Okay so maybe fuel economy was the priority, but it's certain that speed was on the minds of the freaks at AMG.
Who would have known that in 2016, flannels, fixed-gear bicycles, and groomed beards out of a 1850s gold rush prospector’s look book would be in vogue? Not many, and certainly not Mercedes. But that doesn’t stop the automaker from profiting heavily from the fashion fundamentalism via the G-Class. The ancient ladder-frame SUV is selling in droves thanks to its iconic look, so according to Autocar, Mercedes isn’t going to mess with the good thing it has going for it.
Sources at Mercedes told the British motoring publication that while the automaker won’t mess too much with the aesthetics, the changes made to what's under the square body panels will make it a completely new vehicle. Mercedes-Benz's SUV boss, Andreas Zygan said, “We have to be careful with our heritage. We offer something really special. Last year - the 34th - was the best ever for G-Class sales. It’s amazing, and one of our idols.” That’s good news for any fans of the SUV's sinister look, especially since its newest iteration will see the same right-angled windshield. Styling cues from the Ener-G-Force concept could be borrowed, but expect the G-Wagon to retain most of its boxy shape.
Even with these marginal upgrades, there’s no argument that the G Wagon could stand to receive some modern tech under the sheet metal. That’s why Mercedes will be shifting from a steel structure to an aluminum one in order to shed over 660 pounds. This should help translate to more speed and fuel economy once the Tri-Star infuses some of its new engines into the G Wagon, all of which will be mated to a new nine-speed 9G Tronic automatic transmission. Fuel economy is further improved courtesy of cylinder deactivation and an electric steering system. To help the G Wagon's on-road manners, engineers widened the SUV by 100 mm and reworked the front suspension, giving it a three or four link setup.
Even with new handling characteristics, we suspect buyers will be happier about the larger inside space afforded by the stretch. The upgraded interior amenities will also feature upscale C-Class sedan components including a digital display and driver convenience features robbed from the latest of Mercedes' technologically savvy options. We can’t wait to see how the new biker’s Range Rover will look like, but don’t expect to see it before next year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.