G-Class revisions needed to meet 2016 EU regulations
According to a new report the Mercedes-Benz G-Class will be altered to meet strict EU regulations on pedestrian safety and emissions coming in 2016.
THE REPORT BY news agency Bloomberg quotes an unnamed source who says the G-Class will possibly get a wider body (up to 10cm) a lower roof line, improved interior and stability, although decisions are yet to be finalised.
Unlike the Land Rover Defender which will be replaced entirely in 2016, because it won’t meet the new EU regulations, the G-Class will be in production until 2022. And, according to Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche: “It has to continue as it looks today… It’s not a vehicle that pretends. The G class is the original.”
While other makers like Maserati and Bentely are preparing to launch luxury SUVs, Mercedes-Benz expects its sales to continue to grow, Gunnar Guethenke, the model line’s chief told Bloomberg.
“When it comes to the combination of off-road capabilities and luxury, there’s no alternative,” Guethenke said. “The G class provides the genes for all Mercedes-Benz SUVs.”
Just how the G-Class fares in the face of a rejuvenated Land Rover Defender which should arrive in 2016, remains to be seen. That said, despite M-Bs talk of off-road ability the vast majority of G-Class four-wheel drives never leave the bitumen with more than half sold around the world being chosen with a high-performance petrol engine.
While the new Defender will likely be built by robots, the G-Class will continue to be assembled mostly by hand until 2022. Indeed men and women on the factory floor fuse its 4000 welding points and the 16 feet of weld seam that hold the body together, while motor trimmers in another room stitch together the leather seats.
We want to know what you think, are you glad there are still hand-welded beasts like the Mercedes-Benz G-Class on the road, or do you think it should modernise?