On the eve of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), the Michigan Theatre in Detroit played host to not one but two legends. It was the venue chosen by Mercedes-Benz for its traditional New Year’s reception and for the unveiling of the new G-Class. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hollywood star and former governor of California, drove the vehicle onto the stage over a spectacular ramp built to look like the Schöckl – a landmark mountain near the Austrian city of Graz used by Mercedes-Benz for off-road test driving, conquered by every G-Class since 1979.
In front of more than 500 guests, Mercedes-Benz presented the world premiere of the new, modern reinterpretation of the iconic G-Class design. The new “G” is as compelling as the previous model for its performance on any type of terrain, assistance systems and handling characteristics. "We’ve completely modernised the interior, improved its on-road handling and further optimised the G-Class’ off-road skills," says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars. "At the same time, we preserved the unmistakable character of this icon."
The G-Class is the top model among luxury all-terrain vehicles. Not only is it by far the longest-produced passenger vehicle in Mercedes-Benz history, it’s also the forefather of all SUVs bearing the three-pointed star – which is why all Mercedes off-roaders have the capital letter G in their name.
What began in 1972 with a cooperation agreement between the then Daimler-Benz AG and Steyr-Daimler-Puch in Graz, Austria, is now a story peppered with superlatives and milestones. Even the very first concept was different. The team designed a vehicle that not only demonstrates outstanding all-terrain capability, but also attracts buyers with its excellent attributes as a fully-fledged and supremely safe leisure vehicle. Features like all-wheel drive, low-range gearbox and three 100-percent differential locks are just as much part of the “G” as its robust ladder-type frame.
Photos: Daimler Press
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