See what it looked like to reveal the all-new G in style at the well-known Michigan Theatre last night. Iconic elements of the original remain, though, including the exterior protective strip, the bonnet-mounted indicators and the spare-tyre mounted on the tailgate.
What's changed is that the new model is 53mm longer and 121mm wider, while the wheelarches and bumpers have been created to look more like integral parts of the body.
The new G-Class is 2.1-inches longer and 4.8-inches wider than the outgoing model. Now measuring 4715mm in length and 1881mm. "In short, the new "G" is still a "G", only better", said Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. Mercedes' intention is to provide greater comfort, technology and usable space for occupants while staying true to the model's utilitarian origins. We'll find out more, and get behind the wheel, sometime between now and when the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G 500 goes on sale late this year. The instrument panel is a single sheet of glass housing two displays, one for the gauges and one for the COMAND infotainment display. Keen eyes will however notice a slightly more sculpted body, but the essential boxy aesthetic is still there whilst the engineers instead focused their efforts on making the vehicle more capable in the off-road department.
Interior volume has been increased, with legroom up 1.5 ins. However, the styling is subtly sleeker than any previous G-Wagen.
The 2019 G-Class comes with smoother surfaces and re-shaped head lamps and tail lamps, slimmer front blinkers and of course new wheels. As a result, it claims the G-Class is better still off road yet also "significantly more agile, dynamic and comfortable" on the road.
First to arrive in the summer is likely to be the AMG G 63 costing around £135,000. with the G 350 d not expected until 2019.
The new suspension has been developed with AMG. However, the front suspension is now an independent double-wishbone design, while the rear soldiers on with a solid axle. But G-Class sales grew 6 percent compared with the prior year. Approach and breakover angles improve by one degree, to 31 and 26 respectively, while departure angle holds constant at an impressive 30 degrees.
The long-standing ladder-frame chassis carries over from its predecessor but in heavily modified form, which along with a new aluminium body structure, means a 170kg drop in weight.
There are four driving modes, "Comfort", "Sport", "Eco" and "Individual". With three different drive modes, the steering effort can be varied for particular terrain and traffic situations. It can be chosen manually, but it activates automatically when the driver fires up any of the three 100 per cent differential locks - front, rear and centre - or the low-range transmission feature. G-mode adapts the damping and steering as well as the accelerator, avoiding unnecessary gearshifts, all of which "ensures optimum control and maximum off-road capability", reckons Mercedes.
The external appearance haven't changed significantly since the Gelandewagen was launched to the public in 1979, and fans of the G-Wagen's retro angles can continue to rest easy.