresh of the existing one or not.

    That's exactly what they were going for. :thumbsup:

    10 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    It's a very subtle redesign.  The Autocar article said it was all new with a noticeable weight reduction.   I wonder if they have eliminated some of the classic details like the exposed screws that Balthy liked 

    The exposed hinges are still there! 

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    After looking at the Autocar story, clearly hinges are still exposed, zooming into the pictures, you can see the external screws that are on the existing on sale version are gone. Internal is the biggest update as the external is just a refresh to me.

    Is it worth 6 figures? Yes to some, no to others. price wise it exceeds Escalade which does tell me Cadillac needs a V Sport and V edition of the Escalade.

    Off road capability, no, leave it to have an equal off road version in GMC as a Yukon Denali, Hummer like edition.

    Will have to see in person if this would be of internal space to me to be in any consideration. External, is does nothing for me, just an overpriced bread box still.

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    Max water fording depth is up to 27.5 inches on the new one, that is insane.  Anyone that buys a G-Wagen should take it off road at least once a year.  Even if you are a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills wannabe celeb driving this thing, it is a total waste of you don’t drive it up a mountain or over a sand dune or through a brick wall or something.

    The new model is said to be roomier on the inside it, and several hundred pounds lighter, same exterior size. 

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    On 1/4/2018 at 10:13 AM, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    I wonder if they have eliminated some of the classic details like the exposed screws that Balthy liked 

    It's mostly the exposed gaskets, but the screws didn't help. But calling them 'classic' is like calling WalMart uni-fit plastic hubcaps 'classic'.

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    WAIT- this is the 2019 G??
    WTF happened to the concept G, the plasticy looking thing?
    Why doesn't Daimler ever produce any of their concepts?
    I guess the hideously low sales don't warrant a full redesign.

    Could had this:

    MBG19.png

    Instead you get a VW SUV from the '80s; you're welcome! :

    MB19o.png

    And I can see the exposed gaskets FROM HERE.
    Anybody still think there weren't corners cut?
    Daimler must have an 80% margin on this.

    Edited by balthazar

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    The concept was just cartoon nonsense.  The production one is retro modern, like the Wrangler.  Supposedly all-new. 

    19 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Max water fording depth is up to 27.5 inches on the new one, that is insane.  Anyone that buys a G-Wagen should take it off road at least once a year.  Even if you are a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills wannabe celeb driving this thing, it is a total waste of you don’t drive it up a mountain or over a sand dune or through a brick wall or something.

    The new model is said to be roomier on the inside it, and several hundred pounds lighter, same exterior size. 

    Yeah, I remember seeing quite a few of them in Phoenix & Scottsdale, always shiny and polished, shiny black tires and chrome wheels.  It would be nice to see people actually using them off-road, covered in dust and mud, scratches and rock chips, dents, etc... 

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    The Concept G from a few years ago was never meant to be a new G-Wagen, the G-class is what it is, they aren’t going to mess with the formula.  There has been talk that the Concept G will turn into a GLB boxy, off road looking crossover in the mid $30s price range.  

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    That's a shame; mercedes should build their concepts- they're far more intriguing than the white bread they do make.

    That concept would draw all sorts of attention & sales to the brand, even at exorbitant prices. Opportunity lost.

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    45 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    That's a shame; mercedes should build their concepts- they're far more intriguing than the white bread they do make.

    That concept would draw all sorts of attention & sales to the brand, even at exorbitant prices. Opportunity lost.

    Agree TOTALLY! :metal: 

    The concept had me interested, this warmed over refresh is just Meh, I bet still tight back seating which means the Escalade beats this as a luxury SUV.

    Yes SMK, G-Wagon has better offroad capabilities that I think these sales only help them to reduce R&D for the military version as you never see the G-Wagon off road much if ever except for the extreme videos on YouTube.

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    2 hours ago, dfelt said:

    Agree TOTALLY! :metal: 

    The concept had me interested, this warmed over refresh is just Meh, I bet still tight back seating which means the Escalade beats this as a luxury SUV.

    Yes SMK, G-Wagon has better offroad capabilities that I think these sales only help them to reduce R&D for the military version as you never see the G-Wagon off road much if ever except for the extreme videos on YouTube.

    First off, as I said, the Ener-G Concept was not meant to be the G-Wagen, that was a electric fuel cell concept which obviously isn’t commercially viable from a powertrain standpoint.

    They are building a GLB crossover in 2019 based on that concept, so the masses will line up to get a mini G-Wagen. 

    The current G-Wagen has more rear seat legroom than the Escalade, the new G-Wagen is getting 5.9 inches more so no problem there.  And keep in mind the G-Wagen is a mid-size SUV. 

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    7 hours ago, balthazar said:

    "meant to be" is immaterial; it SHOULD HAVE BEEN.

    Lost opportunity.

    Not sure how it is a lost opportunity when they are building an SUV based on that concept.   

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    Niches within niches...the GLB is rumored to be a butched-up GLA with G-class styling in a compact form, while a rumored GLG would be a GLE variation with G-class styling and room for 7. 

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    GLBGLAGLCGLEGLG - utterly exhausting.

    Then again, if they badged a GGG, Guy Fieri could drive one on DDD.

    Not sure how it is a lost opportunity when they are building an SUV based on that concept.


    Here's how. Assumedly, if the concept comes out as a 'xxB', it's a bottom feeder cheap model, whereas the flagship G lingers on in 1979 guise. Top-down, not bottom up - don't want your $30K SUV to look & feel 50 years newer than your $110K SUV.

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    The G-class isn’t changing it’s look, just like the Wrangler has looked the same for 50 years.  And it now is on a 2018 so all of a sudden the G-Wagen has the most modern chassis in the industry. 

    And the GLB will feel nothing like a G-Wagen, plus the GLE is the same size as the G-Wagen, half the price and has been more modern than it the past 15 years and G-wagen sales went up every year.  

    What Mercedes is doing is similar to what Jeep has done, they can run 2 styling themes on SUVs, one boxy and off road like Wrangler and Renegade, one more smoother out like Compass and Cherokee and both can work.

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    That's the problem- the G SHOULD change... into a modern equivalent.

    Also, the Wrangler is FAR more iconic and not the brand's flagship model; it can afford to remain truer to it's roots, esp for a brand like Jeep.

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    Hahaha, the G-Wagen should never change.  That box on wheels is here to stay because that is what the G-class buyers want.  It set a global sales record in 2016, I imagine when the 2017 global numbers are out it will outdo 2016.  

    It is plenty modern, the chassis is brand new, the  4.0 V8 and 9-speed first came out in 2016, it has current Mercedes interior trim and electronics. 

    What Cadillac fans don’t get is the Escalade doesn’t compete with the G-Wagen and if Cadillac wants to then they need a product above the Escalade, but Cadillac/GM management thinks no SUV at GM can be above the Escalade, just like no sports car can be above the Corvette.  This kills Cadillac when trying to take on high end cars.

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    Think how many MORE Daimler could sell if it was something from this century! GM matched Daimler in profit in '16, Daimler needs to step up their game!

    G should have a 12-spd trans, it's behind the Escalade with it's 10 gears. Should also have a stretched WB version, and a convertible- that would be unique. But it really just needs modernization where it can be seen/felt. With no visual link with the rest of the line, as the flagship it instills no cache to the rest of the brand. A proverbial 'red-headed step-child'.

    Maybe MB should brand the G separately and radically expand it; bring it in-house and add more models.

    And they REALLY need an emergency re-do on the balloon knot air vents.

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    GM sells 4 or 5 vehicles for every 1 Daimler sells, so them making equal profit would suggest Daimler does a better job.

    Mercedes ran something like a million simulations to see if there was any benefit in efficiency of a 10 speed to a 9 speed, and there was not, so that is why they made a 9-speed.  

    They already build a convertible Maybach G-Wagen.

    The G-class is also not the flagship Mercedes, the S-class is, always has been and is stated so on the Mercedes website.  

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