Remember when we talked about the CLS getting a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine in China? Well, now we have a similar story regarding the mighty G-Class. The reputable off-roader was offered until recently only in the V8-powered G500 and AMG G63 versions, but a new variant has been added to the bottom of the lineup.
It’s called the G350 and kicks off from 1,429,800 Chinese Yuan or the equivalent of about $208,800 at today’s exchange rates. You could buy an AMG G63 ($156,450) in the United States and still have enough money left for another brick-shaped Mercedes SUV, a $38,600 GLB 250 4Matic on top of which you could add some optional equipment.
Gallery: 2020 Mercedes G350d
Not to be confused with the G350d pictured here, the China-spec G350 is a gasoline-fueled model rather than the oil burner sold in Europe with a 3.0-liter inline-six mill. The tiny-but-mighty 2.0-liter engine produces 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet (370 Newton-meters) of torque. That might not seem much for such a large and heavy vehicle, but it’s enough for a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in a fairly decent 8.1 seconds en route to a top speed of 118 mph (190 km/h).
The four-pot muscle is channeled to the 4Matic system through a nine-speed automatic transmission in a G-Class specification that could remain a China-only affair. It’s a known fact the People’s Republic has high taxes for large-displacement engines, hence why Mercedes is downsizing the G’s engine to make it more attainable.
The G-Wagen's Future Looks Bright:
Curious to know how much the V8 models cost in China? You’d better sit down for this one. The G500 retails for the equivalent of $238,000 before options whereas the flagship AMG G63 kicks off at a whopping $325,500. The V12-powered AMG G65 with its huge twin-turbo 6.0-liter won't return for the latest-generation G, not that many Chinese buyers would’ve been able to afford it anyway…
Note: Check out AutoHome.com.cn for a complete gallery of the 2021 Mercedes G350 sold in China. Our gallery shows the Euro-spec G350d introduced in late 2018.