Now here’s a car that has changed over the years.
Introduced in 1979, the G-Class primary duty was tackling tough off-road terrain in service of its owners.
Today, the G-model line up has become a symbol of not only strength but status. Although appearing as a brute, Mercedes has done an admirable job of appealing to a wide range of buyers, including those environmentally conscience.
A G 350 BlueTEC can be had with a 3-liter diesel developing 211 horsepower. The BlueTEC models are designed to be as green as possible with fewer emissions from the automakers diesel technology. Mercedes uses an aqueous urea solution which is injected into the exhaust flow to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx).
Need more power? The next step up is the G 500 with its 5.5-liter gasoline engine producing 387 horsepower.
Of course the ultimate G-Class wagons are the AMG models, the G 63 and G 65. Second only to the G 65, the G 63 produces 544 horsepower from its twin-turbo V8. The G 65 takes it up a notch and is simply mind numbing, packing 612 horsepower from its twin-turbo motor. The difference though is that motor is a V12. Incredible. A V12 in an off-roader. Time to pull some tree stumps!
Here’s a pretty succinct rundown of the evolution of the G-Class. The car has clearly matured from its utilitarian origins to a powerfully classic SUV.
- 1979 The G-Class is presented to the press for the first time in the south of France. Production gets underway with the 230 G, 240 GD, 280 GE and 300 GD models.
- 1980 An enclosed van-type model with short or long wheelbase is added to the model range.
- 1981 The first facelift. Automatic transmission, air conditioning, longitudinal bench seats for the load area, additional fuel tanks, a “tropical roof”, protective headlamp grilles, a cable winch, a hardtop for the Cabriolet and a mechanical power take-off are all available as options for the 280 GE and 300 GD. A choice of five different paint colours has risen to 22.
- 1982 The 230 G is fitted with a fuel injection system and becomes the 230 GE. Recaro seats, auxiliary heating, wide-base tyres on light-alloy wheels and wheel-arch flaring can be ordered as options.
- 1983 The 230 GE is optionally available with a four-speed automatic transmission. The second facelift sees four new metallic colour shades and a five-speed transmission added to the list of equipment – as well as eight-inch tandem brake boosters and a new folding soft top for the Cabriolet.
- 1985 A facelift adds differential locks, central locking, a rev counter and split rear bumper to the list of standard equipment.
- 1986 A closed-loop catalytic converter becomes available for the 230 GE.
- 1987 The fourth facelift brings power windows, an automatic aerial, a combined luggage cover and retaining net for the load area, and a larger fuel tank. Unveiling of the 250 GD with 62 kW/84 hp.
- 1988 New six-cylinder diesel engine for the 300 GD. The driver’s and front passenger’s seats are fitted with armrests.
- 1989 Launch of the new 463 model series with permanent four-wheel drive, and manually selectable ABS at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt.
- 1990 The 463 model series is launched with the 230 GE, 300 GE, 250 GD and 300 GD. Customers can choose from three body variants.
- 1992 The new 350 GD TURBODIESEL is unveiled. Cruise control, a stainless-steel spare wheel cover, side-mounted running boards, a luggage compartment cover and burr walnut trim are available as options.
- 1993 Unveiling of the special model 500 GE. This offers a range of luxury appointments and is built in a limited edition of 500 units.
- 1994 A second facelift for the 463 model series brings internally ventilated front disc brakes and a driver airbag.
- 1995 All G-Class models are fitted with remote-controlled central locking and an immobiliser.
- 1996 The G-Class Cabriolet with electrohydraulic soft top is presented, along with the G 300 TURBODIESEL. Facelift and upgrade of standard equipment with a headlamp cleaning system, cruise control and a front passenger airbag.
- 1997 The electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission becomes available for the G 300 TURBODIESEL and the G 320. The 290 GD TURBODIESEL with 88 kW/120 hp replaces the 290 GD with naturally aspirated diesel engine.
- 1998 Mercedes-Benz launches the new G 500 with V8 engine (218 kW/296 hp).
- 1999 The multifunction steering wheel is added to the list of standard equipment for the G-Class. Launch of the G 55 AMG. Its V8 engine delivers 260 kW/354 hp. The Mercedes-Benz G 500 Guard appears in three different special-protection versions.
- 2000 The new 2001 models are unveiled at the Paris Motor Show – with a new interior offering enhanced levels of comfort. A new V8 diesel engine (184 kW/250 hp) for the G 400 CDI. The V8 models are fitted with new light-alloy wheels, a chrome-plated radiator grille and bumpers in the vehicle colour.
- 2001 The IAA in Frankfurt sees the unveiling of the G-Class with new dynamic control systems. These include the ESP®Stability Program, BAS Brake Assist and the new ETS Electronic Traction System.
- 2002 The new G 270 CDI makes its debut powered by a 115-kW/156-hp five-cylinder diesel engine.
- 2003 Indicator repeaters are integrated into the exterior mirrors of the G-Class.
- 2004 World premiere of the new G 55 AMG with a supercharged V8 engine developing 350 kW/476 hp.
- 2006 Introduction of the new G 320 CDI with diesel engine (165 kW/224 hp), fitted as standard with a diesel particulate filter.
- 2007 Another facelift. LED-look tail lights. New instrument cluster with four analogue instruments mounted in chrome rings. New four-spoke multifunction steering wheel, modified centre console. COMAND APS as standard for the models G 500 and G 55 AMG.
- 2008 Revised radiator grille with three slats. New V8 engine with displacement and 5.5 litres and output of 388 hp (285 kW). Bluetooth hands-free system for mobile telephone.
- 2009 New seats plus interior design modifications
- 2011 V6 diesel engine in the G 350 BlueTEC with state-of-the-art BlueTEC technology and AdBlue®injection, delivering impressively low emissions and output of 155 kW (211 hp).