With a new Land Rover Defender due in 2017
(the current one bows out of the market next year), Mercedes-Benz will reportedly introduce a major update to its G-Class around the same time in order to keep the rivalry between the ultimate utilities alive. While the new Defender will be an all-new model, complete with new styling, engines and underpinnings, the G-Class is only expected to receive an update, though the changes to the vehicle are said to be so extensive they could be considered a complete redesign.
The information was revealed by insiders to Drive
, which reports that engineers are focused on improving the G-Class’s stability, both on and off the road. Expect to see a wider track, made necessary by wider wheels and new suspension designed to boost interior space. Increased aluminum and high-strength steel will also be utilized to help shed weight, possibly reducing the current model’s 5,665-lb curb weight by as much as 440 pounds.
The updated G-Class will also benefit from Mercedes-Benz’s latest tech, including electronic power steering, new driver assistance features and the latest in connectivity and infotainment. Interestingly, we hear that 2012’s Ener-G-Force concept car
will influence some of the vehicle’s exterior styling, although the classic boxy look should remain.
As for the powertrains, look for the German automaker’s new straight-six gasoline and diesel units
. These will displace 3.0 liters and deliver up to 360 horsepower in some guises thanks to turbocharging and direct fuel injection. Of course, more powerful AMG variants will still be on offer, as they currently account for more than 50 percent of G-Class sales worldwide.
Stay tuned for an update._______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.