Mercedes-Benz is finally catching on that rich people don’t buy the boxy G-Wagon for its brutish off-roading capability, so the SUV originally designed for military use will be inspiring a new crossover that still looks the part, but won’t feel like you’re about to democratize a small country.
According to a report from Autobild, Mercedes-Benz is going ahead with something like its Ener-G concept from a few years ago, which was a civilized, luxurious take on the classic G-Wagon, and they might call it the GLB. Supposedly the new crossover is slated for 2019, and it will be a based on the next generation FWD GLA with a boosted ride height and some underbody protection, as well as a smoothed-over take on the classic boxy style of the G-Wagon.
The report also indicated a three-row SUV based on the next-gen GLE is being considered as part of a new lineup of G-Wagon inspired style of cars, which would be set to rival Range Rover.
While the concept had a bunch of Hydrogen baloney, the production model will reportedly start with a turbo-four. More powerful AMG variants are possible, as well as a plug-in hybrid model. A specific off-road version may also be produced.
I don’t know, I would think that all of these wealthy individuals with their own various power complexes partially go for the Geländewagen because they enjoy the sensation of feeling like they’re on a war path every time they hop down to the mall. Taking away some of the misery in the driving experience may hamper that.
It’s not clear if this is set to be a direct replacement for the G-Wagon, which is the second-longest production run of any Mercedes-Benz ever. As much of a hit as I think this new GLB or whatever could be, there will always be somebody who likes the idea of buying a tank fitted with luxurious refinements. We’ll see!