The evolution of a legend.
Start of the cooperation between Daimler-Benz AG and Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG. With the comprehensive experience of both partners in all-wheel drive vehicle engineering, one jointly faces the task to develop a vehicle that should set the benchmark in off- as well as on-road performance. With these skills the cross-country vehicle should not only convince the industrial and public sector in their tough and daily service, but just as well satisfy comfort-oriented private customer preferences.
A feasibility study confirms the market potential of the cross-country vehicle and as the production site the Steyr-Daimler-Puch factory in Graz is chosen.
Foundation of the Gelaendefahrzeug GmbH (GFG) as an independent joint venture, at which both partners hold 50% of shares. This joint venture is responsible for production of the vehicle and therefore mentioned as manufacturer in the registration documents.
Vehicles, identical to series production ones, are successfully tested in final trials. Engine-testing takes place in the desert of Tunisia and press photos are shot on Grand Canary Island.
Presentation of the G-Wagon type series BR 460, whose production is dominated by handcraft. The name of the wagon 'G' is derived from the initial letter of the German word 'Gelaendewagen', meaning cross-country vehicle. The vehicle is based on a solid ladder-type frame and rigid axles with coil springs. The G-Wagon is available with two different wheelbases and in five different body variants. The range of engines consists of diesel (240 GD, 300 GD) as well as petrol (230 G, 280 GE) versions. The engine output spreads from 71 to 148 hp.
The GFG is disbanded and the shared fields of responsibility of Daimler-Benz und Steyr-Daimler-Puch are restructured. From now on Daimler-Benz is exclusively in charge of further development of the G-Wagon, whereas Steyr-Daimler-Puch focuses on manufacturing the vehicle on behalf of Daimler-Benz. The UBG-Beratungsgesellschaft m.b.H in Graz is founded by Daimler-Benz as a company in charge of coordination to the production line. From dissolving of the GFG onwards Daimler-Benz is mentioned as official manufacturer in the registration documents. Nevertheless, the vehicle is still sold as the Puch G-Wagon in the Austrian, Swiss, and markets of the COMECOM countries.
The comfort of the G-Wagon is raised. Besides further optional extras, an enhanced interior is introduced in the type series BR 460. The 230 G with its carburetter injection is replaced by the 230 GE, which works with a modern, electronic fuel injection. A Popemobile based on the G-Wagon, which was built for the Pope's visit to Germany 1980, is handed over to the Vatican and a further version produced.
Jacky Ickx and Claude Brasseur win the world-famous Paris - Dakar rallye with a 280 GE.
Once again the comfort of the G-Wagon is heightened and the interior modernised. Among other features the characteristic upholstery of the 'G' with its large checked pattern is introduced. The canvas top of the G-Wagon Cabriolet is replaced by a folding top, whose mechanism is a lot more user friendly. The whole type series BR 460 is now equipped with two differential locks as standard specification.
The 50.000th G-Wagon is handcrafted. Furthermore, the 230 GE is now available with a controlled catalytic converter.
In order to improve the comfort further the standard equipment is upgraded and new optional extras - like for example electric windows - are introduced. A Chassis with Cab variant of the G-Wagon is presented, which has a longer wheelbase of 3120 mm. Furthermore, the planning and development process of the new type series BR 463 is started.
In order to satisfy customer preferences for perfected comfort and luxury, the completely revised type series BR 463 is presented at the IAA motor show in Frankfurt. The all new type series BR 463 differ from the BR 460 with its passenger car oriented, high-class interior, a more comfortable chassis set-up, and a permanent all wheel drive system. Thereby, the road performance is significantly improved. A foretaste of the expectable luxury is given by the special edition Classic for the 10th anniversary of the type series BR 460. The special edition was a 230 GE Station-Wagon with short wheelbase, limited to 300 vehicles and only sold in Germany.
Series production launch of the luxurious type series BR 463. Its concept with permanent all-wheel drive system, three fully lockable differentials and disengageable anti-lock bracking system (ABS) is the first of its kind in the world. The modified drive train and softer chassis set-up enhance not only road performance but likewise improve the manoeuvrability in undemanding off-road terrain as well as the axle articulation. The distinctive shape of the G-Wagon, which is aligned to purpose and robustness, persists. The type series BR 463 is offered in two different wheelbases and in three body variants. The engine portfolio covers diesel (250 GD, 300 GD) and petrol versions (230 GE, 300 GE), whose output ranges from 93 to 175 hp.
The responsibility for development of the G-Wagon is assigned from the development department at Daimler-Benz in Stuttgart to the UBG-Beratungsgesellschaft in Graz. The Sales Management is still conducted by our proprietor, the Cross-Country Vehicle Division at Daimler-Benz. The type series BR 460 gets replaced by the BR 461, which continues to be the optimal choice for professional users with its straightforward configuration and the more powerful 290 GD diesel engine with 94 hp.
Launch of the special edition 500 GE, which is limited to 500 units. Its V8 engine produces 238 hp and is the first of its kind in the G-Wagon. Due to the power performance of the 500 GE the differential lock of the front axle is rendered.
The portfolio of the type series BR 461 is enlarged by a further Chassis with Cab variant, which has an extended wheelbase of 3400mm.
The 100.000th 'G' roles off the production line. The designation G-Wagon of the luxurious BR 463 is officially changed to G-Class. The identification code 'G' is from now written in front of the engine labelling. Furthermore, the type series BR 463 is equipped as standard with an airbag for the driver and the petrol engine 300 GE is replaced by the G 320 with its 3,2 litre straight six and four valves per cylinder. Our engineering company gets certified according to the quality management system DIN EN ISO 9001.
The standard equipment of the type series BR 463 includes a front passenger airbag. Furthermore, the G 300 DT diesel turbo-engine of the G-Class replaces the G 350 TD, which had higher cubic capacity but less power and torque.
The G-Class Cabriolet is the world's only cross-country vehicle that gets equipped with an electro-hydraulic convertible top. The G 320 comes with a new, 212 hp powerful V6 engine. Furthermore, all models of the type series BR 463 are now equipped with disc brakes at the rear axle and an electronically controlled brake proportioning between both axles.
Reintroduction of a V8 engine in the G-Class. This time however fitted with all three differential locks. The G 500 with 293 hp gains market acceptance as a luxurious classic straight away. The 290 GD induction engine with indirect injection of the type series BR 461 is replaced by the 290 GDT, which is turbocharged and fitted with direct diesel injection. The 5-cylinder turbo-diesel engine with 118 hp is only available with an automatic transmission.
The 20th anniversary of the G-Class is celebrated with the special edition G 500 Classic, which is limited to 400 units and only offered with the long Station-Wagon wheelbase. The Classic edition is featured with an unusual metallic paint work, whose shade – depending on the surrounding light – varies from black to dark aubergine.
In the course of the first comprehensive model upgrading of the type series BR 463, all three body variants are fitted with state-of-the-art technology and receive a completely modernised interior. The new interior design does not only enhance the luxurious look-and-feel but furthermore it improves passive safety. Integrated are now up-to-date telematics systems and an electro-hydraulic operation of the off-road gear reduction. The diesel engine portfolio is also updated and the G 300 DT is replaced by the G 400 CDI with a V8 engine, two turbochargers and common rail injection. With 247 hp and 414 lbf/ft of torque the engine creates a symbiosis of colossal power and reasonable fuel economy. The fragmentation of sales regions between Mercedes-Benz and Puch is discontinued and from now on the 'G' is only available with the star at the radiator grille.
Our company changes name from UBG-Beratungsgesellschaft m.b.H. to Daimler Chrysler Consult Graz GmbH. The G-Glass is introduced in the North-American market with great success, leading to the production of the 150.000th 'G'. In Europe the G 270 CDI diesel engine is offered as the new entry motorisation. Furthermore, the active safety of the G-Class is improved as standard. Introduced features are the Brake Assist (BAS) and the Electronic Stability Program (ESP®), which breaks wheels individually and is furthermore combined with the new Electronic Traction System (4ETS). The traction system 4ETS controls power transmission on slippery road surfaces and in undemanding off-road terrain, where differential locks are not necessary. In connection with three 100% lockable differentials these combination of drive train systems is unique in cross-country vehicle engineering. The type series BR 461 is discontinued for private customers but nevertheless comprehensively upgraded for institutional customers. It adopts the permanent all-wheel drive system with three differential locks, as well as the basic diesel engine of the type-series BR 463.
The history of armoured versions of the G-Class goes back to its market launch in 1979. Yet, from now on the luxurious type series BR 463 is solely offered with the long wheelbase as the G 500 Guard in the resistance levels B6 and B7. The G-Class – worldwide without doubt one of the most robust vehicles anyways – provides the optimal basis for effective protection even at the most remote locations. The protection is perfectly hidden under the practically identical bodyshell of its series production counterpart. Thereby, the G-Class creates a unique segment in the market of special protection cars. A unique vehicle segment constitutes also the extended version of the G-Class by AMG. Furthermore, our engineering company moves into a new office building in the Technopark of Raaba in order to unite all departments in one building.
Launch of the official AMG G-Class based on the Station-Wagon long. Hereby, the G-Class encounters a dynamic quantum leap. The G 55 AMG with its 349 hp powerful V8 engine reaches an electronically limited top speed of 210 km/h (131 mph).
The 25th anniversary of the G-Class is celebrated with the special edition Classic 25, which has particularly exclusive interior fittings and is limited to 250 vehicles. Furthermore, a supercharger is implemented into the G 55 AMG, raising its power output to 470 hp.
Standard safety equipment for the long-wheelbase versions will include windowbags from now on. Furthermore, the special edition Grand Edition is presented. It is only available as the Station-Wagon long in combination with one of the two V8 engines, G 400 CDI and G 500. With its artful configuration and matt metallic paint work it emphasises the cult status of the G-Class as a timeless classic.
The engine portfolio of the type series BR 463 is changed. With the introduction of the G 320 CDI diesel engine, which delivers 221 hp and is equipped with a diesel particle filter as standard, the G 320 petrol-version as well as the two diesel engines (270 CDI and 400 CDI) are discontinued. The new diesel engine and the G 500 are fitted with the innovative and fuel-saving 7G-Tronic automatic transmission. Furthermore, Bi-xenon headlamps and cornering lights improve active safety. The power output of the G 55 AMG is raised to breathtaking 493 hp.
The interior is enhanced with a new tachometer, steering-wheel and operating panel. A reversing camera is introduced as an optional extra. A new Popemobile based on the G-Class is handed over by Mercedes-Benz Italy to Pope Benedikt XVI. Furthermore, our company changes name to Mercedes-Benz Consult Graz GmbH after the separation of Daimler AG and Chrysler LLC.
The G-Class receives with a new radiator grille a discreet facelift and latest telematics systems are introduced. The V8 engine of the G 500 is changed. The new engine now delivers 383 hp. The power output of the G 55 AMG is likewise raised to a level of 500 hp. A new generation of the ESP®, including also the Start-off Assist for hills, improves active safety and driving performance even further.
After 30 years of production and approximately 200.000 delivered vehicles, the G-Class is still manufactured by handcraft. The 'G' is even after 30 years state-of-the-art and one of the best cross-country vehicles worldwide. With its model life it is by far the longest serving vehicle in the 120 year history of Mercedes-Benz. For the exceptional anniversary two special editions are presented, which continue the legend of this cross-country vehicle befitting its rank as an icon. The special edition Limited 30 is a type series BR 463 G 500 with especially exclusive fittings. The second special edition is based on the rugged type series BR 461, which has not been offered to private customers for some time. This model is called Edition.PUR and is homage to the original G-Wagon, type series BR 460.
After 31 years the G-Class is equipped with modern BlueTec technology. The G 350 BlueTech model comes with a V6 Diesel engine that reaches with 211 hp a similar power output to the old model. However, the new G-Class produces less emissions and stays well below the EU5-limits. The G 350 BlueTec and G55 AMG are offered as right-handed models.
The product range has been expanded by a 6x6 model in the course of a tender project which is unrivaled on the non-civil market.
The special edition "BA3 Final edition" marks the end of the short station wagon and is offered for the models G 350 BlueTec and G 500. The special version "Edition Select" of the long version G 500 station wagon comes exclusively with a two-color-finish.
In the course of exceptional model improvement measures for the G-Class, the evergreen got a completely new interior. Both the new dash panel and the center console are now in the focus of the driver. The exterior was modified as well but didn't change the typical characteristics of the G-Class. Additional pedestrian protection measures have been implemented. On the optical side the G-Class was provided with LED daytime running lights and new outside mirrors.
Together with the partner AMG the company offers a V8-Biturbo (544 hp) as well as mighty V12-Biturbo (612 hp) - besides the G 350 BlueTec and the G 500.
The V8-Biturbo is sheeted in the model G63 AMG and offers 37 HP more performance as the G 55 AMG, but it promises less fuel consumption because of on-going development.
With the V12-Biturbo the G 65 AMG is not only the strongest 'G' of all times, its also the strongest offroader of the world which produced in series.
The G-class expands his product range with a new extraordinary member. The Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6x6 will be presented to the public.
At the same time the company is changing its name to "Mercedes-Benz G GmbH".
The G-Class celebrates its 35th anniversary. It goes without saying that, even after 35 years and a production run of 250,000 vehicles, its unmistakable design remains unchanged, although the model series has kept in step with the latest technical developments.
Impressive proof of the G-Class's extremely robust off-road capability is supplied by "Otto", a 300 CDI which, after covering almost 900,000 kilometres over a period of 25 years, returned to Daimler AG to be handed over to the Museum. Gunter Holtorf, the owner of the vehicle, travelled all over the world in "Otto" – and all with the vehicle's original engine, fitted back in 1989.
As of 2015, the G-Class will have up to 16% more power output and lower fuel consumption both on and off the road. Despite minor changes, the G-Class remains true to its timeless design.
The new G 500 is equipped with a powerful 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine for the first time - a world premiere.
The most striking visual changes are on the G 350 and G 500 models, with exterior features including newly designed bumpers and standard-fit AMG wheel-arch flaring in the body colour.
The product range was also expanded in 2015 with the addition of the G 500 4x4². This special model likewise features the new V8 engine. The G 500 4x4² can easily negotiate tough off-road terrain thanks to its 44 cm ground clearance, 100 cm fording depth, permanent all-wheel drive, off-road low-range ratio in the transfer case, portal axles and also three differential locks.
The AMG models now include the exclusive "Edition 463" special model. A new colour package was also introduced for the AMG models. The "Crazy Colour" models come in five different, unconventional colours, which also appear on the topstitching in the interior.
The offroad benchmark since 1979.
For over 35 years now, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has been developing unbendingly further. Not only off the road nothing seems able stopping her. Besides the more and more sophisticated technology implemented, the G-Class has not only become a design icon during its success story but also – as the type series 463 – one of the most exclusive means of transport off paved streets. Without losing sight of their origins, however.
The Gelandewagen is – and will always be – the benchmark in off-road capability, durability and reliability. In the segment of true off-road vehicles the G-Class is through all her innovations and evolutionary steps by far the leader in the field of technology. There can only be one Gelaendewagen. The G-Wagon.
You can see the events and milestones that have made us into the company we are today on our chronological infographic.