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Alexander Bloch: Misunderstandings about the new G-Class

Alexander Bloch explains technology
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1 . The G-model was Daimler's first real off-road vehicle in 1979. No, because the first “passenger vehicle with all-wheel drive for everyday use” was the so-called Dernburg car from Daimler Motoren-Gesellschaft in 1907 - at that time it was already with one Screw all-wheel steering. The G1 followed in 1926 and the three-axle G4 developed for the Wehrmacht from 1934 to 1939, of which only 57 were built. After all, the G-model was the first series off-road vehicle from Mercedes.

Arturo Rivas

2. The G-Class has never been an athlete, so it doesn't need an AMG model either. Yes, it even won the Paris - Dakar Rally in 1983 with Jacky Ickx at the wheel. The 280 GE was the forerunner of today's AMG G-Class, because its six-cylinder in-line engine was tuned to 230 hp at AMG in Affalterbach. For this purpose, pistons and air intake pipes from the S-Class were combined with sports camshafts and a machined cylinder head. Incidentally, the press presentation for the first G-model did not take place somewhere deep in the jungle, mountains or in the desert, but on the Paul Ricard racetrack. Today the G-Class is available as the G 63 with 585 hp. With the front stretched high, it pushes from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in 4.5 seconds. Thanks to the talented chassis and the irritatingly stable brakes, it frightens so many older Porsches on a circuit.

3. Every new G generation gets a new development number. Obvious logic, but not essential for Mercedes: Although the car was completely redesigned for the first time since 1979 when the model was changed last year, it has had the same development code W 463 since 1989 as its predecessor. In contrast, the less significant evolutionary stages counted of the rustic, rather useful master model 460 diligently upwards. That's Swabian developer irony.

Arturo Rivas

4. ESP can be completely switched off during normal driving, but ABS cannot. In fact, the new G does not have an ABS /ASR off button like some earlier models, but a display that reports 'ESP off' after a long press of the button. But even at the first, more swiftly taken bend, the load brakes itself vehemently and automatically, even in 'off'. When the differential locks are activated and the speed is low, ESP and ABS are really switched off so as not to confuse the control.

5. Only two of the three differentials are now 100 percent lockable. No, the new G-Class only has classic claw locks on the front and rear axles, and the locking effect of the center differential is now controlled via an electromechanical multi-plate clutch. However, an additional mechanism also locks the center differential 100 percent when the center differential lock is activated manually on the center console so that the lamellar diff does not lose its grip under any circumstances.

6. Real off-road vehicles and thus also the G-Class always distribute their power equally between the front and rear axles. That was actually the case with earlier models. With the new generation, however, Mercedes dares to use a more sporty rear-heavy distribution of 60 percent on the rear axle and 40 percent on the front axle. This means that the G swings surprisingly wide with its stately rear end on loose ground.

Arturo Rivas

7. The new front axle with independent suspension brings driving comfort, but costs off-road capabilities. The new G-Class is considerably quieter on the road than its predecessor, but the independent suspension limits the possible twisting. Althoughthe ground clearance increased by six millimeters, with independent suspension it also depends on how much the wheels are deflected. In the case of a rigid axle, like the camber of the wheels, it remains constant regardless of the level of compression. The first off-road drives suggest that the new G-Class offroad is at least on the legendary level of the old one.

8. The old G-Class body was already so stiff that the new one could hardly add anything. Not true, because according to Mercedes measurements, the predecessor can almost be classified as unstable in comparison. According to Mercedes, more than 50 percent better body rigidity results from an optimized ladder frame and body structure, stronger steels and bonded panes. In contrast to almost all modern cars, the windows were previously clamped in a rubber seal and were hardly used for stiffening. In the new generation, on the other hand, all fixed windows are glued to the body.

9. The reduction gear is now particularly heavily reduced with 2.9: 1. No, its reduction factor is now closer to icons such as the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with four-fold reduction. In the field, however, it is not the individual value for the reduction gear that counts, but the total gear ratio and thus the effective force per wheel revolution.

10. A real G-Class does not steer back out of the curve by itself. That was at least the case with the predecessors, who persistently refused to build up any significant self-aligning torque. In addition to the basic wheel suspension geometry, this was also due to the robust, but rather angled steering linkage. The new electromechanical rack and pinion steering, on the other hand, returns to the straight-ahead position almost playfully after cornering.


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