The Mercedes-Benz G-Class has been acclaimed as the industry’s most rugged and iconic sport utility vehicle for more than 25 years, and this year, the venerable G-Class comes with a freshened interior and a higher level of standard equipment. The 2007 interior features a new centre console design, an updated COMAND display system (now with DVD navigation), and upgraded seats. Standard equipment now includes bi-xenon headlights with corner-illuminating fog lights, a heated front windshield and steering wheel. In addition, the G500 model now gets the all-new and efficient 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, while the high-performance G55 AMG continues with the proven five-speed automatic.
Two V8-Powered G-Class Models
While the 5.0-litre V8 in the G500 produces 292 hp and 336 lb-ft. of torque, the Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG comes with a supercharged V8 that boasts 50 percent more horsepower and torque. Based on the G500 engine, displacement of the AMG-built 5.5-litre supercharged V8 is increased via a longer-stroke crankshaft (92 mm vs. 84 mm for the standard 5.0-litre). With a belt-driven Lysholm or screw-type supercharger, plus a water-cooled intercooler for intake air, the G55 AMG engine produces 469 horsepower and 516 lb-ft. of peak torque for 0-100 km/h acceleration in just 5.7 seconds.
To balance the increased performance, larger, vented and slotted 330 mm front brakes provide increased stopping power for the G55 AMG. Externally the G55 AMG is set apart from the G500 by exclusive chrome trim, “V8 Kompressor” badging and 9.5 x 18-inch AMG slotted monoblock wheels with 285/55 performance tires. The G500 rolls on 7.5 x 18 alloy wheels with 265/60 tires.
First developed for military duty and originally called the Geländewagen in Europe (for “terrain vehicle”), the G-Class is a no-compromise off-roader with a cliff-climbing, stump-pulling personality. Handcrafted at a special manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria, the G-Class can climb grades up to 36 degrees (80% slopes), and it’s even stable on lateral inclines up to 24 degrees (54% slopes), making the G-Class a top performer in its segment.
Based on Mercedes-Benz’ own stringent guidelines, the G-Class features a tough body-on-frame design with a torsionally rigid chassis that also meets all Canadian government crash test standards. Evidence of its military roots, the brawny G-Class suspension makes use of super-strong rigid axles at the front and rear as well as longitudinal and transverse links with coil springs and gas shocks at all four corners.
Standard ABS anti-lock brakes help to provide directional control during emergency braking, while Mercedes-Benz Brake Assist ensures full-power braking in emergency stops.
Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive with Three Differential Locks
G-Class models channel their power through a full-time four-wheel-drive system, which distributes torque through front, centre and rear differentials, all of which can be locked for off-road use while the vehicle is in motion through buttons located on the dashboard. To reduce wheelspin in extremely low-traction situations, the centre and rear differential locks can be engaged anytime that the G-Class is off-pavement. In the most slippery off-road situations – in deep mud, for example – the front differential can also be engaged for maximum traction. The G-Class also comes with a two-speed transfer case that features electronically controlled high and low ranges. Its fully synchronized low range can even be engaged on the fly at speeds up to about 24 km/h.
Traction Control and ESP
While differential locks are much appreciated by experienced off-road enthusiasts, the G-Class also comes with four-wheel electronic traction control that will automatically help drivers through on-road and most off-road conditions. Traction control is integrated with another Mercedes-Benz invention, the Electronic Stability Program (ESP). Standard on all Mercedes-Benz models, ESP can detect an impending spin or slide and applies the brakes on one wheel – front or rear, left or right – to help keep the vehicle on track.
Civilized Civilian Refinement
With a simple, classic design – plus many technological innovations for safety and convenience from Mercedes cars – the G-Class balances its proven off-road credentials with a liberal dose of sumptuous on-road comfort and a well insulated interior. Standard equipment for the G500 includes a full leather interior with burl walnut trim and a heated wood-leather steering wheel. The G500 also comes with power windows, 10-way electrically adjustable front seats with three memory positions, front and rear heated seats, cruise control, central door locks, and automatic climate control. The G55 AMG features an exclusive designo charcoal Nappa leather interior, AMG gauges and natural maple wood trim.
The G-Class also boasts a harman/kardon premium sound system, driver-side multi-contour seat, and a rear park assistant that alerts the driver to the proximity of objects located behind the vehicle. Additionally, the G-Class models are equipped with a standard GPS navigation system featuring a large, integrated display on the centre console. The display also controls the harman/kardon premium sound system including a six-disc CD changer.
All G-Class vehicles come with two-stage front air bags for the driver and front passenger and window curtain air bags that provide greater safety for front and outboard rear passengers in the event of a side impact or rollover.
Three-point seat belts help keep all five occupants in place, while outboard seating positions are also fitted with electronic belt tensioners that take slack out of the seat belts in the early stages of a collision. As deceleration forces build during an impact, the seat belts also feature belt force limiters that relax the belts slightly to help minimize possible belt-related injuries.
About Mercedes-Benz Canada
Mercedes-Benz Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of the three brands within the Mercedes Car Group in Canada; Mercedes-Benz, smart, and Maybach. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Mercedes-Benz Canada employs approximately 900 people in 18 locations across Canada. Through a nationwide network of 17 Mercedes-Benz owned retail operations and 39 authorized dealerships, Mercedes-Benz Canada sold 17,567 vehicles in 2006, the best year ever reported for Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.
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