The original Mercedes-Benz G-Class stuck around for four decades and was given multiple updates over the years to keep it fresh. After redesigning it for the 2019 model year, it looks like the automaker will at least give the current version periodic updates in similar fashion to its predecessor.
Our latest spy shots show a prototype for the updated G 63 from AMG. Prototypes for the updated version of the regular G-Class are also out testing. They’re due for a debut next year as 2024 models for the U.S. market.
Judging by the camouflage gear on the G 63 prototype, the vehicle will get a more aerodynamically shaped front fascia with what appears to be active shutters. While the general shape of the grille should remain unchanged, a revised pattern is expected.
The dash was covered up, suggesting some changes inside as well. A key update inside should be the addition of the latest version of Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system.
Ward’s Auto has learned that a semi-active hydraulic suspension system similar to the setup found in the SL convertible and GT Coupe will be available in the updated G 63. Instead of conventional anti-roll bars, the hydraulic suspension is linked at all four corners and can adjust damping force from side to side and front to rear. It relies on the flow of hydraulic fluid and acts on various data, such as speed, steering angle, the road surface, body movements, and more. McLaren uses a similar system for its higher-end supercars.
The G 63 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 good for 577 hp. While AMG has just launched a plug-in hybrid powertrain using this V-8 in the GT 63 S E Performance 4-Door Coupe and S 63 E Performance, don’t expect the G 63 to go the plug-in hybrid route just yet.
Instead, the Affalterbach tuner will add the mild-hybrid system already offered with the 4.0-liter V-8 in some Mercedes models. The system features an electric motor capable of adding a temporary boost of 21 hp. An electric powertrain is planned for the G-Class, in a model possibly dubbed the EQG. It was previewed by 2021’s EQG concept and is confirmed to be coming with a four-motor powertrain.
A repeat of the 4×4 Squared option complete with portal axles was also added to the G 63 lineup overseas last year, though the availability of this option in the U.S. is yet to be announced.
Though yet to be confirmed, the elimination of the V-8 in the non-AMG versions of the G-Class is possible with the update, with an inline-6 and mild-hybrid combination thought to serve as the replacement in the updated range. A G 500 V8 Final Edition was launched overseas in June. The G 500 is badged as a G 550 in the U.S. and Mercedes has yet to say whether the G 550 will also swap the V-8 for the inline-6, but the move is likely.
Mercedes in September also confirmed plans to launch a baby G-Class. It’s due later in the decade with an electric powertrain.