Next January, at the Detroit Motor Show, will be presented the new generation of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, an incombustible of the SUVs that gathers the experience of almost four decades in the market, which is said soon. Since 1979, there have been more than 300,000 units sold worldwide, in a segment that is defined by pragmatism, robustness and versatility.
And all these signs will be found in the Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2018, combined with the refinement that the engineers of Stuttgart have wanted to give to their new non-asphalt beast. For example, an advance that we have already known first-hand: the interior of the new G-Class.
The secret of an icon called Class G
Hidden from the world, inside what could be – but it is not – an old abandoned factory in Metzingen, a unit of the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class awaits us. There it is, hidden behind a black door, as blacks are. the walls that give shelter in a small room that is practically dark.
At the moment we can not pass. What is accessible to all present is the complete module of the board, with its steering wheel and with its instrument panel and with its central console and glove compartment and everything else. Those of us who are in that place have agreed to keep confidentiality, until this content can be published. Even if leaks occur.
What is the reason for so much expectation?
The G-Class is one of the historical pillars of the star’s brand. The adventure that began in 1972 as a collaboration between the former Daimler-Benz AG and Steyr-Daimler-Puch in the Austrian city of Graz is today a solid chapter in the history of Mercedes-Benz.
With the rise of the SUV, the G-Class could have fallen into oblivion. “However, today it is more popular than ever,” explains Gunnar Güthenke, responsible for the Class G project at Mercedes-Benz. For the German engineer, the figures of the off-road speak for themselves: of the 300,000 G-Class that one day left the production line, 80% continue on the road.
Thus it is understood that in Mercedes-Benz opt for the continuity formula. Güthenke defends that his SUV combines toughness with comfort, and reveals to us the secret of eternal life: “Periodically we re-invent our icon, making sure that it remains true to itself”.
Translated from the English but keeping the German accent, we can expect a Class G 2018 exterior that does not differ too much from its lineage, plus a Class G 2018 whose interior we will observe already while he observes us.
“Here’s looking at you, kid”, or how to understand the design of a Class G interior with a Bogart look
Perhaps the Spanish-speaking audience the quote in English extracted from ‘Casablanca‘ does not tell you too much, mostly because the magic of the dubbing of our country forever transformed the phrase into something much more direct (” Go with him, Ilsa“, in allusion to Viktor Lazlo), but for Gunnar Güthenke you can take that “go for you, little one” from Rick Blaine as something much more literal: here I am, watching you.
Indeed, the interior of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2018 looks at us, in a similar way to how the front of the SUV has always looked at us. This is what Güthenke tells us… and this is what one of his designers defends, who identifies himself as Claudius, when I ask him about the essence of his creation.
I do it because the first thing that has caught my attention is that the Mercedes-Benz G-Class incorporates elements of aesthetics similar to those of other interiors of the house. Those buttons, those aerators, those finishes… are like déjà vu to me. If I have not seen them in the middle of the range I think I have never seen them. So…
How can the essence of an icon be maintained by using the components of a whole family of models?
And I go and I ask it.
My interlocutor gets a funny syncope of the most Germanic, while he replies in astonishment that the interior is “completely Class G”. He watches you as a G-Class, has the same face as a G-Class… “Here’s looking at you, kid”, he just needs to say, while I perform a photomontage in my mind with what the father of the creature tells me , to whom perhaps I have offended a little more.
The geometrical lines that preside over the set , just like on the outside of the SUV; the rounded shape of the front optics, traced in the aerators located at the ends of the board; the design of the intermittent icons, which is transmitted to the shape of the speakers; the center console, which emerges with lines as sharp as the grille on the front of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
Okay, we accept Looking-at-you-kid as a companion animal, and Claudius is released a little and explains the complications that have meant to keep the handle of the passenger on the glove compartment as in previous generations of the model, due to the greater current requirements in terms of passive safety. They have had to manage to shorten a bit the measures of this irrevocable element and ensure that the G-Class remains, above all, an ode to pragmatism that incorporates a good dose of comfort.
S-Class technology and all kinds of refined materials for the interior, tested by Schöckl
Beyond the design, the new technology that houses the interior of the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class. For example, the entire infotainment system is at hand through the multifunction steering wheel, which has tactile sensors so that the handling resembles the use of a smartphone, with shortcuts for the most common functions and with response by the audio system to avoid looking away from the road.
Although the G-Class does not renounce the analog spheres for the main controls of speed, engine speed, etc., now it incorporates a huge central console that resembles those that equip the Class E and Class S and that is crowned by two screens of 12, 3 inches. Joined and covered by a glazed area, these make up a large area for monitoring the main information of the vehicle. Depending on the styles that can be selected (Classic, Sport, Progressive), the data that appears varies.
The sound can be provided by a Burmester Surround digital audio system of 590 W and no less than 16 speakers, which is part of the numerous optional equipment that is available for the Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2018.
True to the premise of combining robustness and comfort, the designers of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2018 have sought inspiration in natural materials such as wood or metal, as well as carbon fiber and leather. But all the selection of materials has followed a premise, and that was to be tested in Schöckl (Austria).
What is Schöckl? It is a mountain of 1,445 meters that is on the outskirts of Graz (here). In Schöckl the Mercedes-Benz guys test their G-Class, and that is why the G-Class has a certificate of conformity with Schöckl in the form of… Schöckl, engraved on the bases of their B-pillars.
Put another way: the materials have been selected to last. Touching them transmits a feeling of warmth and quality, all in one.
In the section of optional stand out the finishes that include Lugano leather for seats in black, walnut brown or beige macchiato, as an interior complement to the 24 possible colors for exterior painting. In addition, there are two special equipment: Exclusive Interior and Exclusive Interior Plus.
Exclusive Interior is available in seven different colors, three of them combining black nappa leather with platinum white, blue yacht or classic red. This equipment includes the microfiber in black for the contrast lines of the roof, plus the aerators in silver.
Exclusive Interior Plus adds nappa leather elements such as the door trim, some sections of the center console, the instrument panel and all the upholstery, including the seats, which incorporate a quilted fabric in a diamond pattern.
Finally, AMG Line can be combined with all variants, providing contrast stitching in red in both the black seats, as in the instrument panel, the doors and the center console, as well as red seat belts. In addition, for the first time, the G-Class, in combination with AMG, sports a flattened sports steering wheel at the bottom.
Mercedes-Benz G-Class, blindly and in privacy: if I do not see it, at least I hear it and then I believe it
They have kept it in an isolated room, safe from the cameras. In fact, they ask me to give mine when I enter. The hermeticism is maximum. Only small groups, please. Here we go. We passed the few journalists that for the occasion we have traveled from Spain to Germany, one by one and without pushing.
The room is closed.
While my pupils are on their way to a necessary mydriasis, some vague reflections give a glimpse of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. It seems that they have been painted in dark color, so there is not much to see. Oh yeah. It keeps the outer protectors and the cover for the spare wheel, as we have seen in the exhibition that is beyond the darkness.
They explain, once again, the commitment between pragmatism and refinement that they have wanted to achieve in this new Mercedes-Benz G-Class, and again remind us that an icon is an icon, in part, because it remains unchanged throughout the years. years. And how can we know, if we are not seeing the car? Easy: open the doors and close them later.
If you have ever opened and closed the doors of a Mercedes-Benz G-Class , you will know that they have a unique touch and a unique voice. The G-Class is perceived with the fingertips on the knob and the classic cut-off button, and the sound is heard at the door-of-Class-G. Well that same thing happens when you open and close a new generation G-Class in a dark room.
They invite us to go up, and once we access the interior of the vehicle we find a clean and very, very comfortable space. The G-Class has grown on the inside, and not only has more space in the numerous slides that it contains, but also has more space in the front seats and, above all, in the rear row of seats.
|FREE SPACE FOR THE LEGS (FRONT)||+38 mm|
|FREE SPACE FOR THE LEGS (BACK)||+150 mm|
|WIDTH AT SHOULDER HEIGHT (FRONT)||+38 mm|
|WIDTH AT SHOULDER HEIGHT (REAR)||+27 mm|
|SPACE AT THE HEIGHT OF THE ELBOWS (FRONT)||+68 mm|
|SPACE AT THE HEIGHT OF THE ELBOWS (REAR)||+56 mm|
Among the elements of comfort unthinkable until recently in the G-Class are the wireless charger for mobile as an optional element or the heated seats, both in the front row and in the rear. Also the seats with massage function that incorporates the Active Multicontour package are novelty of this G-Class that we will see very soon on the street. At the moment, in this location in Germany it will stay.
Have you known us a little? It is what it is. In January we will know all the details of the new Mercedes-Benz G-Class , and later we can not just touch it and see it !, but also put it in motion, which is how you still savor these pleasures of life.
For now, we will always have Paris. Or the history of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class crossing the doors of what could be – but it is not – an old abandoned factory in Metzingen. But that will be at another time. As it happened to Ilsa Lund in ‘Casablanca’, I have a plane to take.