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2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class tackles Schöckl mountain

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class has been put through its paces on the brand’s iconic test track, the 1445-metre-high, Schöckl mountain in Austria.

EVERY MERCEDES-BENZ G-CLASS has had to tackle the 1445-metre-high Schöckl mountain near the factory where it’s built in Graz, Austria. The 5.6 km route includes gradients of up to 60% and lateral inclinations of up to 40%.

Unlike Jeep’s ‘Trail Rated’ which doesn’t necessarily mean a vehicle has completed the legendary Rubicon Trail, every G-Class during its development must travel at least 2000km on Schöckl. Still wearing camouflage ahead of its reveal at the Detroit Motor Show, M-B has revealed further details of the new G-Class with the brand saying the aim with the new vehicle was to make it even better off-road. Read about the interior of the new G-Class here.

“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,” Mercedes-Benz said.

Key components of the double-wishbone front axle are directly fixed to the ladder-type frame. The attachment points on the frame of the lower wishbone in a Z-direction are positioned as high up as possible. The new rigid rear axle is guided with four longitudinal control arms on each side and a Panhard rod.

Mercedes-Benz is claiming for the new G-Class:

  • Slope climbing ability of up to 100% on suitable surfaces;
  • Ground clearance between the axles, 241mm;
  • Maximum fording depth now 700mm in water and mud passages;
  • Driving stability at angles of 35-degrees;
  • Departure: 30-degrees; approach 31-degrees;
  • Breakover angle: 26-degrees; and
  • Suspension travel: Front axle: Spring/rebound travel of 85/100 millimetres; rear axle: Spring/rebound travel of 82/142 millimetres.

The new G-Class also features G-Mode which works independently of the chosen drive mode and activates whenever one or all three differential locks are activated, or low range has been engaged. The G-Mode tweaks the throttle response, dampers, gearbox and steering. A small “G” icon lights up in the instrument cluster when this mode is active.

There’s now a nine-speed automatic transmission in the G-Class and is set to send drive front to rear in a 40:60 split with permanent all-wheel drive. Low range can be engaged only when the transmission is in N for neutral at up to 40km/h. The gear ratio of the transfer case is then changed from 1.00 in high range to 2.93 which is shorter than its predecessor’s 2.1.

There are four cameras mounted around the G-Class to provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle, meaning the driver can activate one or another view when manoeuvring off-road. 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. 18-inch alloys can be cost-optioned for the G-Class.

Stay tuned for more information and Australian pricing on the new G-Class as we get closer to its reveal.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober