• Feb 17th 2009 at 1:29PM
  • 21

Click above for hi-res images of the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen EDITION30 and EDITION30.PUR

The rest of the industry may change, but nothing can stop the Geländewagen. To give you an idea of how long it's been around, consider that the G was originally designed for military contract from the Shah of Iran, who was a major shareholder in Daimler-Benz. Known as the G-Wagen for short or G-Class in new speak, Mercedes (or Magna-Steyr, actually) has been hand-building it in Austria for 30 years now. We've already alerted you to the occasion, but now Mercedes-Benz is celebrating by launching a special anniversary model. Two, actually.

The EDITION30 is the more premium of the two, a special G-Class based on the W463-chassis G500 and spec'd out with a unique leather and wood interior and Platinum Black paintjob. The EDITION30.PUR is more hard-core, based on the older W461 chassis with G280 CDI running gear, and decked out with off-road tires, headlamp guards, flexible wheel arches and a hood that can support the weight of a human, allowing access the optional roof rack. Inside the EDITION30.PUR it's all business, with a wash-down interior upholstered in heavy-duty fabric or synthetic leather. Between the two versions, neither poseur nor trekker should be left out, as the G-Wagen proves yet again that it can be all things to all people... probably for another 30 years and then some. Press release after the jump and photos in the gallery below.


The longest-serving series-production car celebrates an anniversary - 30 years young: the G-Class

Stuttgart – It is now 30 years since production of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class began. The Stuttgart-based car maker first unveiled this robust off-roader to the public in 1979, since when it has delivered a total of some 200,000 units of the G-Class to customers around the world. Its still striking appearance, which has remained substantially unchanged throughout its 30-year career, plus outstanding engineering, has secured this Mercedes-Benz off-roader cult status in the automotive world, and made it one of the most coveted vehicles of its type on the market.

This model family, which is acknowledged to be the best in the off-road sector, bears the succinct "G" prefix in addition to the Mercedes star, has won the Paris-Dakar Rally, is a means of transport considered fitting for the Holy Father, has become an automotive styling icon, continues to emerge victorious in reader votes and represents the gene pool for the Mercedes-Benz SUV family, which has meanwhile grown to five model series. And that is not all: with a production life of 30 years, the "G" is easily the longest-serving passenger car series in the more than 120-year history of Mercedes-Benz. Continuous model updates keep the G-Class up to the latest technological development status and guarantee a superior drive system, but without diluting its essential character. Thanks to a combination of permanent all-wheel drive, the electronically controlled traction system 4ETS, ESP®, a "low-range" gearbox and three selectable differential locks, the G-Class is equal to any off-road challenge while ensuring the handling safety expected of a Mercedes on the road.

Last year too, both the comfort-oriented 463 series and the utility-oriented 461 series of the G-Class held their own outstandingly throughout the world. There are currently no plans to bring this success story spanning three decades to an end.

Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of Daimler AG: "We have sold 200,000 examples of the "G" to date. The vehicle is now more successful than ever, and the customers are more enthusiastic than ever. Perhaps we will be celebrating yet another major anniversary in ten years time."

The unending story begins in 1972

The development of an off-road vehicle began in 1972, with a cooperation agreement between Daimler-Benz and Steyr-Daimler-Puch in Graz, Austria. In 1975 the decision was taken to commence series production and construct new production facilities in Graz, where the G-Class is still mainly hand-assembled to this day. When the series was premiered in spring 1979, four engine variants were available with outputs from 53 kW/72 hp to 110 kW/150 hp, either as a Convertible with a short wheelbase or a Station Wagon with a short or long wheelbase. After continuous model facelifts and further development during the first ten years, a major development step was taken in 1989, when the G-family had offspring. As an addition to the revised original model with the in-house series designation 460, which was in future to be destined mainly for utility-oriented users, the range was extended with the 463-series models. With new, permanent all-wheel drive, differential locks at the front and rear axles, which now became standard equipment, and a fully lockable inter-axle differential, these marked a new technical departure. ABS also became available as an optional extra. The completely redesigned interior impressed with new comfort features such as new seats, interior body panels, a centre console, a new dashboard and exotic wood trim.

Since September 2001 the G-Class has also featured the trailblazing handling stability, traction and braking control systems ESP®, 4ETS and Brake Assist.

A full range: the current G-Class

The current model family is available in three body variants (short-wheelbase Station Wagon, long-wheelbase Station Wagon, Convertible), which can be combined with either the economical V6 CDI engine developing 165 kW/224 hp and 540 newton metres, or a powerful 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine with 285 kW/ 388 hp and 530 newton metres. The top-of-the-range G 55 AMG, which is available only as a four-door, long-wheelbase Station Wagon, has a supercharged V8-engine generating an output of 373 kW/507 hp and an impressive maximum torque of 700 newton metres. The result is shattering performance that goes together with an incomparable sound to characterise this particularly sporty version.

Another important model in the range is the G-Guard, which is based on the long-wheelbase G 500 Station Wagon. This fully-armoured special protection G-Class is certificated to protection class B6 or B7 against attacks with handguns, longarms and explosive charges of defined size.

G-Class EDITION30 and G-Class EDITION30.PUR: Spectacular special models to mark the anniversary

The fact that the G-Class was designed for operations in the most difficult terrain right from the start is made particularly clear by the special EDITION30.PUR model based on the G 280 CDIfrom the G 461 series. This long-wheelbase Station Wagon pays homage to the first-generation G-Model, has been optimised specifically for the toughest assignments off the beaten track and is therefore the future dream car for world travellers, expedition leaders, confirmed fans of the "G" and customers who are in search of an automotive rarity with uncompromising reliability and the ability to go anywhere. With the optional "Off-road package 1" or "Off-road package 2", the G EDITION30.PUR can e.g. be equipped for any eventuality with all-terrain tyres in size 265/75 R 16 on aluminium wheels, flexible wheel arch flaring, protective grilles for the headlamps and lights, a walk-on bonnet for easier access to the optional roofrack, a towing lug at the front and a two-section rear door. In the interior there are four individual seats upholstered in hard-wearing fabric or man-made leather, rubber floor coverings in the passenger compartment, spray-protected controls and drainage apertures in the footwells. A load compartment with a wooden floor, load lashing lugs and rails is standard, as are an auxiliary heater and manually operated air conditioning to cope with any climatic zone encountered.

With the special EDITION30 model based on the G 463 series, Mercedes-Benz is once again demonstrating the possibilities of the G-Class with respect to comfort and prestige. Externally, this long-wheelbase G 500 Station Wagon is distinguished by a designo platinum black paint finish, specially designed light-alloy wheels and EDITION30 lettering on the wings. The interior of this G 500 impresses with designo leather in the colour "chablis" and designo trim in anthracite poplar wood.

The two special models can be ordered from mid-February 2009. The "EDITION30.PUR" from the 461 series costs from 59,381 Euro incl. VAT, while the "EDITION30" based on the long-wheelbase G 500 Station Wagon is priced from 97,461 Euro incl. VAT.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      this car has a special place in my heart... but this thing does not need AMG treatment nor belong to housewives or alike who only keeps this car on paved road.
      • 6 Years Ago
      AMG please :)

      This and the Range Rover are the two most characterful SUVs in my opinion. I hope M-B never stop making these.
      • 6 Years Ago
      These are great, too bad in the states you can only get the "rapper" version with leather and wood. I would buy one (used) if I could get the "hose out" interior and replace the mercedes badges with Puch grill and badging. I woulden't want to be assumed to be a dousche bag.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly. I totally understand your rapper comment. Older BMW and MBs from 80's or 70's (e.g. BMW E30 or MB 300TD) had simplicity to them which made them reliable and they aged beautifully.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have always had pure car lust for these things. Too bad they are wickedly expensive. Does anyone know if they make a reliable used purchase or is it one of those labor of love type deals - akin to my former 93 Rx7 money pit.

      I have always liked the tall, boxy SUV look. Still love the Mitsu Montero, LR Defender, all LR Disos and even the old Isuzu Trooper.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Depends on what model and how you define reliability. The newer ones (G500/G55) are NOT going to be as robust as the old ones. That said, the 3 valve V8 isn't as bad of an engine as people make it out to be, it has relatively few problems; the major one is the crank position sensor, which doesn't always set a code when it fails and which can cause random stalling and no-starts. There's a plate below the oil filter housing on the timing cover that leaks (easy job if you do it yourself, takes the right socket and maybe 5 minutes of time), the fan clutches fail, the valve cover gaskets and oil pans leak and occasionally the airflow meters and the seals between it and the throttle body fail.

        The older ones... again, it depends. They're going to be worn and need maintenance just due to their age, but the older diesels are as bulletproof as any other old Mercedes diesel. Take care of them and they'll run longer than you will. The 6cyl gas engines had head gasket problems.

        Your best bet would be either a 280GE or 300GE (just mind the head gasket; it will fail every 60-120k, there's nothing you can do about it, it's just an expense of running the car) or a 300GD. The 300GD will be about as close to indestructible as any car is going to get (though again, all of these things are so old that they'll likely need attention just due to wear and tear at this point), but it's a slug... I think that freeway speeds are going to be about the most you can expect to get out of it, and I'm not sure it can do that safely. But if you wanted to get into it you could swap in a turbo OM617 out of a 300D/300SD/300CD, which would get you about 125hp instead of about 80, and there are some performance tweaks you can do to the turbo 617 to get more out of it still.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My brother and I bought a 1986 280GE a few years back. It was imported, federalized, AND CA certified in the 1980's. We drive it skiing and off-road regularly (including situations where the locking differentials come in handy). Apart from the recommendation that you find a highly skilled MB mechanic WHO KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING this thing is a beast - durable, reliable, and the best 4WD we have ever owned.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I do know that they are the preferred car of porn stars and ex strippers who married well in L.A.. I am amazed at how many of the above drive these. Even though I'm a total 'Mo, I think it is so freakin' hot to see a choice girl hop out of one of these on Rodeo.

        I knew a porn star with one of these and she never had any problems, however, I could never figure out how to use the key fob to get into it!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Same here. I am not a big fan of SUV or off-roader but I really love the G-Wagon. I would take the EDITION30 over the AMG version any day though.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think you should go for it, I would love to buy a used G-wagon.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The G is one (and few) of my Favorite SUVs of all time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll take the one in cream please. And I want it on the edge of a cliff, with a hell of alot of winch power keeping it up. So that I may... fall into it, and then use pure manlyness to get up off the fall of the cliff.

      Oh yeah. Action movie in my head!
      • 6 Years Ago
      you can find the older ones online and sometimes on Ebay. I really like the older body style, they still hold there value and more are coming in as the years go on. Importing a 25 year old car is not much hassel but anything newer is a pain. Only real problem is rust, just have to watch out for that. Otherwise motors are same as the older sedans. I really want one!
      • 6 Years Ago

      Great off roader like the Wrangler and Defender.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'll take one of each, thank you.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love this thing, too. I'm glad that Benz had second thoughts about canning this when the GL was released.

      Imagine if that other vehicle that dates from MY1979 and is still on the market (The Crown Vic/Grand Marquis) was as relevant today as this G is.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Dude, the Crown Victoria is Bad Ass.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is the only SUV that i still absolutely love. It is like seeing an exotic SUV...

      Such a classic design.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I absolutely agree witth Mobius_1, I adore the G-Class. By the way I just discovered this site and I think it is fantastic, the content is excellent, the design of the site is simple and effective.

      Keep up the great work guys

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