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Reinterpreting an icon: The G-Wagen

Reinterpreting an icon: The G-Wagen

The much loved G-Wagen gives way to the G-Class. Expect only the best

G-Wagen

It might seem a little unusual, devoting space in the automotive section of this issue of Gulf Business to highlight an interior. But this isn’t just any interior. These were at the time of going to press the only official photographs of the replacement to the iconic Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, which has managed to ingrain itself into the culture of the UAE like no other vehicle.

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The G-Wagen is the vehicle of choice for those who rule and the reasonably wealthy in the UAE. You can even buy a book about Dubai history and culture that has – you guessed it – a G-Wagen on the cover. Over 300,000 Geländewagen have been sold since its introduction in 1979, in a vehicle that has outwardly changed very little in almost 40 years. But alas, the G-Wagen is no more.

G-Wagen

The old G-Wagen was designed back in the late 1970s and couldn’t keep pace with the safety and technology requirements of the modern era. It also lacked the interior space expected of a vehicle in this segment.

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Its replacement addresses these concerns and sits on a completely new platform, developed specifically for the car. It’s called the G-Class.

G-Wagen

Shoulder and elbowroom have increased substantially, as has front legroom (38mm) and a massive – much needed – 150mm increase in rear legroom. Rear seats can now be folded down to 60, 40 or 100 per cent and there’s more stowage, cubbyholes, sockets and chargers now, which were always lacking in the old model.

Read: Car review: Aston Martin DB11 V8 

Safety
 and technology features now include driver assist, radar cruise and lane assist, and a lot of tech from the Mercedes S-Class has found its way into the G-Class, including the steering wheel (with auto- pilot functions) and that ‘all important’ fragrance ioniser.

The interior has now been designed to echo the iconic styling of the original and we are assuming the exterior will follow suit. Only time will tell if the new G-Class can continue the legacy here that was set by the much-loved Geländewagen. It’s a tough act to follow.

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