Army truck turned workhorse launched in 1979
Buyer of No. 400,000 has collection of 20 G’s
Mercedes-Benz has been building the G-Class for more than 40 years, and now it’s hit another production milestone. Though it’s not as big of a number as you might have guessed, with the formerly utilitarian now largely luxury G hitting 400,000 units since 1979.
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class was developed starting in 1972 as a military vehicle, undergoing extensive testing in the kinds of rugged conditions that such a vehicle would need to face. It was considered by the armed services of many countries back then, including Canada’s own, who went another direction before changing course nearly 30 years later and buying G-Wagons in the early 2000s.
The G was launched to civilians in 1979 with four engine options, the choice of a convertible and short or long wheelbase options and it went largely unchanged all the way to 2018. All it gained over time was a series of ever more powerful engines including V12 models and some special editions like six-wheel drive and lifted 4×4 G’s.
G-Wagen 400,000 is a G 400 d, sporting a 2.9L inline-six turbodiesel making 326 hp and 615 lb-ft of torque. It’s finished in dark red paint and it will be joining the collection of what must be one of the largest G-Wagen fans anywhere. The owner, a long-term customer from the Rhineland, has around 20 G-Class models. Mercedes-Benz says the owner’s motto is “I can’t be without the G.”
What’s next for the G-Class? The factory will be going carbon-neutral by 2022, and the rugged machine itself will be getting greener. Dr Emmerich Schiller, head of Off-Road Vehicles at Mercedes-Benz, said that “we’re already writing the next chapter in this success story: we’re electrifying this series so the G will have a zero-emissions future, making our icon future-proof.”