The legendary G-Class is entering its 27th year of production bristling with new energy. Even after its latest rejuvenation cure this classic cross-country vehicle still retains its striking figure and the highly robust foundations on which it has stood since 1979. In this most recent stage in its evolution, this ancestor of all Mercedes-Benz SUVs has acquired an ultra-modern diesel powerplant. The G 320 CDI has an output of 165 kW/224 hp, is fitted as standard with a diesel particulate filter and complies with the strict EU4 exhaust emission limits.
With its smooth power and torque development the new, light-alloy V6 engine pushes the fun factor of driving a “G” up yet another notch – both on and off-road. State-of-the-art, third-generation common-rail direct injection with piezo-electric injectors, four valves per cylinder and an exhaust gas turbocharger with electrically adjusted turbine vanes represent just a few of the highlights boasted by this efficient unit, which is partnered by the standard-fit seven-speed automatic transmission.
7G-TRONIC dovetails perfectly with the output potential of this diesel and promises excellent performance yet low fuel consumption. The new G 320 CDI manages to combine the advantages of its two predecessors, the G 270 CDI and G 400 CDI, offering the fuel efficiency of the 156 hp five-cylinder model while at the same time delivering the same sort of punchy performance as the 250 hp V8 diesel. It need hardly be said that the G 320 CDI complies with the current top emissions standard, EU4, and works in tandem with a standard-fit, maintenance-free diesel particulate filter that slashes particulate emissions by 99 percent without the need for any additives.
The classic among Mercedes-Benz off-roaders continues to offer a superior blend of efficient powertrain and handling dynamics systems. Standard specification includes permanent all-wheel drive with an off-road reduction gear plus the electronically controlled traction system 4ETS, the Electronic Stability Program ESP® and three differential locks which can be operated at the push of a button. The G-Class is built for Mercedes-Benz by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria, and has been since 1979, the total production volume to date amounting to over 186,000 units.
And there is still no end in sight to this success story. In the next few years the “G” will continue to round off the line-up of efficient Mercedes-Benz SUVs, alongside the ML-Class and the new R-Class and GL-Class.
Three body versions, high level of specification
The new engine is available in conjunction with all three body versions, these being the two Station Wagons – with short and long wheelbases – and the luxurious Cabriolet with an electrohydraulically operated soft top. One thing all the versions have in common is the same high standard of equipment for which their predecessors were known. Among other things the G 320 CDI additionally offers 7G-TRONIC, bi-xenon headlamps and fog lamps with the cornering light function. The second-row seats of the four-door Station Wagon feature ISOFIX child seat attachment points. Also new are the scratch-resistant exterior paint colours calcite white, periclase green metallic and teallite blue metallic. The tough “ARTICO” interior package is available as an optional extra, including seats and door liners upholstered in highly hard-wearing yet breathable man-made leather which is particularly pleasant to the touch. The floor covering consists of robust, easy-care plastic.
The G-Class model series as a whole currently comprises three different engines. These are, apart from the G 320 CDI described here, the 296 hp G 500 petrol model with a V8 engine that is also teamed up with 7G-TRONIC, and the familiar top-of-the-range G 55 AMG supercharged V8, which has an output of 476 hp. All G-Class models are now being fitted with bi-xenon headlamps including fog lamps with the cornering light function.
The G 320 CDI can be ordered with immediate effect from Mercedes-Benz sales outlets and deliveries to customers will commence in September 2006. The previous diesel versions G 270 CDI and G 400 CDI, as well as the petrol-engined G 320 are now being discontinued.
G-Class: award-winning cross-country vehicle
Scarcely any other off-roader has won as many automotive awards as the G-Class. At the beginning 2006 the readers of the prestigious OFF ROAD magazine voted this evergreen “off-road vehicle of the year” in the “Classic” category. The readers of Germany’s “auto, motor und sport” magazine have voted it the world’s best off-roader no fewer than 13 times. Australia’s “bushdriver” magazine voted the G-Class the best 4x4 cross-country vehicle following its victory in the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1983. And in 1995 the readers of the German watersports periodical “Boote” (Engl. “Boats”) decided that the G-Class was the best towing vehicle. In 2003 the G-Class was dubbed “classic of the future” by the German “Motor Klassik” magazine.