The Mercedes-Benz G-Class may have a boxy design dating back to the 1970s, but that’s exactly what appeals to buyers of the iconic Gelandewagen. That’s why prototypes for a redesigned version show a very familiar shape. In fact, it’s almost impossible to tell the new model apart from its predecessor in the spy shots we’ve seen.
While buyers may love the classic exterior, we’re sure they’d like to see the interior updated. This is especially true when you consider most G-Classes are sold today as luxury vehicles. Here in the United States, you may be surprised to learn that roughly half the sales are made up by Mercedes-AMG models.
Well, we have good news for potential G-Class buyers. The redesigned model arrives early next year and new, official photos of its interior reveal a modern design with technology on par with high-end models like the S-Class.
2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
The biggest change is the addition of the expansive digital dash that Mercedes first introduced on the S-Class. It consists of two 12.3-inch digital screens, one for the instrument cluster and the other for the infotainment system, encased within a single pane of glass that spans most of the dash. Next to it, on the passenger side, is the familiar dash-mounted grab handle that dates back to the original 1979 G-Class. The position of the air vents is also the same as in the original G.
Speaking of the air vents, you’ll notice they adopt an awesome jet turbine-style design similar to the air vents found in the latest E-Class Coupe. The switchgear is also similar to what you find in the E Coupe, including the same touchpad and rotary dial controller combo. Unique to the G-Class, however, are the chrome-highlighted switches for the differential locks, positioned in clear view in the middle of the center stack. The standard sound system features seven speakers while a Burmester option offers up 16 speakers and a 590 watt amplifier with Digital Sound Processing.
Note, some G-Class variants will come with conventional analog gauges in the instrument cluster. This will feature predominantly in workhorse versions sold overseas, such as the G-Class Professional series.
The new G-Class is confirmed for a debut next month at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It has a bigger footprint and sit lowers than the model it replaces, with the changes helping to boost interior space as well as stability. Rear-seat passengers in particular benefit from the new dimensions. They can look forward to 5.9 extra inches of legroom, 2.2 extra inches of elbow room, and 1.1 extra inches of shoulder room.
The seats comes with numerous convenience functions either as standard or available. The list includes memory function, seat heating (including a fast heating option), massage, and electrically adjustable lumbar supports for the driver and front passenger. The side sections of the seat cushions and backrests of the active multicontour seats also include integrated air chambers that fill or empty on a continuous basis depending on the dynamics of the vehicle, for example offering more lateral support during cornering. Finally, the rear seats can also be folded down to 60, 40 or 100 percent for maximum storage space.
There’s still no word on the powertrains but a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 should be the sole powertrain at launch, at least in the United States. And it’s not clear yet if there will be a repeat of the V-12-powered G65.