The most natural habitat we can think of for the current Mercedes G-Class is a wealthy urban neighbourhood. Perhaps parked outside a highly exclusive gym with an obscene monthly membership fee. What you see here, though, isn’t a leather-filled W463 - it’s a W464 G350d.
That differing digit on the end makes all the difference. This is a new non-civilian version of the G-Class, a successor to the original G-Wagen-based W461 of which Mercedes has sold 60,000 for “rescue and special operations purposes”. These vehicles are for important jobs, not just for trundling down to Salt Bae’s new restaurant in Knightsbridge where you pay £600 for a steak.
All the snazzy body-coloured trim has gone, replaced with a tough-looking black fascia. That said, the more utilitarian front end does still feature LED headlight clusters. Unlike the civilian G-Class, which has independent front suspension, this one has solid axles front and rear.
Understandably, there are no silly turbocharged V8 shenanigans going on here, with the W464 available with only one powertrain - a 2.9-litre inline-six diesel hooked up to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It’s good for 243bhp and 433lb ft of torque, making it more 35 per cent more powerful and 50 per cent torquier than the V6 oil burner in the W461.
The ‘BA06’ five-door ‘station wagon’ version only seats four, ensuring there’s plenty of space for rescue gear and the like. It can take payloads up to a tonne, 200kg of which you can carry on the roof. Not practical enough? There’s also the two-seater ‘BA09’ with a naked chunk of frame at the back, on which various things can be mounted.
If the intended ‘thing’ is made of something more flexible, for instance, aluminium, a strong ‘intermediate’ frame can be specced to stop it from twisting on the rough stuff. With a permissible gross weight of 4.9 tonnes, the payload is up to 2.5 tonnes. The cab meanwhile is a little longer than before, giving more interior space and a nicer seating position.
Both versions get a 24-volt onboard power supply and various ex-factory militarisation options. Mercedes is also promising a “robust construction,” something we don’t doubt for a moment.
The new non-civilian G won’t be spelling the end for the W461, production of which will continue for the time being, Which Car reports.
If you’re not part of a government organisation, you might be interested in the recently revealed G-Class Professional Line (above), which includes various adventure-friendly additions. These include chunky Falken Wildpeak tyres, a standard-fit roof rack with ladder access and a redesigned spare wheel holder. It still has a vain side, though, with Mercedes electing to give it the option of some eye-catching ‘copper orange magno’ paint. Lovely.