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The Mercedes-Benz G-Class or G-Wagen, short for Geländewagen (or cross-country vehicle), is a four-wheel drive vehicle / sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced by German automaker Mercedes-Benz. The Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a major Daimler-Benz shareholder during his reign, proposed the development of a military vehicle in the early 1970s. A major reason to start development was the need of the German Army for a light military vehicle, but later the cheaper Volkswagen Iltis were chosen without any joint test. After a design change to a civilian cross-country vehicle in co-operation with the Austrian car manufacturer Steyr-Daimler-Puch, production of the G-Class began in 1979 (the same year Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was deposed) with the 460 Series models. The G-Class has been sold under the Puch name in certain markets, and the Peugeot P4 is a variant made under license, with a Peugeot engine and different parts.

Mercedes-Benz secured military contracts for the vehicle in the late 1970s and offered a civilian version in 1979. Designed to be a durable, reliable, and rugged off-roader, the G-wagen utilizes three fully locking differentials, one of the few vehicles sold in the U.S. to have such a feature, along with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Toyota 80-series Land Cruiser, Pinzgauer High Mobility All-Terrain Vehicle, and Mercedes-Benz Unimog. Among the engines offered in the G-Class for the 2004 model year is a 5.5-liter V8.

In its 25th anniversary, the 2005 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG was launched again as the G55 Kompressor or G55K and improved in power, thanks to a 5.5-liter, supercharged V8 developing and . of torque.


The G-Wagen was first offered for sale in 1979 and redesigned in 1990/1991. A new version was expected for 2007, but the new GL-Class will not replace the G-Wagen, and it will continue to be hand-built in Graz, Austriamarker at an annual production of 4,000 to 6,000 units. In February 2009, Magna Steyr, the operating unit of Magna International, announced that it signed an agreement with Daimler AG to extend the production of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class at Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria until 2015. Besides the production, the further development of the G-Class by Mercedes-Benz is also located in Graz[72686].


The original W460 G-Wagen went on sale for civilian buyers in the model year 1979. It was offered with two wheelbases, a short wheel base (SWB) of 2400 mm and a long one (LWB) of 2850 mm. One could choose between three body styles: A 2-door SWB convertible, a 2-door SWB wagon and a LWB 4-door wagon. The two wagons were also available as windowless 2-door Van (or 'Kastenwagen' in German).

During the G-wagens impressive life span many a different body style was made for army and public-service clients, like the Popemobile, the pickup or the chassis/cab with a wheel base of 2850, 3120 or 3400 mm, the chassis/cab being the base vehicle for army-ambulances or communication vehicles. Because of the sheer variety of military versions, this article focuses on the more standardized civilian G-Wagen.

The W460 was popular with military and off-road enthusiasts, with more than 50,000 built in the first decade. Mercedes-Benz initially did not sell the model in the United States, but by means of "casual importation" grey-market in the mid-1980s, importers sold some G-Wagens, mostly W463s, which had been modified to meet the specifications by the US DOT, at about $135,000.


The production of the W460 ended in August 1991. It was replaced by the all but identical W461. Initially, choices of engine were limited to the four-cylinder 230GE petrol and five-cylinder 290GD diesel engine. The W460 'cabrio' version was omitted. In 1997, the W461 sported a slightly updated interior with better seats, changed door panels, and an updated dash. The W461 became available only as 290GD turbo diesel with four-speed automatic transmission. The petrol engine was dropped. Disc brakes all around became standard, and the bell-housing of the front axle was changed to accommodate larger reduction gears. The exterior and other mechanics changed little, not even the model badge which kept indicating 290GD.

The main technical difference between the W460/461 and W463 model, apart from the choice of engines, gearboxes and heavy-duty suspension, is the layout of the drive train. While the W463 offers full-time 4WD, the W460/461 is basically rear wheel drive with manual 4WD. These models did not have a center differential and thus no center differential locks. Only front and rear locking differentials are needed to obtain a fully locked drive train. The front lockers were not fitted as standard, but as a factory-fitted option. The differential locks are manually operated with hydraulic levers next to the transfer case selector handle.

Other differences between W460/461 and W463 models are mainly cosmetic.

From the front, the W460/461 is easily recognized by its grille and headlight covers, which differ slightly from the W463 and are always black (on a factory standard car), even if the rest of the bodywork is not. If fitted, wheel arch extenders are made of unfinished plastic and are black. The rear view mirrors are mounted on the front doors instead of at the base of the A-pillar. The model badge is integrated at the base of the mirror. From the behind, the biggest differences are the fuel cap, which is not covered on the W460/461, and the arrangement of the taillights and bumpers.

Inside, whereas the W463 is very luxurious in the use of materials such as wood and leather and the layouts of electronics, the simpler model is basic, with a dash and trim which closely resemble the original vehicles in the late 1970s. Apart from the choice of rugged materials, features like automatic transmission (standard on the 290GD TD), power steering (standard on W461), ABS, drivers airbag, central locking, engine pre-heater, air conditioning (rare), heated seats and electric windows were available for the W460/461.

The G280 CDI «EDITIONPUR» is the latest W461 available for civilian buyers. This version is essentially a civilian version of the military W461 and will come with a 24V starter motor and a walk-on bonnet.


The chassis was revised for 1990 as the W463 with anti-lock brakes, full-time 4WD and a full trio of electronically-locking differentials. The interior was totally upgraded, finished with wooden accents and optional leather upholstery.

The range was refreshed again in 1997, including the introduction of a power-topped convertible and two new engines, the 2.9 L Turbo Diesel and the V6-powered (M112 motor) G320 — previous years' G320s were outfitted with the M104 I6. The V8 G-wagen returned with a new engine in 1998 as the G500, with official sales beginning in the United States in 2002 at $75,000. The 349 hp (260 kW) G55 AMG cemented the vehicle in the American market with many snapped up by celebrities. The most powerful V8, the 476 hp (355 kW) (later ) G55 AMG Kompressor, introduced in 2004 as model year 2005, is able to hit in just 5.4 seconds. In 2005 M-B was considering that it would be the last year they would import the Geländewagen into the USA market. They even launched a "Grand Edition" (something they like to do to sell off the last of a particular model). One reason it was supposedly continued in the US market was because of an order placed for some 160+ diesel units for the US Marine Corp (H1 HumVees don't fit well in the V-22 Osprey).2005 was the first year the G55 AMG model boasted 469 HP, a 120 HP increase over the '03 and '04 AMG models.

The new G550 has a 32-valve 382-horsepower 5.5-liter V8 engine, while the G55 AMG has a 500-horsepower 5.4-liter V8 engine. The G550 goes from 0 to 60mph in 6.0 seconds, while it takes the G55 AMG 4.8 seconds.

The W463 client had a larger choice of engines, the preliminary apex being the V8-powered 500 GE in 1993. They catered more of a luxury than off-road crowd with only center and rear differential locks and an even more luxurious cabin. The 500GE was produced in limited numbers for just two years. All W463 G-Wagens began using Mercedes-Benz's new letter-first naming scheme in 1994.

Various automobile tuners such as AMG, BRABUS, LORINSER, Carlsson , German tuner A.R.T. and RENNtech have modified the engine, interior and exterior.

It was rumored that, with military contracts for the G-Class completed, production of the old G-wagen in Graz, Austriamarker would cease in 2006. However, reports state that production of the current G-wagen will continue for the foreseable future, alongside its once-intended replacement, the GL-Class (X164). An outcry among enthusiasts who admired the G-Class for its tremendous off-road potential showed that a market still existed for such a vehicle. Mercedes-Benz elected to continue G-Class production for the hardcore off-road market, while the larger 3-row GL-Class would be marketed as a competitor for the likes of the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator.

2006 Mercedes-Benz G-Class. In July 2006, Mercedes-Benz announced a late-availability 2006 model year G-Class on its website.

2007 Mercedes-Benz G-Class. The company showed a facelifted 2007 model at the Paris Auto Show in September 2006 and increased the power of the G55 AMG version from 476 to . Mercedes-Benz at the same time also announced that it will continue to manufacture the G-Class through 2015 on the continuing demand worldwide for the model by military and civilian buyers.
Mercedes G-Casse Edition Pur

2008 Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Minor upgrades.

2009 Mercedes-Benz G-Class The 2009 G500 and G55 AMG are offered for sale at the 30-year anniversary of the G-Class. Both models with cosmetic upgrades most noticeable with the new grill, rims and telematics. The G-Class available with two different engines: a new-for 2009 382-hp (an increase of 90-hp) 5.5-liter V8 with a seven-speed automatic transmission in the G500, and a 500-hp (an increase of 7-hp) 5.5-liter supercharged V8 with five-speed automatic transmission in the AMG-tuned G55. Loaded with standard luxury features such as a leather interior, premium wood trim, rear parking assistance with camera, rapid HDD navigation system with aerial view, bi-xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, dual zone climate control, heated/cooled power driver and passenger seats with memory, to name a few. Standard safety equipment includes Mercedes' Tele Aid system, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, electronic stability control and side-curtain airbags. In addition to engine upgrades, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has been given a fresh look incorporating a new front grille design and grille guards. The new COMAND infotainment system includes a 40-gigabyte hard drive, in-dash 6-disc CD/DVD player, GPS navigation, Bluetooth wireless connectivity, harmon/kardon surround-sound system, in-dash memory card reader, high-definition digital radio, and satellite radio with real-time traffic service. The G55 features new 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels, a new Alcantara headliner and a redesigned wood/leather selector lever.

2010 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Minor updates, added newly developed front seats and a new rear bench, and a choice of black or gray fabric upholstery or leather seats in either black, gray or chestnut as well as new ‘climatised’ multicontour seats. Other interior changes include the addition of an Aux-in socket in the glove compartment and a new ignition key and outside the new G-Class gets a modified spare wheel cover and two new paint options: “palladium silver metallic” and the “designo platinum magno” matte finish. The 2010 G-Class is offered with either a 224HP V6 diesel (G 350 CDI) or two gasoline V8 engines producing 388HP in the G 500 and 507HP in the G55 AMG model. The G-Class is scheduled to remain in production until 2015.

The Ultimate G - The 2009 Mercedes-Benz G55 G V12 S Biturbo
Brabus G V12 Biturbo
Brabus G V12 Biturbo
The world’s most powerful G off-roader is modified by the tuner BRABUS. It is built on the latest Mercedes G-Class. The SUV is powered by a BRABUS SV12 S displacement engine. Like all special models of BRABUS - recognized by the German Vehicle Registration Agency as a vehicle manufacturer - the BRABUS G V12 S Biturbo comes with a comprehensive luxury package. The ultra-powerful 4×4 starts at 379,000 Euros. None have been sold to the USA.

The BRABUS SV12 S engine is based on the V12 Bi-turbo engine from Mercedes S 600. Before being implanted in the engine bay of the G-Class, displacement of the three-valve engine is increased from 5.5 to 6.3 liters (336 to 384 cubic inches) using a special crankshaft with longer stroke, larger cylinders and larger bore. In addition, the cylinder heads are re-machined and fitted with special camshafts.

Manufacturing contracts with Daimler AG have been renewed for the continued production of Mercedes-Benz's G-Class at Magna Steyr's facilities in Graz, Austria, until 2015. The G-Class is produced in three, five-door, convertible and in custom versions. The Magna International division in Graz has made about 200,000 vehicles over 30 years.

Military operators

: The Argentine Army uses the MB-230G (short and long chassis) since the 1980s, in different roles; some 900 remain in service.

Canadian Army G-Wagens
: In 2007, Mercedes-Benz won a contract to provide 1,200 G-Class vehicles to the Australian Defence Force. The vehicles will include 4x4 and 6x6 models, with Australia being the first military customer to receive 6x6 vehicles.
: The Austrian Army has been a long time user of various Puch G models.
: The Bulgarian Army operates 900 vehicles in various configurations, most of them armed.
: A total of 1,159 vehicles have been ordered by the Canadian Army beginning in late 2003. An armoured kit can be fitted (or removed) in 8 hours by three soldiers. Their light armour has been criticised for leading to loss of life in Afghanistan, however it is considerably better than the Iltis predecessor.
Delivery of these vehicles to Reserve units has also begun. They will be deployed in armoured reconnaissance units. It is in the final stages of fully replacing the Iltis in most units as the armoured reconnaissance vehicle in use LFCA. Other units will replace the Iltis with a militarized Chevrolet Silverado known as the MILCOTS (or colloquially as the "Milverado".) For the most exposed missions in Afghanistan 75 RG-31 Nyala built by BAE Land Systems OMC, South Africa, will be used.

: Croatia bought 300 to 320 vehicles for needs of Croatian army and for peacekeeping operations missions in Afghanistan additional 30 RG-31 vehicles were delivered. Croatia uses mix of 4x4 vehicles in peacekeepings operations and G-Class is very popular choice within the Croatian Army. G-Class is supplemented by Land Rover Wolf and Iveco LRV.

: The Danish military bought the 240 GD (/24, /28 and /34 variants) to supersede the M151A1, the Volkswagen 181 ("Jagdwagen") and the Land Rover 88. First deliveries of the 240 GD were in 1985 and later the 290 GD (/24 and /28 variants) where also introduced. More than 1.300 have been put in service. A few 300 GE's have also been used — mainly by the Danish army EOD-services. Currently the Danes are taking delivery of over 2.000 270CDIs in several variants, starting in 2003.

: The Estonian Defence Forces have a small number of various G-Class vehicles, which were recently purchased to replace the outdated UAZ and Volkswagen Iltis jeeps.

: The Finnish Army uses the Geländewagen mostly as armored vehicles and ambulances, but other versions are also in service.

: The French Army have the Peugeot P4 which is a derivative from the G-Class equipped with Peugeot engine and equipment.
: The German Armed Forces uses the G-Class under the name "Wolf". Over 12,000 vehicles have been delivered in over 50 versions, ranging from ambulance vehicles to armored vehicles used by the German special forces. In the 1970s the cheaper Volkswagen Iltis was preferred; now the Iltis is replaced by the "Wolf" and the armoured variant LAPV Enok.

: The Greek Army as well as Air Force, Navy and Police use several versions of the Geländewagen, manufactured by ELBO the Hellenic Vehicles Industry as W462.

: The Hungarian Ground Forces are using 233 of G-270 CDI BA 10, which is mounted with UMF light-machine gun platform. More will be purchased between 2010–2013.

: The Irish Army Have 60 G-Wagon troop transport vehicles.

: The Military of Luxembourg uses the 300D variant of the Geländewagen.
Norwegian military MB240GD

: locally build by DRB HICOM as G-Wagon and used along with Land Rover Defender as light transport of Malaysian Army.

: The Mexican naval defense secretary (SEMAR) announced in 2008, a contract to purchase large numbers of Mercedes-Benz military vehicles for the Mexican Marine corps. As of May 16, 2009 The SEMAR has received 20 of the 84 G-Class vehicles in order.

: The Dutch Army uses various versions of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, mostly W461 290GD and 290GD TD models with manual gearbox. Also the Dutch police and Koninklijke Marechaussee are using the G. Most of these are armored W463 models.

: The Norwegian Army bought 240 GD to replace Volvo and Land Rover 4x4 vehicles in the mid-1980s, and 300 GD to use as ambulances. The 300GD is also used to transport the launch control station and optical sensors for the NASAMS Air-defense system. During the 90's 290 GD's where bought, and in the first half of the 00's a small number of armoured 270 CDI's were put into service. Today the Defence Forces operates a total of 3000 vehicles.

The escort company of the Norwegian Royal Guardmarker employs a black G500 AMG with police lights on the roof.

: 96 GD 290 and 25 MB290GD WD in service with Polish Army. 13 GD 290 in service with the Military Police

: Police, state security units, military and governmental agencies are using the G-Class. Mostly civilian versions in black. Security escort vehicles for both the President and Prime Minister are black G-500 and G55 AMG.

: The Serbian Military currently uses Austrian-made Puch 300GD. The Puch 300GD was first purchased by the then Yugoslav Peoples Army in 1984 as a replacement for the FIAT-1107JD. Around a hundred more were purchased in 1998 as well. The most of these are used by the Military Police as patrol and utility vehicles for transport of military personal. Overall Serbia uses the following models of Puch G-Class's in 300GD33, 300GD6 and 300GD10 variants, for transport of VIP persons in 300GD3-LUX and 300GD6-LUX and Special Forces Brigade is use modified version designed for access to combat zone.

The Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs and Serbian Police also use a number of Puch 300GD and Mercedes-Benz G-Class vehicles as cross country patrol vehicles. Some are also used by Firefighter units and Gendarmerie (Žandarmerija) units which patrol the "Ground Safety Zone" on administrative line with Republic of Kosovomarker.

: The Singapore Army bought the 270 and 290 versions as secondary military transport. It is used in soft-top truck configuration and is known as a 1.5-tonner or simply "MB" to its users. And also some were used also for patrolling in a jeep form. The Army also deploys the extremely short-wheelbase, soft-top version for its Colonels, Battalion COs, Brigade and Division Commanders as personal field transports.

: The Military of Slovenia uses Mercedes-Benz G-Class vehicles mainly for transport.

: The Swiss Army uses the 230 with soft top as the primary general purpose carrier, and a hardtop version as mobile radio access point. It is in service since 1985 and gradually replaced Willys Jeeps, Haflinger light transports and Pinzgauer medium transports in the liaison and transport role. All versions in Swiss Army use are unarmed.

: The British Army used a number of these vehicles in Iraq during operation Telic, particularly around the Baghdad and Rustamiyah areas.

: Police, state security units, military and governmental agencies are using the G-Class. Mostly civilian versions in black. Security escort vehicles for both the President and Prime Minister are black G-500 and G55 AMG.

The USMC Interim Fast Attack Vehicle (IFAV) is a modified version of the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen 290. It replaces the modified M-151A2 1/4 ton truck (MUTT jeep) used by the Marines as an FAV in the 1990s. The U.S. Marine Corps acquired 157 of the IFAVs distributed as follows:

  • (I) Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) Camp Pendleton, CA (33);
  • (II) MEF Camp Lejeune, NC (25);
  • (III) MEF on Okinawa, Japan (27);
  • (IV) 17 Force Recon, Afghanistan (22);
  • (V) 3 Force Recon Bn, Iraq (23);
  • (VI) 1st Provisional DMZ Police Company, Korea (15); and
  • (VII) various miscellaneous (12)

: The government of the Vatican Citymarker owned two converted Mercedes-Benz G-Class, which are known as the "Popemobile". One is on display at the Mercedes-Benz Museummarker in Stuttgart, Germany.


  • 200 GE — M102E20 2.0 L I4 (only sold in Italy)
  • 230 G — M115 2.3 L I4, 102 hp (75 kW), ??? ft·lbf (172 N·m/3000 rpm)
  • 230 GE — M102E23 2.3 L I4, 125 hp (92 kW), ??? ft·lbf (192 N·m/4000 rpm)
  • 280 GE — M110 2.8 L I6, 156 hp (115 kW), ??? ft·lbf (226 N·m/4250 rpm)
  • 240 GDOM616 2.4 L Diesel I4, 72 hp (53 kW), ??? ft·lbf (137 N·m/2400 rpm)
  • 250 GD — OM602 2.5 L Diesel I5, 94 hp (69 kW), ??? ft·lbf (??? N·m)
  • G 270 CDI — OM612 2.7 L Diesel I5 (turbocharged), 156 hp (115 kW), 294 ft·lbf (400 N·m)
  • 290 GD — OM602D29 2.9 L Diesel I5,
  • 290 GD TD — OM602DLA29 2.9 L Diesel I5 (turbocharged),
  • 300 GD — OM617 3.0 L Diesel I5 - later rebadged G 300
  • 300 GE — M103 3.0 L I6 - later rebadged G 300
  • G 350 DT
  • G 300 DT — OM606 3.0 L Diesel I6 (turbocharged), 177 hp (130 kW), 244ft·lbf (330 N·m)
  • G 320 — M104 3.2 L I6, 217 hp (161 kW), 229 ft·lbf (310 N·m)
  • G 320 — M112 3.2 L V6, 215 hp (158 kW), 220 ft·lbf (300 N·m)
  • G 320 CDI — OM642 3.2 L Diesel V6, 224 hp (165 kW), 397 ft·lbf (540 Nm)
  • G 400 CDI — OM628 4.0 L Diesel V8 (turbocharged), 250 hp (184 kW), 411 ft·lbf (560 N·m)
  • 500 GE — M117 5.0 L V8
  • G 500 — M113E50 5.0 L V8, 296 hp (218 kW), 336 ft·lbf (456 Nm)
  • G 55 AMG 2003–2004 — 32V 5.5 L V8, 382hp
  • G 55 Kompressor AMG 2005–today — M113E55 5.5 L V8 supercharged, 500 hp (350 kW), 514 ft·lbf (700 N·m)
  • G 63 AMGV12 N/A, 444 hp (326 kW), (620 N·m/4400 rpm) (only 12 ever built)

Mercedes-AMG Chairman Volker Mornhinweg claims that one third of all G-Class vehicles sold to civilians are the G55 AMG model. The largest markets for G 55's are California, USA (in black and silver color mostly), and the United Arab Emirates with Dubai (in white color mostly)

Today the The Pope use a new W463 G500 with the Vaticanmystic color since 2008.


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