The 2019 Mercedes G-Class has gone into production in Graz, Austria following its unveiling at the North American International Auto Show earlier this year.
Set to become the first all-new G-Class in decades, the redesigned model is made by Magna Steyr and Mercedes says the SUV is built “predominantly by hand.” Mercedes research and development boss, Ola Källenius, visited the plant as production kicked off and he remarked “The new G-Class is raising the bar higher in all relevant areas.” He added, the “new ‘G’ remains a ‘G’, only better.”
Keeping the G-Class instantly recognizable was major goal as the company notes they have sold over 300,000 units since the original model went into production in 1979. While that only amounts to around 7,700 units annually, sales have grown significantly since 2009. As the company noted, the G-Class has set a sales record every year since 2012 and last year they sold over 22,000 G-Wagons.
That puts a lot of pressure on the new model but Mercedes thinks they found a winning formula by keeping the classic styling cues intact while significantly improving the interior and driving characteristics. Despite the familiar design, the new G-Class is larger than its predecessor as it is 53 mm (2 inches) longer and 121 mm (4.7 inches) wider.
A lot of focus was put on the interior and drivers will find a modern cabin with high-quality materials and the latest technology. Highlights include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch infotainment system and an additional 5.9 inches (150 mm) of rear legroom. As with any modern Mercedes, the G-Class can be equipped with an extensive list of options including Nappa leather upholstery and active multicontour front seats with heating, ventilation and massage functions.
In the United States, the entry-level engine will be a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 that develops 416 hp (310 kW / 422 PS) and 450 lb-ft (609 Nm) of torque. It is connected to a nine-speed automatic transmission and a four-wheel drive system with three differential locks.
Mercedes has also shown the new G63 which has an upgraded twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine developing 577 hp (430 kW / 585 PS) and 627 lb-ft (850 Nm) of torque. It enables the iconic model to run from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds before hitting a top speed of up to 149 mph (240 km/h) when equipped with the optional AMG Driver’s package.