After decades of dominance among luxury off-road vehicles, our longest-serving model series is about to be born again. While it may look similar, the primary goals from the outset were to improve things you can’t readily see, primarily among them overall rigidity. Increased stiffness was accomplished by focusing on the construction of the body and the connections between the suspension, the drivetrain, and the all-new ladder frame
With a 4.0-liter V8 bi-turbo engine, the all-new G-Class produces 416 horsepower and a maximum torque of 450 lb-ft.* But the true improvements lie in the re-imagined powertrain that allows for greater off-road capabilities. An independent front suspension with a double-wishbone front axle gives the vehicle more rigidity and maximum ground clearance, while three 100% differential locks enhance the agility and performance on any surface. The G-wagon is nominally larger too, measuring 2.1 inches longer and 2.5 inches wider than the outgoing model—but it’s also a reported 375 pounds leaner. Interior space has increased, with noticeable gains in front and rear legroom. Shoulder and elbow room are up slightly as well.
The G-Class is about the same size as a Jeep Wrangler four-door—a competitor of sorts. Interior space grows considerably over the cramped outgoing model. Legroom is up nearly half a foot for rear seat passengers and there’s more space for shoulders and elbows, too. Unlike the far more pedestrian Mercedes-Benz GLS-class, the G-Wagen has only two rows of seats.
The glints of 21st-century engineering emerge only on close inspection. The body cladding’s integrated tightly, the body panels are pressed more exactly and LED headlights to get special attention in the form of siped driving lamps that ensure their light refracts out of pedestrian eyes.
It’s still a flying brick, no matter what aero tricks have been deployed. The 2019 G-Class’ 0.55 drag coefficient would nourish a whole season of RuPaul’s “Drag Race.” The cockpit’s learned some high-tech moves, however. A widescreen digital display takes the place of gauges, while a second screen blends in to turn the dash into something straight out of the Star Trek genre. Take your pick of brushed metal or carbon fiber is woven with red, or even open-pore walnut wood trim: you can mix it all up inside the G-Class depending on the fording ability of your wallet.
The G Mode widens into a trio of programs on the AMG G63: Sand, Trail, and Rock each remap shift, throttle, and steering programs to help the G-Class cope better with its copious power.
Finally, the spec sheet reveals a better approach and departure angles for the 2019 G-Class. It leans into angled paths at a 35-degree tilt. It’s blessed with 27.6 inches fording depth, a breakover angle of 26 degrees, and 30- and 31-degree front and rear departure angles.