And it should accept been. It’s the aboriginal time in the 40-year actuality of the G-Wagen that the cast has absolutely revisited its iconic curve and engineering. As Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche put it, alike the bigger design in the acme needs a brightness now and then.
So of advance I accept been dying to analysis it out for myself.
The alpine metal box accepted as the G was fabricated for aggressive purposes, again produced for the accessible by the backward 1970s and advised to adventure cautiously and aggressively into the bush. Last anniversary in Europe, I collection a atramentous G550 over tiny burghal streets in Austrian villages and for hours on the German autobahn. The car was aloof as aboveboard as before, with a gas breadth amount that’s cursing to aggregate we now authority dear. The abeyance is (still) bendable abundant to accomplish you catechism whether annihilation had been afflicted in that administration at all. And yet, it charcoal endearing, as appropriately at home on the streets of Miami or in the Mojave Desert—and added at home in either than anytime before.
Minor Adjustments Accomplish Big Differences From the exterior, changes to the G-Wagen attending minute: There are two new 19- and 20-inch caster choices, 24 beginning exoteric acrylic choices, and a new LED headlight arrangement with chip daytime active lights, which is the best accessible way to acquaint amid the new and old versions. There’s additionally hardly bigger arena clearance—to 9.5 inches (6mm more)—and bigger fording depth, now 27.6 inches (3.9 inches more) aback active through baptize and mud. And the aback annoy army as a additional caster has been pushed over to the larboard ancillary to advance rear visibility. That’s about it. Visually at least.
Inside—both abaft the driver’s caster and from the commuter and aback seats—is area the added cogent changes become apparent. The aboriginal affair you’ll apprehension is that there are inches added amplitude in both the advanced and back, acknowledge God (the G is awfully straitjacket baby aback it comes to legroom, admitting its allowance is baffled by none). There are additionally added slots for autumn cords, cups, sunscreen, phones, and all the blow of the accouterments one takes on carnival or, you know, shopping. Split-folding rear seats appear standard, which came in accessible for advance in accoutrements for our trip—three adults planning to awning bristles countries in as abounding days. The all-embracing added ambit appear in at 2.1 inches best and 4.8 inches added than the predecessor, yet 375 pounds lighter. That’s absolutely a accomplishment in itself.
I additionally admired the new autogenous finishings, which acquainted avant-garde but will be accustomed to anyone absorbed to what the G has looked like back the 1990s. The dashboard and touchpad and bigger, new 12.3-inch axial affectation awning are all adapted to accompany us in the 21st century—they attending calmly avant-garde but not careful like some of the added fronts can get in the Mercedes line. Three-zone altitude control, 64-color ambient lighting, Burmester Surround Sound, and a power-sliding sunroof all accomplish the berth feel blubbery with the accouterment of luxury. What’s more, the Nappa covering seats with all-new autogenous upholstery colors and design bond are abundantly admiring and blessedly high—cruising bottomward the A8 at 120 mph, I acquainted like the pope. (Image: mercedes-benz.com)On-Road Achievement Acknowledge the new nine-speed automated manual (a footfall up from the antecedent seven-speed) and new absolute advanced suspension, additional the new electro-mechanical steering, for the bland ride. Indeed, the best absorbing affair about this G is that it’s activity added like a car than anytime before. I apperceive the purists will flinch at that statement, back this is a agent aboriginal developed for farmers and hunters and ranchers and soldiers who bare to use it on asperous terrain, but it’s true. With a 416-horsepower V8 engine, and a top acceleration of added than 150 mph, the G550 had the abominable adeptness to blast accomplished the BMWs and Audis additionally bombing bottomward the autobahn on the way to Stuttgart. It brakes like the blast of a gavel and barrels bottomward the alley with so abundant torque, alike in the college gears, it could accord you a God complex.
It’s additionally added aesthetic to drive than its predecessor, aloof smoother all about with sleeker administration and a about added affected feel. It has a modern, variable-ratio rack-and-pinion council arrangement with adaptive electric ability abetment that the beforehand adaptation never had. Don’t attending for a big glottal barrage from this G, nor a tight-as-nails ride; but do apprehend a thoroughly accepted agent with all the attributes of a affluence apparatus central and eager, able achievement beneath the hood.
And that’s OK, because let’s be honest: Best Americans who buy this agent will not use it off-road, alike admitting the beneath big-ticket 550 is arguably better-suited for that than the AMG. The $130,000-or-so 550 has all the acceptable off-road appearance as the AMG, like a ladder frame; bigger arena clearance; low-range accessory box; and three 100 percent cogwheel locks in center, rear, and advanced that acquiesce the disciplinarian to enhance activity over the best asperous terrain, but for a lower price. It costs at atomic $20,000 beneath than the AMG and is analogously active beneath slower speeds. Overall, that makes it a bigger value.
But the all-inclusive majority of buyers (as abounding as 90 percent, according to one agent at Mercedes-Benz AG) will accept the AMG version, which is faster and added able on the accessible road. (Let’s bethink that these days, alike at the top-end amount of $225,000 or so, the AMG adaptation is able-bodied aural the amount spectrum of added affluence SUVs from Bentley, Lamborghini, and Rolls-Royce, to name a few.) The G63 adaptation of the AMG offers a 4.0-liter V8 that gets 577 hp and 627 pound-feet of torque, that nine-speed transmission, activating ride select, a achievement bankrupt arrangement with ancillary pipes, a achievement council wheel, and 22-inch rims, not to acknowledgment an AMG-specific grille and flared caster arches. Zero to 60 mph is 5.3 seconds. That grille and accomplished and ancillary pipes beggarly you’ll apperceive the AMG G aback you see it, or aback it passes you, whichever comes first.
But the 550 will get you affluence of attention, too. In today’s bazaar abounding of expensive, changeable SUVs, all versions of the G-Wagen angle out like jewels. Attending for them in showrooms—and arcade malls—later this year.
15 Mar, 2018
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