A few days after we brought you the ‘leaked’ photos of the updated Mercedes G-class, the company has released official photos of the mildly facelifted, permanent four-wheel-drive model.
Now in its 33rd year of production, the reworked G-class is scheduled to go on sale in the UK in June.
Boasting a series of subtle exterior styling tweaks, the 2012 G-class also benefits from a new range of engines mated to an updated gearbox, a lightly altered interior and a brace of new electronic driver aids.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have already noticed the classic square-edged exterior of the G-class now has a restyled grille. Standard models receive three prominent slats in place of the older model’s seven slats.
There’s also new headlamp inserts featuring horizontally mounted LED running light, redesigned mirror housings, altered tail lamp graphics and a new line of alloy wheels.
A new G63 AMG, which replaces the old G55 AMG, is also joined by a rapid G65 AMG performance flagship. There’s also the ‘bread-and-butter’ G500 and G350 BlueTec models. All are assembled at Mercedes-Benz partner Magna’s factory in Graz, Austria.
Externally the two AMG models are instantly identifiable by dint of their two-slat grille, a deeper front bumper with larger air ducts, red brake callipers and unique 20-inch wheels. The G63 AMG also benefits from side-mounted exhaust pipes which exit from underneath the rear doors on either side.
The 383bhp naturally aspirated 5.5-litre V8 and 208bhp 3.0-litre V6 common rail diesel in the G500 and G350 BlueTec respectively, are both retained for the 2012 model year G-class.
But shift up the range and it’s all new. Out goes the 12-year-old 500bhp supercharged 5.4-litre V8, previously found in the G55 AMG, to be replaced by a 544bhp version of AMG’s twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 engine in the new G63 AMG.
Without question though, the biggest news is left for the range-topping G65 AMG. This 612bhp monster is powered by an earlier evolution of the twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 engine recently confirmed for the SL65 AMG.
Mercedes is so enamoured by the engine that it believes the G65 AMG is the “most powerful series production four-wheel drive on sale” right now.
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely the G65 AMG — the first G-class to benefit from V12 power — will be sold officially in the UK.
Mercedes’ seven-speed 7G-tronic gearbox is now standard across the range, with the G63 AMG system also benefitting from top-start along and brake energy recuperation systems. The result of this combination is an average consumption of 20.5mpg: that’s a 2.7mpg improvement on the outgoing G55 AMG’s 17.8mpg.
Available with a choice of two different wheelbases — 2400mm in standard guise and 2850mm in LWB form — the new G-class also gets additional upgrades, including a revised instrument pack brought over from the third-gen M-class.
Mercedes-Benz’s hi-tech Distronic Plus radar controlled cruise control system, Blind Spot Assist and the parking aid Partktronic, which now incorporates a reversing camera, are also included.