Leading the pack was the old dog G-Class.
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but that’s not a problem for the venerable G-Class as it knows all the tricks in the book. That’s why Mercedes-Benz picked it as the leader of a 12-vehicle convoy consisting exclusively of SUVs fitted with the company’s proprietary 4Matic all-wheel drive system. 8 out of the 12 vehicles were actually the immortal G-Class, with the remaining ones being the softer and more luxurious GLE and GLS models.
The task was pretty much straightforward: traverse U.K. without even touching a public road. The dozen of four-wheel-drive SUVs completed the 65-mile (105 kilometre) journey off the beaten track across the Scottish Highlands in a couple of days. Mercedes-Benz U.K. points out all 12 vehicles were in standard specification with road-legal mud tires and without any sort of modifications apart from the eliminated side steps.
The main idea behind the journey was to demonstrate the off-road prowess of the SUV trio. Launched back in 1979, the G-Wagen was obviously the senior member of the group and the most capable of them all thanks to its low-range gearbox and three fully lockable differentials. It was also the most exclusive of the pack, with Mercedes making just 15 of them per day at the plant in Graz, Austria. Recent spy shots have shown work is well underway at the new W464 generation due late next year set to bring some in-depth mechanical changes while keeping the boxy styling everyone loves.
As far as the other two, the facelifted M-Class now called “GLE” is also gearing up to make the transition towards a new generation by the end of 2018. The large GLS is another case of a facelifted and renamed model by being a replacement for the old GL-Class. The second generation of Mercedes’ large SUV has been around since 2012, so it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume a new one will be out before the end of the decade when it will bring along a luxed-up Maybach version.