The iconic G-Class, or G-Wagen as I still prefer to call it, has gotten yet another update. It does seem like the G gets more updates than an Apple product or a Hollywood star. For 2015 the G500 has the more significant change while others in the range gain a bit more power and better fuel economy. Yeah, because that’s what most buyers of the G-Class are worried about.
For 2015 the G500 ditches the large 388bhp/285kW, 530NM 5.5-litre V8 for a more modern 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8. It’s actually a close relation to the same 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 found in the AMG GT and new C63 AMG. Yes, it still has the turbochargers housed in the ‘V’. In the G500 the engine has been de-tuned to produce 422bhp/310kW and 610NM of torque. Down from the 470bhp in the ‘proper’ AMGs. 0-100 km/h for the G500 is now a hot-hatch rivalling 5.9 seconds, if anyone actually cares.
Those wanting more go from their prehistoric SUV can opt for the mental G63 AMG or the even more insane G65 AMG. The G63 AMG retains the larger 5.5-litre bi-turbo AMG V8 producing 571bhp/420kW and 760NM of torque, up from 544bhp/400kW. 0-100 km/h is done in 5.4 seconds. If that’s too slow for you then the 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12 powered G65 can get to 100 km/h a tenth of a second quicker thanks to 630bhp/463kW and 1000NM of torque, up from 612bhp/450kW.
At the other end of the G-spectrum is the G350d with 245bhp/180kW and 600NM of torque, up from 211bhp/155kW and 540NM of torque. The G350 now takes 8.9 seconds to get from standstill to 100, but is considerably more economical than the V8 models. All but the monstrous G65 have ECO stop/start function, I’m guessing because the G65 spat out the stop/start system.
Mercedes have also taken to revise the suspension setup and shock absorbers in the pursuit to improve body control and on-road ride. The ESP system has also been tweaked for better driving dynamics. As if that wasn’t laughable enough, the G500 actually comes with an adaptive damping system with a Sport mode. Yes, ‘Sport’ mode in a 2.5 tonne truck. Who said the Germans don’t have a sense of humour?
Other changes include new AMG-inspired bumpers and wheel arches for the G350d and G500. There are also new colour choices including Sunset Beam (orange), Alien Green, Tomato Red, Solar Beam (yellow), and Galactic Beam (fuschia). Inside there are minor changes such as new dials and infotainment screen. There’s also a new AMG EDITION 463 for those wanting a sportier and bespoke G-Wagen. This brings a two-tone designo interior, carbon fibre trim, and drug dealer spec 21-inch rims. Luckily the permanent all-wheel drive system, the three differential locks, the low-range gearbox, and the body and ladder-type frame chassis remain unchanged throughout the range.
While the changes are minimal it’s still good to see Mercedes haven’t forgotten about one of it’s most iconic models. The life of the G-Class is nearing its end, reports suggest it’ll be replaced by a kinder-to-the-environment model by the end of the decade. You can thank EU regulations for that. It’s the same regulation that’s killing off the Land Rover Defender too. But it’s good to see the G-Class is going away quietly and Mercedes are giving it a proper send off. I mean if a 6.0-litre bi-turbo V12 in a 36 year old truck isn’t a two finger wave at the EU then I don’t know what is.