The launch date of the new 2017 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is coming closer as the new generation of the brand’s most notorious SUV is undergoing final cold weather testing in the Alps.

Least exciting is naturally the car’s exterior, which has virtually not changed ever since the introduction of the first generation some 38 years ago. This excludes minor cosmetic changes such as the integration of daytime running lights in recent years, but in terms of structure and body design the G-Class has always remained the same.

It’s also one of its main selling points, the way this remarkable SUV has made a name for itself in the past decades is almost cult-like, and it’s still showing steady sales.

The 2017 generation will get some small changes, including a slight increase in width of no more than 10 centimeters. The G will also get a wider track, electro-mechanical steering and independent suspension at the front of the vehicle. The electro-mechanical steering upgrade is an important one, as it opens up a range of possibilities in terms of modern driver assistance systems that were previously not available on any G-Class.

Another big yet invisible change is the fact that Mercedes-Benz will shave no less than 200 kilograms of weight off the upcoming model. The new G-Class will also be one of the first Mercedes-Benz vehicles to house the new inline-six power plants that were recently introduced by the brand. The inline-six diesel will produce up to 300 hp, while the inline-six petrol could produce up to 360 hp. Customers interested in AMG models will have to wait a little longer.

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