Merc celebrates 30 years of iconic car
Dubai, February 17, 2009
Mercedes-Benz Cars, Middle East & Levant is celebrating three decades of its off-roader G-Class, the longest-serving series-production car.
The Stuttgart-based car maker has delivered around 200,000 units of the G-Class worldwide since its launch in 1979, said a statement.
“Its striking appearance, which has remained substantially unchanged throughout its 30-year career, plus outstanding engineering, has secured this Mercedes-Benz off-roader cult status particularly in the Middle East and Levant, and made it one of the most coveted vehicles of its type,” said Frank Bernthaler, director, Mercedes-Benz Cars, Middle East & Levant.
This model family, which is acknowledged to be the best in the off-road sector, bears the “G” prefix in addition to the Mercedes star, has won the Paris-Dakar Rally, become an automotive styling icon, continues to emerge victorious in reader votes and represents the gene pool for the Mercedes-Benz SUV family, which has meanwhile grown to five model series.
With a production life of 30 years, the ‘G’ is the longest-serving passenger car series in the more than 120-year history of Mercedes-Benz, said the statement.
A combination of permanent all-wheel drive, the electronically controlled traction system 4ETS, ESP, a ‘low-range’ gearbox and three selectable differential locks, ensures that the G-Class can match any off-road challenge while ensuring the handling safety expected of a Mercedes on the road, it reported.
When the series was premiered in spring 1979, four engine variants were available with outputs from 72hp to 150hp, either as a convertible with a short wheelbase or a station wagon with a short or long wheelbase.
After continuous model facelifts and further development during the first ten years, a major development step was taken in 1989, when the G-family had offspring. As an addition to the revised original model with the in-house series designation 460, which was in future to be destined mainly for utility-oriented users, the range was extended with the 463-series models. With new, permanent all-wheel drive, differential locks at the front and rear axles, which now became standard equipment, and a fully lockable inter-axle differential, these marked a new technical departure. ABS also became available as an optional extra. The completely redesigned interior impressed with new comfort features such as new seats, interior body panels, a centre console, a new dashboard and exotic wood trim.
Since September 2001 the G-Class has also featured the trailblazing handling stability, traction and braking control systems ESP, 4ETS and brake assist.
The current model family is available in three body variants (short-wheelbase station wagon, long-wheelbase station wagon, convertible), which come with 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine with 388hp and 530 newton metres. The most popular top-of-the-range G 55 AMG, which is available only as a four-door, long-wheelbase station wagon, has a supercharged V8-engine generating an output of 507 hp and an impressive maximum torque of 700 newton metres.
There are currently no plans to bring production of G-Class to an end, according to the statement. – TradeArabia News Service