Contrary to previous reports, the new G-Class won't be riding on a monocoque chassis.
This week Mercedes unveiled the G-Class Limited Edition as a retirement present for the ancient off-roader to pave the way for the all-new model, which will be making its debut at next year's Detroit Auto Show in January according to a new report by Drive. So it seems that its development is at a more advanced stage than we thought. It promises to be a significant update, as this will be the first time the off-roader has been completely redesigned since its inception in 1979.
Drive has also divulged some new details about the next-generation G-Class. Contrary to previous reports that suggested it will adopt a monocoque construction, the new G-Class will retain the current model's ladder frame chassis but will be heavily modified according to the report. Combined with an aluminium body structure, this will result in improved crash integrity, on-road comfort, and a significant weight reduction. Despite the redesign, the styling of the new G-Class will remain faithful to the original model's familiar boxy design and the same 0.54 drag coefficient, albeit with some modern refinements and a 20 mm increase in overall width.
Underpinning the new G-Class is an independent suspension system to further improve its off-road capabilities along with an advanced four-wheel drive system, low range gearing and three differential locks across the range. Fording depth of the new model has increased by up to 100 mm, while the incline, ramp and slope angles have also been improved. Elsewhere, the current model's archaic steering system is getting a much-needed revamp. The recirculating ball system has been replaced by a contemporary electro-mechanical rack and pinion arrangement that, in conjunction with the new front suspension, provides more precision and a reduction in the 13.5 meter turning circle.
Despite its rugged appearance, the new 2018 model also promises to be the most luxurious G-Class yet, positioning the off-roader as a true Range Rover rival. Rear legroom has reportedly increased by 150 mm in its standard wheelbase guise, while luggage capacity has been increased in turn. The current model's dashboard has also been overhauled with new digital instrument and infotainment displays similar to the E-Class. Infotainment functions are said to be on a par with the facelifted S-Class. In terms of powertrains, the new G-Class will launch with the automaker's 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 with various outputs.
The G63 will be the range-topper with 602 hp and 367 lb-ft of torque, and a model fitted with Mercedes-Benz's new M256 turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder gasoline unit in combination with an integrated starter generator providing mild hybrid qualities will follow.