The Mercedes-Benz G-Class surely isn't one of the German brand’s best sellers, but it embodies everything you would want in an off-road vehicle.
One glance at the box-shaped, four-wheel-drive luxury SUV first developed for the Shah of Iran in the late '70s military, and currently used worldwide as a military vehicle, including in Canada, you would agree that a picture of this vehicle should be alongside the dictionary words bold and rugged.
Since it started consumer production in 1979, the G-Class hasn't changed drastically, with only minor modifications throughout the years. We will soon learn what 2017 holds for the G-Class, but for now we can tell you that the G 550 will carry a 416-hp, twin-turbo, 4.0-litre V8 engine that produces a healthy 450 lb.-ft. of torque.
For this G-Class experience, we will be headed to the sloping terrain of Whistler, British Colombia to gain first-hand experience of the G 550. I get the feeling we're going to have ample time on some black diamond hills and valleys to see the full extent of what this off-roading behemoth can do. In addition, there will be an Iron-Schöckl demonstration – a man-made iron mountain that works as a seesaw – with the G 550 running through it, so I better start practicing the safe word Geländewagen (the German word for cross-country vehicle).
When not conquering new terrains, the G 550 has improved its interior technology with a new eight-inch infotainment screen that can connect to your mobile for the use of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as providing a Wi-Fi hotspot.
We're soon expected to see the new G 550 4x4² variant that's supposed to possess 6x6 off-roading skills, thanks to an increase in ride height and width. We don't know if it's going to be on this program, but we can always hope.