WITH bones that date all the way back to 1979, you’d forgive the G-Class for feeling a little bit old-fashioned. Because that’s exactly what it is: positively ancient.
But when Mercedes-Benz debuts the first all-new G-Class in nearly four decades at the Detroit Auto Show in January, the company’s rugged off-roader will be a far more inviting, accommodating and technologically sophisticated off-roader. How do we know? Because Dutch website autoweek.nl let slip clear images of the new G’s dashboard, and it looks anything but antiquated.
There are familiar G-Wagen traits like a passenger-side grab handle and a low dashpad height, but the double-binnacle that covers both the instrument cluster and (huge) infotainment screen is a feature borrowed from the S-Class and E-Class, as are the turbine-style air vent gimbals.
The steering wheel, with its large buttons, flattened bottom and metallic trim, is also reminiscent of the S-Class’ tiller.
The centre stack is more upright than the sloping panels that typify Benz’s passenger cars from C-Class and up, but that’s in keeping with the G-Class’ utilitarian nature. Nevertheless, the switchgear for ventilation and infotainment shortcut buttons (not to mention the analogue clock) appear identical to what’s found in existing Mercedes-Benz models.
The trio of large rocker switches between the centre air vents are unique however, and likely control various aspects of the new G’s 4x4 driveline. Interestingly, the demo dashboard is equipped with conventional analogue instruments rather than an all-electronic driver display like the S-Class or E-Class.
The new G-Class’ exterior is still yet to be spotted unclothed, but expect the existing car’s endearingly boxy flavour to flow through to its next-gen replacement. Dimensional growth is almost guaranteed, however, with the new car expected to be around 100mm wider. Meanwhile weight will be kept in check through aluminium-intensive construction methods.
Full details will be revealed in early January, when the next-generation G-Class makes its public debut at the Detroit Auto Show.
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