Mercedes-Benz G-Class production reaches 20,000 units per year for the first time

Article by Christian A., on December 8, 2016

The people at Mercedes-Benz are rejoicing. This is simply because for the first time since 1979, Mercedes-Benz has assembled 20,000 – and still counting – examples of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Sometimes dubbed as the G-Wagen, which is a shortened form of Gelandewagen (cross country vehicle), the Mercedes G Class has been the tough vehicle for the German premium carmaker in the past and is still today.

The 20,000th Mercedes-Benz G-Class rolled off the production line in Graz, Austria, where contractor Magna Steyr has been building the heavy duty yet premium SUV since its inception. This G-Wagen is AMG G63 powered by a 5.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 engine. It is wrapped in Designo Mystic White Bright exterior color and is specified with Designo leather upholstery.

Gunnar Guthenke, head of off-road products at Mercedes, quipped that the individualization as well as continuous technical optimization of the G Class were all factors in the success of the G-Wagen, which has become more luxurious while still having a good off-road capability. Guthenke added that production of 20,000 G Class units in just a year is a confirmation of the high demand for the SUV as well as of the high quality of Mercedes vehicles.

When Mercedes launched the G Class in 1979, the SUV was mainly intended for military use. That remains true today, as a number of national militaries have been employing the G Class as one of their vehicles, albeit in various configurations. Soon enough after 1979, the G Class became popular with civilian drivers and was even used as a racer for the Dakar Rally, which it dominated in 1983.

Well, if we compared the first G-Wagen (460) of 1979 and the 20,000th G Class, they share many features. Not much have changed in terms of overall styling in the past 37 years, although there have been a number of modifications and tweaks as technology advances through the years. Now, its interior has been made more luxurious and its core of engines has been made more powerful – with the fact that a twin-turbo V12 powerplant could be specified for today’s G Wagen. This engine can be found on the AMG G65 and can deliver 630 hp (463 kW) of output and up to 1,000 Nm of torque.

The current G-Wagen is part of the G Class 463 generation, which has been in existence since 1990, but has been updated several times in the past 26 years. However, a new generation of the G Class – the 464 -- is set to arrive in late 2017 as a 2018 model. Not much has been known or seen (except in camouflaged form) with the next generation G Class, aside from the fact that its curb weight is around up to 900 pounds (408 kilograms) lighter, and its body is around four inches (100 mm) wider.

Press Release

Production record for an off-road icon: 20,000 Mercedes-Benz G-Classes produced in one year for the first time

The twenty thousandth Mercedes-Benz G-Class has left the Magna Steyr production line in Graz, Austria - a white Mercedes-AMG G63 (combined fuel consumption 13.8 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 322 g/km). It is the first time that this volume has been achieved in one year. The G-Class that set up this year's production record is also a very special example. It has various "designo manufaktur" features, for example manually applied "designo mystic white bright" paintwork and an interior with designo leather manufactured in the in-house sewing.

"The individualisation and continuous technical optimisation of the G-Class contribute to the great success of the original off-road icon which still makes no compromises when it comes to off-road," says Dr. Gunnar Güthenke, head of the off-road product group at Mercedes-Benz. "The production of 20,000 G-Classes in one year confirms the high demand for the ‘G’ and likewise the quality of our vehicles, something that is highly appreciated by our customers. I am very pleased and also proud that some of our employees have been on board since production started around 37 years ago."

"designo manufaktur" makes this classic cross-country vehicle even more individual ex-factory. Customers can tailor the off-road icon to their personal style. The "Manufaktur" hand-finishing section, which turns a G-Class into a unique "G", is likewise located in Graz. Be it exterior or interior, topstitching or model badge, virtually every detail is lovingly crafted by hand. Here unique specimens that meet the most discerning requirements for quality and exclusivity are created with dedication, passion and artisanal perfection.

The legendary G-Class has been in production on behalf of Mercedes-Benz at Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria since 1979, and continues to be extremely popular with customers. More than a quarter of a million vehicles have been delivered to customers since the first model of the G-Class was introduced.

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