NAIAS 2018 | Episode 8 : Mercedes Benz

Mercedes Benz chose Detroit to be the world premier for the latest iteration of the 40-year saga that is the G-Wagen.  Easily recognizable from its 1970’s origins the new version was joined on the stand by the Jackie Ickx 280 GE that won the Dakar Rally in 1983.  The exterior is subtly evolved, but instantly recognizable (rather like the Jeep Wrangler) down to the annoying push button door handles and the poor sound and feel when you close the doors.  The LED halo headlamps are a key distinguishing feature, but the bigger differences are on the inside.  The thoroughly modern interior features a wide, two-part flat screen, but retains plenty of mechanical switches.  Headroom is never a problem!  The G is 4 inches wider than the outgoing model and now features independent front suspension for the first time.  The engine at launch will be the twin turbo 4.0L V8 which is good for 416 hp and 0-60 in 4.8 seconds.

Also premiered at the show was the AMG CLS 53 Edition 1.  The exterior of the updated CLS is a bit disappointing especially since the first two editions were so well executed.  The awkward headlamps just don’t seem to fit the otherwise tasteful front end, while the rear just looks like a sad face.  The 3.0L I6 engine has both electric and gas powered turbos, plus “EQ Boost” (a starter/alternator also able to provide extra power) and produces a combined 419 hp.  All ancillaries are powered by the 48-volt electric system – no belts or pulleys.

The EQA concept is worth mentioning.  As shown in Frankfurt last year, it is a nicely executed 2-door, all-electric hatchback with 200kw motors front and rear.  The “scrolling” turn signal lamps are a nice touch.