The all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class has been revealed overnight at the Detroit Motor Show.

WITH THE ALL-NEW LAND ROVER DEFENDER still in development, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class continues to fly the flag for utilitarian 4x4s. Albeit with a hefty price tag. The latest-generation model has been revealed overnight at the Detroit Motor Show.

“The new G-Class is setting the bar higher still in all relevant areas – in terms of performance both on and off the road as well as with regard to comfort and telematics. Our ‘longest-serving’ model series is therefore ideally equipped to continue its success story. In short, the new ‘G’ is still a ‘G’, only better,” Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development said at the reveal overnight.

“Enhancing an icon such as the G‑Class in technological terms was both a challenge and an opportunity at the same time. Each part and every bolt came under close scrutiny,” said Dr Gunnar Güthenke, Head of the Off-Road Product Group at Mercedes-Benz. “With the body, our main focus was on increasing the vehicle rigidity and the connections between the suspension and drivetrain with the ladder-type frame.”

Pricing for the Australian model hasn’t been released yet, but in Germany the price of the new G-Class has remained at that of the outgoing model. And that’s despite the new vehicle being a much higher spec thing, with LED headlights, a much-improved interior and new suspension and three locking differentials as standard.

While the look of the new G-Class follows that of the old one and, indeed the original, very closely Mercedes-Benz said the design theme was ‘Sensual Purity’. Okay. The new G-Class is 53mm longer and 121mm wider than the old car.

The tweaked dimensions allow for more room in the front and back. Key data at a glance:

Description

Difference

Legroom in the front

+38 mm

Legroom in the rear

+150 mm

Shoulder room in front

+38 mm

Shoulder room in rear

+27 mm

Elbow room in front

+68 mm

Elbow room in rear mm

+56 mm

On the inside, the interior steals bits and pieces from the E-Class and S-Class a clear nod that this is expected to be more than just a terrain tamer. For instance, there’s a virtual instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and two 12.3-inch touchscreen screens beneath a sheet of glass creating a widescreen-esque dashboard. Drivers can choose between three different styles for the displays – Classic, Sport and Progressive.

The rear seats can be folded down to 60, 40 or 100%. The seats in the G‑Class are equipped as standard with “numerous convenience functions” including memory function for the driver’s seat, seat heating front and rear, as well as “luxury head restraints in the front”.

Mercedes-Benz, as we’ve previously reported, wanted to make the G-Class handle better on and off road and so sat down with AMG to tune the suspension for better on-road handling. You can read more about that here. The new G-Class now features Dynamic Select offering four driving modes: Comfort, Sport, Eco and Individual.

In addition, there’s G-Mode which engages automatically when one of the three differential locks have 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 gear shifts and thus ensures optimum control and maximum off-road capability,” Mercedes-Benz said.

One of the key tweaks to the G-Class was in making it lighter to improve its on-road handling. Thanks to greater use of strong, lightweight steel it’s now 170kg lighter than the old car. The body shell is now made of a variety of steel grades, while the wings, bonnet and doors are made of aluminium.

Under that aluminium bonnet, the range-topping G500 gets a 4.0-litre V8 petrol making 310kW and 610Nm of torque from 2000-4750rpm. This is mated to a nine-speed automatic.

Pricing and specifications haven’t been announced for Australia yet, but with the G 500 not being offered in the UK there’s every chance we won’t get it in Australia either.

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober