A smaller version of Mercedes-Benz's iconic off-roader, the G-Class, has been the stuff of rumors for years. Now, one has finally been confirmed by the automaker's top brass.
Speaking to Bloomberg ahead of Monday's 2023 Munich auto show, Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius said the automaker is working on a baby G-Class, a vehicle he referred to as a “little G” or a “son or daughter” of the regular G-Class SUV.
Timing for the vehicle wasn't mentioned.
Powertrains also weren't mentioned, though with Mercedes' focus on electromobility for the next decade, the baby G-Class will likely be offered as an electric vehicle. The regular G-Class is already set to offer an electric powertrain as an option starting in 2024. It is expected to arrive alongside an updated G-Class range.
The G-Class SUV is renown both for its go-absolutely-anywhere capability and for its stratospheric price. Mercedes limits volumes to maintain exclusivity and as a result the starting price in the U.S. is more than $140,000, putting the vehicle out of reach for many fans.
A smaller, more affordable version would help tap some of that demand. It would also help attract buyers in markets where the regular G-Class may be considered too large, such as Europe.
Ironically, the high price means the natural habitat for most G-Wagens in the U.S. is Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive, or perhaps New York City’s Fifth Avenue, as opposed to off-road trails. A more affordable version may also tempt more owners into getting their vehicles a little dirty.
Land Rover is also reportedly planning a baby version of its own iconic off-roader, the Defender. A baby Defender has also been rumored for years. It was reported in August that it may arrive around 2026.