DETROIT -- Mercedes-Benz said the new G class will go on sale at the same price as the current car even though the rugged SUV's handling, comfort and safety has been significantly upgraded.
Daimler’s luxury brand said the primary goal of the most thorough redesign in the iconic SUV's nearly 40-year history was to improve the SUV's road-going comfort and agility without sacrificing the precision needed when the vehicle is driven off road.
"Each part and every bolt came under close scrutiny," said Gunnar Guethenke, Mercedes' off-road products boss, ahead of the vehicle’s debut at the auto show here. "With the body, our main focus was on increasing the vehicle's rigidity and the connections between the suspension and drivetrain.”
New features include LED headlamps, a range of driver assistance systems, a higher quality interior with leather seats and leather trim on the interior door panels.
Mercedes carried over just three parts from the current model for the new G class, Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said at the show on Sunday.
The door handles were among the few parts carried over, said Zetsche, who also told reporters he was responsible for G-class development as a young engineer in the 1980s. "I'm still around and so are over 80 percent of the G-class models ever built," he said.
The G class had its best year in 2017 with global sales of more than 22,000, Zetsche said.