We went for a drive in the new Mercedes G-Class

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class just turned 39. It’ll not make 40, as, this year it’s being replaced. Yes, Mercedes-Benz will replace the military-derived, hand-built-in-Austria sales anomaly with an all-new model in 2018. We’ll see it officially in a few weeks' time at the Detroit Auto Show, but Motor1.com has spent a bit of time in it prior to that, at Schöckl in Austria – a 1,445m-high mountain where the original G-Class was developed.

We’ll admit it here – we’re riding shotgun, so there’s a grab-handle in front of us instead of a steering wheel. That handle, like so much of the new G-Class, has caused a lot of trouble for the team who created the car. Their goal was to fully retain the authentic look and feel of the outgoing car, but in an all-new and improved package. They could have put the grab-handle somewhere else, where it didn’t interfere with the airbags. Likewise those iconic indicators on top of the front wings. To get them to pass pedestrian protection tests meant engineering them to collapse into their housings. No mean feat, but then developing the new G-Class has been anything but easy.

Update:

New Mercedes G-Class 2018 passenger ride

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