Gee whiz. It’s the new off road Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
Just like Jeep has the Rubicon Trail, every new G-Class has to conquer the Schöckl.
Benz uses the 1445 metre high local mountain near the Austrian city of Graz as a test track.
The 5.6km route includes gradients of up to 60 percent and lateral inclinations of up to 40 percent.
During the development stage, a “G” has to endure over 2000 strenuous kilometres on this very demanding course.
Benz claims the new G-Class masters the route with noticeably more control and comfort.
The primary goal of development was to make the new G-Class even more effective off-road.
So a ladder chassis was retained, the three 100-percent diff locks and low range gearing.
The suspension is the product of collaboration between Mercedes-Benz G and Mercedes-AMG.
The result is an independent suspension with double-wishbone front axle in combination with a rigid rear axle.
The engineers fought for every millimetre, because off-road capability depends on maximum ground clearance.
The raised axle with independent suspension decisively contributes to this, and additionally increases the stiffness of the body with a strut brace.
The new G-Class has a 9-speed auto and introduces a new “G-Mode” – don’t you love the name?
In this mode the adjustable damping, steering and accelerator are all modulated to avoid unnecessary gearshifts and ensure maximum off-road capability.
Low range can be engaged on the fly up to a speed of 40km/h, provided you shift to neutral first.
Here’s the essential figures: