This might be the return of the Landaulet.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class has undergone very few design changes over the years. Like the Porsche 911 and the Fiat 500, some things are best left untouched. Despite this, we've seen numerous attempts at enhancing the looks of the boxy Merc. Mansory has given it a go to ill effect, and so have other tuners with little regard for good taste. But now it's time for Mercedes-Benz itself to update the vehicle, and we've seen some spy shots that suggest minimal changes. However, these spy shots may not be revealing the whole truth, as a new report says that Mercedes is working on a folding roof for the SUV. This doesn't sound like a great idea.
Of course, if this is the kind of folding roof that you get on a Fiat 500C or a Jeep Wrangler, it could work well aesthetically, but who knows? The reason that these rumors are surfacing in the first place is that Mercedes is said to be hiring new engineers to work on a foldable roof at the Graz factory in Austria, where the G-Class is assembled by Magna-Steyr. Of course, these engineers could be assigned to a totally different project, but another theory is that Merc is reviving the Landaulet configuration for its Maybach arm. If that's the case, Mercedes-Maybach will get its own bespoke G-Class that will take luxury outdoor living to the next level.
In case you don't recall the original, only 99 examples were produced as a send-off for the last generation of the G-Class before our current model was released. It measured 7.2 feet in height and was 17.3 feet long, so expect similarly grandiose proportions if the Maybach rumor becomes reality. We'd like to believe that Mercedes is working on a simpler, more basic G-Class configuration that costs less than $500,000, but that would make the old Landaulet less special. We'll have to wait to see if these rumors are true in any way, but if the real thing is to look anything like the Maybach Landaulet, we hope these rumors fizzle out.