Tony O'Kane | Mar 10, 2011

After a long absence, Mercedes-Benz's much-loved G-Wagen has returned to the German carmaker's Australian line-up.

An Australian Army contract for 1200 4x4 and 6x6 Gelandewagens was won by Mercedes-Benz in 2007, with the first cars delivered to the Army last year.

Not long after, indications from Benz's local office suggested that Defence Force personnel may not be the only Australians to get their hands on the rugged G-Wagen.

Despite a lacklustre first foray into the Australian market back in the 1980s, Mercedes-Benz has been working hard for a number of years to bring the G-Class back over here. Now, those efforts bear fruit.

"The G-Class is part of an on-going project that we've been looking into for some time," a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson told TMR last year.

The G-Class arrives in Australia in two vastly different specifications, one aimed at enviro-conscious off-roading and the other targeting V8 fans.

 

2011 G 350 BlueTEC

Powered by Mercedes-Benz's V6 diesel engine, the G 350 BlueTEC offers 155kW at 3400rpm and 540Nm of torque between 1600 and 2400rpm.

On the environment front, the more affordable of the two G-Class offerings features the company's BlueTEC technology, converting up to 80 percent of the car's nitrogen oxide emissions into harmless nitrogen and water.

The G 350 BlueTEC's V6 is mated to a 7G-Tronic automatic transmission. Fuel consumption figures are still being finalised and will be revealed with the car's launch early next year.

 

2011 G 55 AMG

For those looking for more power, AMG's efforts in the G-Class line-up have yielded the G 55 AMG, powered by its new 5.5 litre V8 producing 373kW and 700Nm of torque.

Despite its lumbering appearance, AMG's G 'klasse' will hit 100km/h from a standstill in a claimed 5.5 seconds.

For that extra touch, the G 55 AMG gets twin side-pipes on both sides of the vehicle.

The G55 AMG's V8 is paired with a specially-tuned five-speed automatic transmission. As with the G 350 BlueTEC, fuel consumption figures have yet to be confirmed.

 

Differential Locks and 4ETS

The G-Class is equipped with electronically controlled traction system 4ETS, designed to provide optimal traction.

Additional assistance is offered through the transfer case off-road ratio for enhanced climbing ability and for negotiating obstacles.

The package is complete with front axle, rear axle and inter-axle differentials that can be locked at the touch of a button, thereby re-directing power to the wheels offering the best grip.

 

Pricing and Availability

Both Australian G-Class models are Long Wheelbase Station Wagons in 5-seater configuration only. Cabriolet & Short Wheelbase variants will not be offered.

  • G 350 BlueTEC - $161,680
  • G 55 AMG - $217,230

Note: prices are manufacturer's list price only and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.

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