G-Class pricing? An electric G-Class? AMG G63? We asked all these questions and more to head of AMG’s Tobias Moers, and Mercedes-Benz’s Britta Seeger in Detroit’s NAIAS, to find out that this is just the beginning.
Earlier this January, Mercedes-Benz had the biggest reveal of at the Detroit autoshow (NAIAS 2018) with the new G-Class and also a new engine from AMG, coming for the first time on a two-door E-Class.
With the Middle East and GCC specifically being one of the biggest customers, we’ve been getting many questions about the new products while we were at the show, so we decided to get right to the source.
First, we had the chance to meet Britta Seeger, member of the board of management at Daimler mainly in charge of Marketing and Sales.
“Middle East market is amongst the top 10 and will remain” Britta said right at the beginning, “it’s still a preserved icon and we still have the translation into modern luxury. We’re confident that we will have success”
Mercedes-Benz has been constantly receiving feedback from its customers, and development was continuous. Along with luxury road driving, offroad enthusiasts were one of the main targets for the new G-Class, as its offroad capabilities have been emphasized several times throughout the interview, giving an idea that the new model is now a lot more capable than the previous model, but still is a lot better on the road, without any sacrifices.
Having the 4.0Litre V8 Biturbo engine could be sometimes a bit large, whether it might not be needed for some, or highly affecting customs and taxes for some countries with displacement-related pricing, so a smaller engine or even electric-supported vehicle would be appreciated by some. Where even Arnold Schwarzenegger himself asked if there could be a fully electric version any time soon, and Dieter Zetsche’s answer was simply “Stay Tuned”.
A study for smaller engines is though under investigation, so who knows?
Coming to the AMG side of things, we’ve seen the introduction of the AMG53 engine to the all-new CLS and the two-door E class, with the 3.0 Litre 6-cylinder straight engine equipped with EQ boost, giving additional electric power and efficiency with 431hp and the additional 16kw electric power.
Is it possible we might see a smaller AMG for the G-Class? “No” said head of AMG, Tobias Moers, “G Wagon is a special dedicated segment and the 63 is perfect, also: side pipes”
Coming in to the development of the new G-Class, although we’ll be seeing the new AMG G63 in Geneva, but the G500 now is already partially developed by AMG.
“When you have a close look to the G wagon, you see a lot of AMG influence in the car. Underneath the cabin, it was all done by AMG (but not the transfer case).
Powertrain, suspension, axles, we engineered everything regarding the chassis.” – Tobias Moers
The new G63 will be coming with a dampening system as standard so a lot more comfort and also steering response. Additionally, there was a clear understanding that it needs to be more lightweight.
So does that mean it will be friendlier to our kind of offroading in the desert?
Tobias: “It will be better in the desert. With the new one, there are a lot of improvements.”
So that was it, a lot more coming from the new G-Class, and a lot more to come from AMG with the introduction of electric power. I don’t doubt the Middle East market is already amongst the top in orders for the new G-Class, I gotta say, the new interior is astonishing, but will everyone wait for the AMG model coming out this March? Or be happy with the G500?
The price of the new G-Class (At least for Germany) will remain the same as the previous model to ensure customer loyalty, and for those asking, nope, no news on the 2-door or convertible G-Class.