In terms of vehicles, a 36 year old vehicle qualifies as a rather elderly, but the venerable Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen shows no signs of retiring. The end of the production cycle for the current G-Class is at least two or three years later, when Daimler will launch a completely redesigned model, but would not be surprised if Mercedes has decided to continue to build the original even after.
Although it may not need any help in the G-Wagen market practically flying off Mercedes-dealer went ahead and replaced the engine entry-level units with a more modern, more efficient and more powerful. The previous, naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8 makes way for a new, twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8-apparently the same engine powers the GT AMG supercar.
It is rated at 416 horsepower and 450 Nm of torque, a significant improvement over its predecessor from 382 horses and 391 lb-ft. The time from zero to 62mph said factory drops to 5.9 seconds, while top speed remains at 130 mph. EPA figures are not yet, but do not expect a lot of improvement over feedback 12/15 mpg city / the old motor road.
We enjoyed the previous 5.5-liter V-8 is fired with a shell and issue a pleasantly throaty soundtrack, almost AMG-like. So we are happy to announce that the new engine, despite the boost, it sounds a bit ‘like the old. Moreover, there is essentially no turbo lag, and the motor drives the G-Wagen forward with surprising strength. The torque is transmitted to the four wheels through a seven-speed automatic.
The new G550 is slightly better than the old model in a straight line and is much better cornering, at least in the definition of sports suspension. The body rolls less than before, and the stability control system allows much more fun before cuts smoothly.
Of course, the G550 is still very far along, from a sports car. Its steering recirculating ball is inaccurate, low to provide feedback, and requires constant corrections. This is not a big off-road problem, however, where the G-Class remains extremely capable, thanks to its longitudinal and transverse members, splitter low range, three locking differentials.
Of course, the class G Flight not particularly well compared to other luxury SUV, more modern. An Audi Q7, a Toyota Land Cruiser, a Cadillac Escalade or a Range Rover are more comfortable, they have to do better, and offer much more modern technology than the G550.
The G-Wagen buyers do not mind, though; SUV exists almost in their stratosphere, as Jeep Wrangler or a Rolls-Royce Phantom. We are happy that it is still around and happy to see it improved.