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2019 Mercedes G-Class Previewed Ahead Of Detroit Debut

Mercedes has released new details about the 2019 G-Class ahead of its debut at the North American International Auto Show later this month.

Designed to be just as capable as its predecessor, the model has undergone an extensive development program which involved testing the G-Class on the Schöckl which is a 1,445 meter (4740 foot) tall mountain near the Austrian city of Graz where the SUV is built. One of the key objectives of testing the model was to ensure the 2019 G-Class is even more effective off-road than the outgoing model.

In order to ensure the G-Class can tackle the toughest terrain, the model continues to use a ladder-type frame and has once again been equipped with three 100-percent differential locks and a low range. Engineers didn't stop there as they developed an independent front suspension and a new front axle which allows the G-Class to surpass the off-road capabilities of its predecessor. The rear axle is also new and Mercedes says it helps the model stay on "track more robustly."

In terms of specifics, Mercedes says the latest G-Class has approach and departure angles of 31° and 30° as well as a maximum fording depth of 70 centimeters (27.5 inches). The SUV also boasts a 26° breakover angle, tons of suspension travel, and 241 mm (9.5 inches) of ground clearance between the axles.

Speaking of off-roading, the G-Class features an all-new G-Mode which is activated as soon as the SUV is put into low range or one of the three differential locks is selected. Mercedes says the mode changes the characteristics of the accelerator, steering system, and adjustable damping system to ensure maximum off-road capability.

Mercedes is keeping performance specifications under wraps but they confirmed the G-Class has a new 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission with a torque converter that was specially designed for the model. The gearbox promises to make the luxury off-roader quieter, more comfortable, and more fuel-efficient.

The G-Class has also been equipped with a new transfer case that sends 40 percent of the drive torque to the front axle and the remaining 60 percent to the rear axle. The low range can be activated at speeds up to 40 km/h (24 mph) and it changes the gear ratio from 1.00 to 2.93.

To help aid drivers off-road, the G-Class can show a 360° bird's-eye view of the model with dynamic guide lines that indicate the width of the vehicle. There's also a specially designed off-road display which shows everything from the G-Class' current angle to which differential locks are activated.

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