2016 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Offers Exclusive Luxury and Off-Road Durability
Over the past 34 years, the iconic Mercedes-Benz G-Class has undergone quite a transformation from its origin as a military vehicle specifically built to tackle the toughest of terrains.
Since it was brought to the civilian market in 1979 as a luxury vehicle for traversing tough off-road terrain, the boxy G-Class -- also known as the Gelaendewagen or G-Wagen -- has provided the DNA for the other SUVs built under the Mercedes-Benz brand.
Before it was officially brought to the United States for the 2003 model year, the exclusive off-roader was only available here as a gray-market import. Built by hand by Magna Steyr in Austria in very small numbers averaging about 3500 models per year, the mid-size four-wheel-drive luxury SUV has had some historic exposure: In 1980, the Vatican took delivery of a specially made G-Wagen outfitted with a clear thermoplastic top to transport the Pope. The G-Class (as well as several other Mercedes-Benz and Maybach models) also appeared in the 2010 movie "Sex and the City 2."
Over the course of 35 years, Mercedes-Benz has refined what was initially a very practically-oriented off-road specialist by giving it a premium interior and road-going qualities on par with those of the premium sedans from Mercedes- Benz. It is especially popular in such high-income, population dense areas as Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas.
Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars said "Our G-Class has been a force to be reckoned with for the last 34 years. In its latest evolutionary stage, it offers state-of-the art, powerful engines, a further improved range of luxurious appointments and the very latest safety and technology, as well, of course, as its now legendary off-road capabilities. At the same time the design remains true to its down-to-earth, unmistakable style."
Considered the top model among luxury-class cross-country vehicles, it offers powerful engines, rugged underpinnings, premium materials, and a prestigiously high price that ranges from $119,900 for the G550 to $139,900 for the AMG G63, to about $217,900 for the AMG G65 (not including $925 destination and delivery charge). Its closest competition is the Land Rover Range Rover.
The latest changes to the iconic boxy-looking 2016 G-Class range include powerful engine choices, upscale premium touches and designs -- including a new instrument cluster and wood trim options. Further individualization options from the exclusive designo range are available as enhancements to what is already a very high-quality interior. Outside are new wheels and bumper designs. The AMG G63 and AMG G65 versions also feature a characteristic AMG radiator grille with double louvers, plus distinctive bumpers with large air intakes. Red brake calipers and 20-inch and 21-inch wheels complement the emotional appeal of its exterior.
Under the hood include your choice of a 4.0-liter Biturbo V-8 gasoline engine with an output of 416 hp and 450 lb.-ft. of torque, and estimated 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.8 seconds, and fuel economy of 13 mpg city, 14 mpg highway, and 13 mpg combined in the G550. Even more performance can be found in the AMG G63 thanks to a hand-crafted AMG 5.5-liter V8 Biturbo engine with 563 hp, 561 lb.-ft. of torque, and a standard ECO stop/stop system that offers 12/14/13 mpg. The high-performance G65 is powered by an AMG 6-liter V-12 Biturbo engine promising 621 horsepower, 738 lb.-ft. of torque, and acceleration to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds with fuel economy of 11/13/12 mpg. All are mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission.
The tremendous torque of these engines makes the luxury off-roader an excellent vehicle for towing (up to 7,000 lbs. when equipped with an approved aftermarket hitch), while its three electrically controlled 100-percent differential locks, ladder frame, and rigid axle characteristics offer unrivaled performance in rough, off-road terrain. The 2016 G550 is now the only G-Wagen to offer an adjustable suspension -- a feature never previously offered on the G-Class.
The new Mercedes-Benz G-Class is arriving in dealerships soon. If you want premium luxury along with legendary off-road ability, this is the utility vehicle for you.
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