Mercedes G-Class facelift: 6 cylinders instead of V8 in the G 500 and 48V mild hybrid technology

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After six years, Mercedes has given the G-Class off-roader a facelift. The big news is the dropping of the V8 engine from the G 500 in favor of a more powerful 6-cylinder and the adoption of 48V mild hybrid technology on all engines. Also new: three off-road programs and upgraded assistance systems.

Increasingly stringent emissions standards and higher taxes imposed in many European countries on large, heavy SUVs have prompted Mercedes to update the Mercedes G-Class engine line-up.

The 421 PS 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine has been replaced by a 3-litre inline 6-cylinder engine developing 330 kW (449 PS) and 560 Nm, featuring 48V mild hybrid technology with 15 kW (20 PS) and 200 Nm starter generator.

The 48V mild hybrid technology is used also for the other engines: the G 450 d and the AMG G 63. The Mercedes G 450 d replaces the G 400 d and features the latest evolution of the OM 656 inline 6-cylinder turbodiesel engine, which now develops 367 PS and 750 Nm, supported by an integrated starter-generator with 15 kW (20 PS) and 200 Nm. Both engines are mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission.

Mercedes G 500 and G 450 d with adaptive suspension as standard

Adaptive suspension, which was optional before the facelift, is now standard. The electric parking brake is also standard, and the brake discs are 354 x 32 mm at the front and 345 x 22 mm at the rear. The G 450 d and G 500 run standard on 18-inch wheels (optional 18 to 20-inch).

In addition to the classic ‘Comfort’, ‘Sport’, ‘Eco’ and ‘Individual’ driving modes, three off-road specific modes have been introduced: ‘Trail’, ‘Rock’ and ‘Sand’.

Normally, the transfer case distributes torque in the ratio of 40% front to 60% rear. The all-wheel-drive system with three lockable differentials has been carried over unchanged from the pre-facelift model. The lockable differentials can be activated individually in both High Range and Low Range modes. Low Range mode engages in the N position of automatic transmission up to a maximum speed of 40 km/h, and the ratio of the transfer case is 2.93:1. It is possible to shift from Low Range to High Range up to a speed of 70 km/h.

There is also news on off-road-specific information. The new Offroad Cockpit off-road menu includes an artificial horizon, positioning, compass, altitude, the steering angle of the front axle, torque, power, tire pressure, and temperature, as well as the status of the differential locks. Also new to the G-Class is the ‘transparent bonnet’ in combination with the 360-degree video camera, which is very useful in rough terrain.

The differentiation between standard and AMG versions is more evident now, as the G 450 d and G 500 have four horizontal crossbars in the radiator grille, while the AMG G 63 has 13 vertical struts, and the side air intakes in the bumper are larger and have three vertical slats on the AMG G 63.

Mercedes G-Class gets the latest generation of multifunction steering wheels and new options such as temperature-controlled cupholders, wireless smartphone charging are available and Burmester 3D Surround Sound system with an illuminated satellite loudspeaker in the headliner.

The clasic off-roader has also received some additional assistance systems: Active Steering Assist (supports drivers at speeds up to 160 km/h with moderate steering intervention when in the center of a lane), Active Emergency Stop Assist (brakes the vehicle in its lane to a standstill if it recognizes that the driver is no longer intervening in the driving situation) and Route-based speed adjustment (before bends, junctions, roundabouts, toll stations and turnoffs, the vehicle automatically reduces speed in combination with Distronic Active Distance Assist and then accelerates again).

In addition to the Exclusive Line Exterior and AMG Line packages, customers can now also order the Professional Line Exterior with stone-guard grilles for the headlights, mud flaps, and 45.7-centimeter (18-inch) all-terrain tires. The Exclusive Line Exterior, on the other hand, emphasizes the exclusive character of the vehicle with a radiator grille in silver chrome, Multibeam LED headlights, a spare-wheel ring in stainless steel, and side running boards.

The AMG Line gives a dynamic appearance and is characterized by wheel-arch extensions, 50.8-centimeter (20-inch) AMG alloy wheels, and a multifunction sports steering wheel in nappa leather. The Night Package, which includes sporty, expressive design elements in black, is also available.

Inside, the side air vents with the shape of the round headlights are now also available with illumination. The Exclusive Line Interior Package comes with nappa leather upholstery, ambient lighting for the air vents, 19 inch alloy wheels, spare wheel cover in body colour, loading sill proptection in stainless steel and technical underguard in silver.

The Superior Line package gives a more luxurious atmosphere with Nappa leather upholstery with exclusive elements and decorative stitching in a diamond design, and the Active Multicontour Seat Plus package.

The MBUX system now features augmented reality navigation and optional MBUX High-End Rear Seat Entertainment with two 11.6-inch displays for rear passengers.

Mercedes-AMG G 63 with AMG Active Ride Control adaptive suspension (roll stabilization optional)

The top-of-the-range Mercedes-AMG G 63 is the only model in the range with a V8 engine. The power output of 430 kW (585 PS) and maximum torque of 850 Nm remain the same, but the engine has also received 48V mild hybrid technology with an integrated starter generator of 15 kW (20 PS) and 200 Nm. The engine is mated to the AMG Speedshift TCT 9G automatic transmission.

The AMG version is equipped as standard with AMG Active Ride Control adaptive suspension, optionally available with active anti-roll bars. This feature is available as an individual option or as part of the AMG Offroad PRO and AMG Performance package. The adaptive dampers are equipped with two hydraulic connections – one for the compression phase and one for the rebound phase. 20-inch wheels are standard, and as an option, 20- to 22-inch wheels are available.

In addition to the ‘Slippery’, ‘Comfort’, ‘Sport’, ‘Sport+’ and ‘Individual’ drive programs, three off-road specific programs are available – ‘Trail’, ‘Rock’ and ‘Sand’. Two additional programs are available with the AMG Offroad PRO package:
“AMG Traction Pro” generates maximum traction in the “Rock” and “Sand” driving programs and the degree of locking of the electronically controlled differential lock can be adjusted in stages depending on the situation.
“AMG Active Balance Control” allows the roll stiffness of the vehicle to be adjusted from low to rigid depending on the road surface and driving situation: Low with a comfortable suspension setup, Mid which is significantly stiffer, and High, with a very stiff suspension setup.

The Mercedes-AMG G 63 comes standard with Multibeam LED headlights and the Manufaktur hyper blue magno paintwork is available exclusively for the top model. The AMG G 63 can also be customized with the AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber package, and the Superior Line Interior package is also available on the top model.

The Mercedes G-Class electric will be presented later, at the end of April.