Mercedes-Benz is readying an update for the 2024 G-Class and will implement a new kinetic suspension inspired by the advanced system of the current SL and GT models.
This new suspension system should result in dramatically improved comfort and handling. It will work by replacing traditional anti-roll bars with an interconnected damping system with electro-hydraulic flow valves that adjust rebound and compression on the fly. Adjustments are made based on a series of factors like speed, steering wheel angle, body movement, and road conditions.
Further adding to the complexity of the system is the fact that when one wheel compresses, the piston inside the damper will extend upwards and send hydraulic fluid across to the other side to support the rebound of the opposing damper. Controlling the stiffness of the dampers are two accumulators filled with nitrogen gas that collect excess hydraulic fluid and send it to flow valves as needed.
Wards Auto recently had the opportunity to ride shotgun in a 2024 Mercedes-Benz G-Class with the system. Not only does it improve the road credentials of the G-Class but it also works while off-roading and improves wheel articulation.
“It gives us greater breadth of ability between the various driving modes,” Mercedes-AMG head of suspension development Ralf Haug said. “We’re able to go softer at one end and firmer at the other end of the spectrum, than we are with the more conventional suspension and the anti-roll bars that we use today. It also offers faster and more fluid response with greater body control and the foundation for than we have now. We saw the advantages it brought to our sports cars and immediately began thinking what it could do for our off-road models.”
The publication notes that the prototype it was in seemed to have better handling than the old G-Class while also offering a more comfortable ride. It also does a good job of minimizing body roll and has the added benefit of improving off-road traction.
This trick suspension system was most successfully used by Citroen in the World Rally Championship during the early 2000s before the FIA banned it. It was brought to the market by Tenneco through its Monroe brand and is currently used by both McLaren and Rivian.