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Mercedes-Benz has presented the new generation G-Class vehicles for military and security applications to potential customers and the press at the G-Class Experience Center in Graz, Austria. The new vehicles are based on the 464 series, which went into series production two years ago for civilian applications.

According to the company, the new vehicles will be factory-designed for military applications requiring enhanced mobility, reliability and easy operation. As a document of robustness, a 40 year-old G-Class with a mileage account of 80,000 km was presented among the new G-Class vehicles. It was ready to drive without any restrictions, as was stressed by representatives of the company.

Vehicle Details

The variants presented were equipped with a 163-kW in-line diesel engine (Euro 3) that develops 600 Nm of torque. Despite the increase in power, the combined consumption is reduced to less than nine litres per 100 km. Mercedes-Benz specifies 120 km/h as the top speed. Thanks to automatic transmission, engageable differential locks (longitudinal and transverse) and electronic assistants, the new G-model is said to be easy to handle even under difficult environmental conditions.

The participants of the presentation were offered the chance to make their own experience with the vehicles. The driving programme included steep stretches with up to 100 per cent gradients on unpaved, paved and concrete roads, in mud and deep water, as well as driving manoeuvres with extreme curves on the road.

The increased demand for electrical energy is met by a 24-volt network, which is set up parallel to the 12-volt network for the vehicle technology. Two generators provide the energy, with the 24-volt generator alone producing 3.8 kW. The equipment elements consuming electrical energy are protected against electromagnetic radiation in accordance with the applicable standards.

Internal Operations

During operation, the subsystems are controlled by monitoring software in order to avoid failures or damage (such as due to overheating or lack of lubricant). In order to interrupt operating restrictions in emergencies – escaping from a hazardous situation – the monitoring can be switched off with an emergency override switch (EOS) and continued operation can be enabled, albeit with the risk of serious engine damage.

The company underlines that new design and production methods have significantly increased the freely available payload – a significant customer request from previous user conferences. The Station Wagon (design BA 06) with enclosed cabin and four seats – primarily for performing command and liaison tasks – offers a payload of 1.1 tonnes at a gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tonnes. The chassis with two-seater cab (BA 09) is equipped with a three-point mounting to accommodate dedicated superstructures and is designed for a payload of 2.4 tonnes at 4.8 tonnes gross vehicle weight.

A third variant presented was a protected G-Class (BA 06) equipped with an armoured cabin and four mine protection seats from Plasan. The vehicle subject to the feasibility study is equipped with reinforced axles and reaches a total weight of over six tonnes. The design and equipment of the protected vehicle meet known military requirements.

Different Variants

The new G-Class vehicles are to be produced in the three main versions presented. The Station Wagon (BA 06) is at tghe top position in terms of number of units. A smaller production volume is expected for the chassis with two-seater cab (BA09). Finally, there is the protected version, probably with the lowest production figures

There are no production orders for the new vehicles yet, though a double-digit number of prototypes have been produced and series production could start in 2022. According to Daimler’s sales team, there is interest in the new vehicles among armed forces in Northern and Southern Europe as well as in North America. The Station Wagon in particular also meets the requirements of the German Armed Forces, which, following a recent major procurement effort of so-called G-Class Greenliners, wants to further expand its stocks in this vehicle class.

The performance capacity of the new generation G-Class often reaches physical limits. In order to be able to use the potential, especially in borderline or dangerous situations, thorough driver training is necessary, which Mercedes-Benz offers as an option.

Gerhard Heiming