Get Ready For an Even Badder Mercedes G-Wagen - Maxim

Get Ready For an Even Badder Mercedes G-Wagen

We just need to wait one more year.
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Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The Jeep Wrangler isn't the only boxy off-roader preparing to make the switch to advanced aluminum construction. According to Britain's Autocar, Mercedes is readying an aluminum replacement for the current long-serving G-Class off-roader.

Ener-G-Force concept. Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Ener-G-Force concept. Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The replacement is expected to debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show next September, and will likely incorporate design cues first shown on the Ener-G-Force concept truck that was shown at the 2012 Los Angeles auto show.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The G-Class was originally developed as an army truck in the 1970s, but evolved into a civilian ride that is now the toast of valet parking at exclusive venues around the world, so Mercedes isn't likely to tinker too much with its boxy appearance.

Ener-G-Force concept. Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Ener-G-Force concept. Photo: Mercedes-Benz

“We have to be careful with our heritage,” Mercedes-Benz's head of SUV development, Andreas Zygan, told Autocar. “We offer something really special. Last year—the 34th—was the best ever for G-Class sales. It’s amazing, and one of our idols.”

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

However, the design brief for 20th-century army trucks was entirely different from that for 21st-century cars. So while the military valued a narrow, maneuverable machine, today's government regulators value the stability against rollovers provided by added width, so the new G-Wagen will get about four inches wider. The change will also boost elbow room inside the truck's cramped cabin.

Ener-G-Force concept. Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Ener-G-Force concept. Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Aluminum body panels will cut weight by about 650 pounds, which will also help the new G-Class meet increasingly stringent fuel economy requirements. Look for the new G-Wagen to receive the much-anticipated new Mercedes inline six-cylinder engine for regular models, while the AMG versions will continue to use twin-turbocharged V8s. Either way, the upcoming edition is still sure to provide an imposing appearance at curbside.