The legendary G-Wagen has been around for close to 40 years and the last time it was thoroughly updated it happened in 1990 with the launch of the W463. Between then and now, Mercedes’ reputable off roader has been subjected to a few other changes, but essentially it’s still the same car. Although it doesn’t look like it, this camouflaged prototype belongs to the new generation set to bring some significant tweaks underneath the boxy body.
But first, let’s talk about the design. Although at a first glance it looks virtually unchanged, the W464 will in fact be completely redesigned. That might sound like an exaggeration, but Daimler AG's chief design officer, Gorden Wagener, did reveal about a month ago the new G-Class will only share one body part with the outgoing model. He was referring to a plastic lip on the C-pillar, with all of the other visible exterior and interior bits to be all-new. He went on to specify Mercedes has to “keep it boxy” because “otherwise it wouldn't be a G. So it still has to be edgy.” We agree.
Beyond the subtle design changes, including more modern headlights peeking through the camo and the slimmer taillights, the G-Class will actually go through some vast revisions. Some very optimistic reports are suggesting the model will slash a whopping 400 kilograms (882 pounds). It frankly sounds too good to be true considering the vehicle is said to receive wider tracks to free up cabin space, so it’s going to grow in size.
In regards to the oily bits, the beefy G63 will ditch the 5.5-liter V8 in favor of the biturbo 4.0-liter V8 powering an assortment of AMG-branded models already while the top dog G65 will solider on with the V12. The turbodiesel 3.0-liter from the E-Class is expected to be offered in the new G, as is the nine-speed automatic transmission.
As to when the swirly camouflage will finally come off, Wagener said an official reveal is slated to take place in the “not too distant future.” Perhaps the new G-Class will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show where Mercedes will also have on display the F1-engined Project One hypercar, so we already know who’s going to be this year’s star at IAA…