The Mercedes-Benz G Class, or Geländewagen as it is affectionately known to some, has been around for more than three decades and hasn't changed much, visually at least, since launch.

Despite the numerous updates the SUV has benefited from over the years, it still manages to retain the classic look of the original that debuted in the 1970s, first as a military vehicle and then as a civilian model.

What many may not know is that the G Class was developed based on a suggestion made by the Shah of Iran, who at the time was a key shareholder of Daimler.

However, Mercedes-Benz’s off-road roots go back much further than the G Class--all the way back to 1907 in fact. It was then that Paul Daimler, the son of the Daimler founder Gottlieb Daimler, developed the ‘Dernburg-Wagen’ for the German government’s officers in Africa.

Fast forward to today and the G Class is still being updated. For the 2013 model year the G Class brings a completely revamped interior, new technological updates, and brand new G63 AMG and G65 AMG performance variants.

Despite its staying power, the G Class came very close to meeting its demise prior to the arrival of the updated 2013 model. Mercedes-Benz had even launched a ‘final edition’ of the vehicle in a few markets and was ready to kill it off, but strong demand from China and Russia persuaded the automaker change its mind.

After the video, hit this link to read our first drive report of the latest 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG.