The G-Class began life in 1979 as an unapologetic off-roader before Mercedes-Benz slowly started making it more luxurious and faster with every model change, but now, the Germans want to bring back some of the original model’s grittiness with a new edition.
Named the G350d Professional, Mercedes says it’s a “highly purist variant” that is “ideally suited to grueling off-road use and professional applications”.
In typical German fashion, less means more for the G350d Professional that drops many amenities that are considered standard on most cars these days, let alone on one that costs €79,968 (equal to $89,000 in Germany), including electric windows and the infotainment screen, though it does keep an electrically adjusted steering column, a multifunction steering wheel and partially power-adjustable front seats.
The seats themselves are covered in fabric instead of leather, while Mercedes also replaced the carpet with rubber mats, underneath which you’ll find drains to easily clean the floor.
What the Professional does gain over the regular G350d is a modified suspension with a 10mm (0.4 in.) increase in ground clearance at 245mm (9.6 in.) instead of 235mm (9.2 in.), and higher approach and departure angles at 36 degrees and 39 degrees respectively (G 350 d: 30/30 degrees).
On the outside, Merc’s “purist” approach brings a matte black radiator grille and black 16-inch light-alloy wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires size 265/70 R 16. The G350d Professional is offered with two non-metallic and 11 metallic finishes, including two special paints named Desert Sand or China Blue.
Purist or not, it wouldn’t be a real Mercedes-Benz if there weren’t any optional features. These include a steel front bumper with preparation for a cable, the Professional Off-Road package with protective grilles for the lights, dark tinted windows, a roof rack with a ladder and a load compartment finished in wood, side running boards and the Load Protection package with a cargo net, load compartment cover and a fixed trailer coupling.
Like the regular G350d, the Professional is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 diesel pumping out 245PS (242hp) paired to a 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, permanent all-wheel drive with off-road ratio and three electrically selectable, 100‑percent differential locks. Mercedes says it returns a combined economy of 9.9l/100km (23.8 mpg US or 28.5 mpg UK) with CO2 emissions of 261 g/km. It has a payload of 592 kilograms (,1305 lbs) and a towing capacity of up to 3,200 kilograms (7,054 lbs).
Mercedes said the G350d Professional will be available for order in Europe this June with first deliveries in September.
For the 2017MY, Mercedes also updated the infotainment and navigation systems on all G-Class models and added a few optional features such as anthracite poplar trim for the G 500 and AMG versions, a new set of matte black painted 16-inch alloy wheels and a roof rack.