Not all Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen off-road SUVs are built the same, some are exceptions in the environment they truly belong in.
The history of the G-Wagen goes back to the early 1970s with a cooperative agreement between Daimler-Benz and Steyr-Daimler-Puch in Graz, Austria. It was suggested by one of the largest shareholders of Mercedes-Benz (at the time) the Shah of Iran. The Geländewagen (hence “G” Wagen) was meant to be a military, somewhat commercial vehicle – before becoming a luxury statement.
From day one, smaller-displacement powertrains were the way to go. That was before western demand aimed for beefy V8s.
I was lucky enough to drive this vehicle over a few off-road obstacles that Jay Couch had built. Honestly, with the gearing, torque suspension setup, tires, and those portal axles – very few obstacles would pose a problem. Very few.
The best part is that, despite its off-road prowess, it has a creamy smooth ride and great acceleration.
For all of those fakes who drive newer G-Class/G-Wagen Mercedes-Benz SUVs in Florida and California – one about 5% would ever consider off-roading. Seeing G-Wagens treated like a common runabout is embarrassing. Rather than the dirt of the Sahara, the red mud of Moab, and the boulders of the Rubicon – they meander on the streets of Beverly Hills.
That’s no exaggeration, I’ve seen more G-Wagens in Southern California than anywhere else in the United States. I find that kind of pathetic. Jay has more knowledge of G-Wagens than just about anyone I have met stateside. He goes into history and talks about what makes his rig unique. He used a lot of knowledge gained from building up Unimogs to build this vehicle. There are quite a few interesting changes he made to build an outstanding rig.
Anyway check out this video and see what a real, unique G-Wagen can do!