There are few vehicles that have been on the market as long as the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen. Magna Steyr has been building it for Mercedes since 1979, and it's not about to stop any time soon. But the convertible version, according to the latest reports, may not be long for this world.
Like the Land Rover Defender or Jeep Wrangler – two other off-road icons that have similarly stood the test of time – the G-Class has been traditionally offered in two wheelbase lengths. (Three, if you include the new six-figure, six-wheel-drive version.) The longer wheelbase packs four doors (five if you count the liftgate) and has, despite the arrival of the GL-Class that was originally designed to replace it, been officially available in the United States since the mid-90s. But overseas, Mercedes continues to offer the shorter wheelbase, although the hardtop has long since given way exclusively to the convertible version.
Car and Driver now reports, however, that Daimler is discontinuing the cloth-topped G-Class and the shorter wheelbase on which it rides, which will undoubtedly help it and Magna Steyr keep up with the apparently growing demand for the long-wheelbase version. Though the final versions of the G500 cabriolet are reportedly being sold off now, production of the long-wheelbase G-Class is likely to continue at least until Magna's current contract expires in 2019.