There are some cars which seem to be around forever such as the Morgan Plus-8 and the Land Rover Defender. It seems that the Mercedes Gelanderwagen (or G-wagon) will be joining the list. The car was launched back in 1979 when most of the cars that came off their production line were Nato olive or camouflage brown.
However, the car grew in popularity as it was indestructible and great in mud. Farmers and rich Russian entrepreneurs really liked it and it now has an almost legendary status. With this new model having a makeover it is expected that it will be around for least ten more years.
There have been quite a few engineering updates due to emission laws and safety regulations, to the model over the years and there will be even tighter rules in 2016. This means that they car will need a big investment in order to make it over totally and Daimler is investing several hundred million Euros in to doing just that as the car is so popular being in to its 35th year now.
The 461-series will still be aimed at military soldiers and will not, but the 463-series which is aimed at civilians will change. The body will become wider from 1760 to 1860mm, although that is still slimmer than the Range Rover.
The flanks have slab sides at the moment and it is expected these will remain but the roof is likely to be a bit lower so that it can fit in garages which it tends to be a bit tall for. It is expected that the front end graphics will remain the same although there may be some modifications to reduce drag.
There is a Distonic Plus radar eye behind the three pointed star as well as LED headlamps and blocked off air intakes as well as miniature cameras which has generation assistance systems.
It is not clear yet though as to whether there will be a short convertible model available as well.
The engines will be from quite a varied choice. At the moment it is not clear whether there will be a V12 engine option but there will be a V8 as well as V6 options. There will be a 3.0 litre petrol straight six, 2.9 litre diesel straight six, 4.0 litre twin turbo petrol and a 5.5 litre V8 G63 AMG.
The inside of the car will be changed because of the new bigger width. This will mean that the dashboard will need to change and Mercedes have decided to give it a complete new design. This will have additions such as a high mounted passenger grab handle, two large round dials and a diff lock push button.
It has also been said that it will have the Comand system with a touchpad as well a in-dash monitor and a heads up display. The centre stack will be changed around to be more ergonomic and there will even be a new steering wheel. It will have the look of the classic model but with some modern additions to make it more comfortable.
The handbrake is a lever operated kind and there is still a joystick on the transmission tunnel. There are more comfortable seats though which are pretty close to the doors. The frame though will change to aluminium from steel which will save a considerable amount of weight; over 375 kilos compared with the 461 series. It also gets rid of the front live axle and replaces it with independent suspension which means a loss of even more weight.
It is said that there will still be three diffs one with a front via brake actuation and the others with a hydraulic clutch mechanism. There is also electrically assisted power steering which will be needed as an addition to the accident avoidance, parking aid, lane keeping and other assistance features.