Because this was to be a vehicle that would have a significant impact on Mercedes-Benz reputation because of its demanding military and civilian uses, Mercedes looked for a company who they could trust to make a top shelf product, and they turned to Austrian manufacturer Steyr-Daimler-Puch. . Suffice to say that this was not just a vehicle that would keep you right on the edge of your comfort zone with regular transitions out of it, but it also ensured that you would get to be on first name terms with the staff at your local fuel station. Steyr-Daimler-Puch made the smaller metal pressings, the transfer case, and other components, and did the final assembly of the vehicles. The diesel G 350 D does rather better than that delivering 9. The boxy utilitarian G-Wagen was fitted with a dashboard from the Mercedes 124 Series and the interior was fitted with wood trim to enhance the luxurious effect.
Not only did the 463 Series get permanent four-wheel-drive but it also got three locking differentials with the locks controlled by switches in the center of the dashboard. It seems to have kept the customers happy for a little while but, amazingly, it was still not enough. Later models provided other options including a locking center differential also. Picture Credits: Mercedes-Benz, Mecum Auctions. Not only that but it was quite likely that Mercedes-Benz could make a better four wheel drive than the , the , and the. During this period the model designations were brought into line with what had become Mercedes-Benz standard practice. The interior is luxurious with all the modern twenty-first century appointments one could ask for.
The car made its debut in February of 1979 and entered production shortly after. It was during this period that the Australian Army ordered and took delivery of their 6×6 version of the G-Class. Hans Ledwinka was famous as the inventor of the backbone chassis and his development of the concept of the rear-mounted air-cooled boxer engine which featured on the Tatra V570 created by he and Paul Jaray. The Australian Army had begun using this wheel arrangement in some vehicles many years prior to this, having first used modified Land-Rovers. The Mercedes 463 Series G-Wagen The 463 Series was introduced in 1987 as a more luxury series to appeal to buyers who wanted the durability and four-wheel-drive capability of the G-Wagen but wanted their car to have all the mod-cons they expected from a Mercedes-Benz passenger car. The rear axle was fitted with a differential lock as standard and a front differential lock was an optional extra.
Suffice to say that the G-Wagens that the Shah would have purchased for the Iranian Army were not. Testing needed to be done in all extremes of climate and natural conditions so test vehicles were put through their paces in the extreme heat and grit of the Sahara Desert, the ice and extreme cold of the Arctic Circle, and the dust and mud of the German coalfields. The 461 Series G-Wagen did not have constant four-wheel-drive but instead a select-able four-wheel-drive. The G-Wagen was made in both short and long wheelbase versions and closed station wagon The short wheelbase was also available as an open vehicle with a folding windscreen. Erich Ledwinka was famous in his own right as the designer of the and Pinzgauer. Also new was a scratch resistant paint finish so, despite its luxurious appearance, the ruggedness of the original utilitarian G-Wagen was retained.
This was the car that inspired the development of the original Volkswagen Beetle, and from there the Porsche 356. Above Image: 1971 By 1973 the initial concept complete with wooden model was shown to Daimler-Benz management with the first driveable prototype powered by a 2. Realizing that the vehicle had entered into a somewhat different market niche production of the G-Wagen was passed to Mercedes-Benz Passenger Car Division in 1989. In November of 1980 the long and short wheelbase models were also offered with a box body to provide a cargo carrying van. These live axles were fitted with disc brakes and mounted on trailing arm coil spring suspension with transverse links and telescopic shock-absorbers. It was arguably a car that would make you wonder how you lived without all its conveniences back in the good old twentieth century.
Military buyers were able to purchase the G-Wagen as a convertible in both long and short wheelbase models. Despite being highly outdated, the G-Class in an icon and a status symbol. A smaller version could bring the G-Class status to people on a real-world budget. For many Duesenberg collectors the Model X has proven an elusive car, and very few collections contain one…. The axles were beam axles much like the Land Rover and Toyota Land Cruiser, this ensuring more durability than an independent suspension could, in part because of the more simple construction and because the moving parts were mostly contained inside the axle.
Not only that but the car was fitted with a 220hp engine giving it a respectable level of grunt. The Mercedes 461 Series G-Wagen In 1991 the original Series 460 model range was phased out and was replaced by the Series 461 range. The design featured three differentials with the rear and front differentials being locking units. Arrangements were made between Mercedes-Benz and Steyr-Daimler-Puch for manufacture of the new Mercedes four-wheel-drive and to this end a joint company was set up called Geländefahrzeug-Gesellschaft mbH, with Mercedes-Benz and Steyr-Daimler-Puch each holding 50% of the shares. The main designer of the G-Wagen was Erich Ledwinka whose father, Hans Ledwinka had previously worked both for Steyr and Czechoslovakian vehicle maker Tatra. We absolutely love the idea of a baby G-Class in the Mercedes range.
With its new independent front suspension system and suitably capable brakes such adventures can be made with a reasonable expectation of safety. These models would be fitted with such accessories as a stainless spare wheel cover, cruise control and stylish running boards in the first model upgrade. Jon has done radio, television, magazine, and newspaper interviews on various issues, and has traveled extensively, having lived in Britain, Australia, China, and Hong Kong. Conclusion The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen later the G-Class has been with us now for forty years and shows no signs of departing into the realms of rusting obsolescence anytime soon. With its beam axles and relatively higher center of gravity the G-Class was not going to be able to deliver a like driving experience.
Mercedes-Benz were interested and after doing some feasibility study determined that it would be a viable project. The 2019 G-Class For 2019 Mercedes-Benz seem to have finally arrived at the decision that, just as we encourage children to at least wear helmets when skateboarding so that their mistakes hopefully do not turn into permanent injuries, so also Mercedes decided to make some significant advances in the handling attributes of the new G-Class models. Optional extras included such things as power steering and a lockable glove box. At the end of 1980 the G-Wagen was given a model upgrade and this gave rise to some useful additional options including a front cable winch, power-take-off, a tropical roof i. The other model, the Edition 30 was based on the G 500 and made to show the performance and luxury advances that had been made in the original vehicle.
The G 400 had the 21st Century necessities including a phone and automatic climate control. The gearbox on these first models was a manual all synchromesh four speed. This provided constant four-wheel-drive and the vehicle was also equipped with high and low range which could be engaged while on the move. It seems like this news may not have just been a rumor. This sort of thorough testing would pay dividends later when production G-Wagens would be used in those sorts of places and would stand up to the conditions flawlessly with perhaps one exception, that being for a group of G-Wagens that were taken on a journey along the famous Canning Stock Route of inland north Western Australia in 2011.