The Mercedes-Benz G-Class (or Gelandewagen) has been a mainstay in the automaker’s lineup since 1979. Aside from featuring virtually every engine, from a 120hp I-5 turbodiesel to the almighty 621hp twin-turbo V-12, the underlying G-Wagen formula has remained unchanged. And for good reason.
The German carmaker just finished building its 300,000th G-Class SUV at the company’s Magna Steyr plant in Austria, the same plant that has built the truck since 1979.
For over 20 years, the G-Wagen wasn’t offered in the United States, which created a pretty well-established grey market for the truck. Prices for an imported G-Class on the grey market in the ’80s and ’90s were almost twice what Mercedes-Benz sold the truck for after bringing it here in 2002. And to make up for missing out on twenty-odd years of sales in the U.S., Mercedes-Benz decided to only sell the G500, equipped with a 5.0-liter V-8 paired to a five-speed automatic.
In 2005, Mercedes-Benz introduced the 469-hp G55 AMG, powered by a 5.5-liter supercharged V-8. Only the best was offered to us power hungry, V-8-loving Americans, despite several other diesel and gasoline variants offered in most world markets. Over here, the 2017 G550 SUV starts at $122,400 MSRP, up to $220,400 MSRP for the range-topping G65 AMG.
The 300,000th G-Class is a G500 (not offered in United States markets), painted designo Mauritus Blue Metallic with black leather seats and contrasting white stitching. The truck is fitted with the Off-Road Package, which includes black 16-inch wheels wrapped in all-terrain tires, chicken-wire headlight guards, and a roof rack. The adventure-oriented G500 was voted on by G-Wagen fans from all over the world, who submitted their favorite combination of options through the official G-Class Facebook page.
A G-Class equipped for some serious off-roading, like this one here, might come as a surprise. We don’t typically see G-Wagens crawling rocks next to Jeep Wranglers in Moab. It seems like the truck’s more die-hard fans abroad, however, are more interested in its legendary off-road capabilities rather than its sprint to 60 down Rodeo Drive. Mercedes-Benz will use its anniversary G-Wagen to exhibit the truck's off-road prowess, and will be featured on Mercedes-Benz’s social media channels through use of the hashtag #Gventure300k.