Since its debut in 1979, the Mercedes-Benz G-wagen has been known as the ultimate in rugged, terrain-dominating SUVs. Originally conceived as a military service vehicle, the G-wagen has received more than a few creature comforts in the past twenty years, making it now a competitor to the luxurious and stylish Range Rover. Despite its progress, the G-wagen still has a number of archaic features–namely, its poor fuel economy, high curb weight, and visible top-heaviness. According to Mercedes-Benz insiders, however, a nearly all-new G-class will hit the market for the 2017 model year without compromising the amazing versatility associated with the G nameplate.
Few details have surfaced about the specifications of the new G, but it’s been rumored that engine choices will be between a 3.0-liter inline-six gasoline or diesel, producing 360 and 300 horsepower, respectively. It’s unclear whether the current 5.5-liter V8 found in the G550 (currently returning 12 mpg city and 15 mpg highway) will remain an engine choice for the 2017 G. Paired with these engine choices will be Mercedes-Benz’s new 9G-Tronic 9-speed shiftable automatic, providing excellent shift response while allowing for extremely low RPMs at high speed.
The biggest news for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-wagen comes with its revised proportions. To help remedy the top-heaviness that plagues the current G, Mercedes engineers have taken to widening its stance by around 4 inches, moving the total width to around 73 inches. This change should also provide much-improved handling and a greater sense of confidence for the driver on curvy mountain roads. Designers also plan to take around 450 pounds away from the G’s nearly 5,700-pound curb weight, most likely through the use of aluminum throughout the body construction. No indication has been given about whether the new G will use a unibody construction like its main competitor, the Range Rover.
Much of the running gear on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-wagen is set to be updated as well. The power steering system will move from hydraulic to electromechanical, compromising steering feedback marginally but improving fuel economy numbers. The G-wagen’s increased width will allow for a new front suspension setup, rumored to be a three or four-link system that may aid the SUV in adopting a lower stance. And of course, in typical Mercedes-Benz fashion, the 2017 G-class will receive a host of technological upgrades, from camera-based crash prevention to an upgraded SAT/NAV system.
No details about the G-wagen’s launch date have been announced, but expect Mercedes to provide more details in the coming months. Stay tuned on TFLcar.com for new developments with the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-wagen.
Please enjoy this TFLcar.com video review of the 2013 Mercedes GL-class.
Frank caught automotive fever early in life. Hailing from a long line of car fanatics, he was able to recite the year and model of every car that passed him by age five. His passion and love for the automobile have only grown since then. When not thinking about cars, he is reading, writing, learning, or dreaming about them. His area of expertise is in the realm of German and Italian cars, of which Porsche is a favorite. Frank currently resides in the heart of NASCAR country in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his family. He enjoys driving exotic cars in the beautiful Carolina weather.