The New Mercedes G-Class Still Has A V8: But Where's The Electric One?

There’s a new G Wagen. After the last model ended production some time ago, the latest Mercedes-Benz G550 and G63 are here. Noticeably, the G63 still packs a big V8 under the hood- but the electric Gelandewagen won’t be here until “a later date.” So, for now, it’s worth knowing the gas-powered G-Class is still the off-roader it has always been, with a ladder-frame body, three mechanical locking differentials, a low-range gear set, and a solid rear axle.

However, some old is blended with new. For example, all of the G-Wagen’s powertrains feature a new 48-volt system. In the G550, a mild-hybrid 3.0L turbocharged inline-six produces 443 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque through a 9-speed automatic transmission. It’s a huge improvement over the previous G550, by some 20 hp and 148 lb-ft. Mercedes also promises enhanced fuel economy. Interestingly, the G63’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 sees the same increase thanks to the mild-hybrid system, with output now set at 577 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. It will also use a 9-speed auto, and both powertrains will power all four wheels with a number of drive modes.

There are the usual four: Comfort, Sport, Eco, and Individual. Three off-road drive modes- Trail, Rock, and Sand- will also offer improved driving dynamics on these surfaces. Additionally, AMG Traction Pro and AMG Active Balance Control modes will be available on the G63 to enhance maximum traction on tricky rock or sand surfaces. The G-Class packs additional cameras and functionality, and the new “Transparent Hood” mode will display a virtual view under the vehicle to help with visibility while in the G Wagen’s off-road displays.

There are aesthetic updates as well. The new G sees a fresh grille with new front and rear bumpers, and the front houses a new air intake with a softer squared pattern. Mercedes also says that new A-pillar trim and a roof spoiler (a very small one) help reduce noise levels in conjunction with improved sound deadening. These were applied directly from the development of the upcoming electric G Wagen. G63 models feature further changes, including more aggressive looks and wheel combinations. Meanwhile, the G550 will offer a Professional Package, which adds “an array of rugged design elements” as well as much more important 18-inch wheels with A/T tires. A sportier AMG Line package adds 20-inch wheels with flared arches and a sportier wheel. Mercedes will offer a Night Package with black design elements.

Inside, the G Wagen sees a pair of 12.3-inch screens and a new Off Road Cockpit that will display virtually every imaginable piece of data, from wheel angle to suspension compression to tire pressures, all while you sip a drink from the climate-controlled cupholders. 20 new voice commands were created just for the G-Class, and the level of standard equipment is incredibly high, including luxurious leather seating surfaces, Burmester audio, and more.

In keeping with G Wagen tradition, the luxury is only a bonus over the SUV’s impressive off-roading, and initial figures suggest the latest generation will be no different. Mercedes says the new G-Class can climb up to a 100% grade on “suitable” surfaces and will come standard with 9.5 inches of ground clearance. Approach and departure angles are 31 and 30 degrees, respectively. Unfortunately, Mercedes hasn’t announced pricing yet, but given the loads of off-road equipment and luxury, the latest G-Class will be just as pricey as the outgoing one.

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Chase Bierenkoven
Chase Bierenkoven

Chase is an automotive journalist with years of experience in the industry. He writes for outlets like Edmunds and AutoGuide, among many others. When not writing, Chase is in front of the camera over at The Overrun, his YouTube channel run alongside his friend and co-host Jobe Teehan. If he's not writing reviews of the latest in cars or producing industry coverage, Chase is at home in the driver's seat of his own (usually German) sports cars.

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