It just keeps going and going: revamped Mercedes-Benz G-class spotted

Published: 22 November 2016

► New Mercedes G-class in the works
► Set to be lighter and more spacious
► Expected to feature E-class tech

It’s been some 37 years since the first Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen clambered over a rocky crest and onto the scene. Despite being developed as a military vehicle, and having a distinctly utilitarian design, it found success in the wider public market. Thanks to continued demand and some significant revisions along the way, the G-class is still going strong.

So much so, in fact, that Mercedes appears to be working on another round of updates for the classic off-roader – despite it receiving a host of cosmetic and powertrain upgrades in late 2015. 

That said, the G-class – in its current W463 generation – has been around since 1990, at which point the G-wagen name was dropped. So, perhaps some more significant revisions are in the works...

Oh look, it’s been completely restyled. Not.

Admittedly it’s unlikely that the looks will change dramatically – after all, how do you restyle something that’s based on two boxes stuck together – but these spy shots do reveal that the new G-class will be slightly wider.

While that’ll make it even trickier to manage on tighter roads, those inside will likely appreciate the extra space. It’s also expected to be far lighter than the current G-class, which clocks in at a mighty 2612kg in G 350d form.

Previous spy shots featured what was believed to be a conventional diesel G-class, but it’s understood that this more aggressively styled prototype is a G63.

If it does share its engine with Mercedes-AMG’s other ’63 offerings, then expect a power output in the region of 600bhp. You can already get a G500 with a 416bhp version of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 in some markets, so it seems a straightforward move.

Next-gen G-class spy shots

There are expected to be more significant changes inside, however, with the rumoured adoption of Mercedes’ latest interior tech from the E-class. Time will tell as to whether it’ll receive the digital instrument panel – but you can rest assured that the original designers never envisioned the G-class featuring such advanced technology...

Any new engines in the works?

Mercedes will still offer ballistic AMG versions but, in keeping with modern times, they will likely initially adopt the aforementioned 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that’s used in the Mercedes-AMG C63, among others. You can expect more conventional petrol and diesel offerings, too, for those who want to trade straight-line speed for range.

Next-gen G-class spy shots

Production of the new G-class will take place in the Magna Steyr plant in Graz, Austria, where the current version is built. We’re also told that the new model may run alongside the old version for a time, with the outgoing G-class existing as the ‘basic’ variant in the range for a time.

When’s the new G-class due?

There’s no official word on when the new model might arrive but, judging by this prototype’s appearance now, we’d expect to see the newest take on the G-class in full towards the end of next year. 

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Next-gen G-class spy shots

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car