Mercedes-Benz recently unveiled the upgraded W464 G-Wagen for “Rescue and Special Operations”. The hope is that a civilian version of the military spec G-Wagen W464 will soon be made available as that would be an excellent base for an international overland vehicle, despite the anticipated price tag north of $200,000.
The vehicle boasts a heavy-duty ladder chassis, a 3.0-litre inline-six turbocharged diesel engine delivering 245 horsepower, 183 kilowatts and 600 newton-metres of torque, rigid axles, an excellent 35-degree approach and 36-degree departure angles, and 221 millimetres of ground clearance. A 9-speed torque converter automatic gearbox delivers power to all corners and will surely be an asset for both on- and off-road driving.
The W464 is available in two configurations: a five-door, five-seater wagon with a 1-tonne payload or a two-door cab chassis with a 2,500-kilogram payload. The latter configuration has us all hot and bothered as a potential base for an ambulance/camper body. The wheelbase of the five-door will be 2,850 millimetres, while the two-door cab chassis is offered at 3,650 millimetres.
Mercedes-Benz has modified the 3.0-litre diesel engine to meet Euro 3 fuel standards, which in practical terms, allows this G-Wagen to run reliably on low-quality diesel fuel, the type of fuel which we overlanders regularly encounter in developing nations. Unfortunately, a civilian version would likely have to comply with Euro 5 or 6 emissions standards.
Choice of either 80- or 96-litre fuel tanks
3,500-kilogram towing capacity
A 24-volt electrical system
LED exterior lighting technology
Splashproof and glove-friendly interior
Upgraded cooling system
Updated seats and steering wheel (think body armor)
Crawl speed between 2 and 14 km/h in lowest ratios
Running temperatures between -35° and 50°C
Wading depth of 660 millimetres
Maximum operating altitude of 4,000 meters (13,120 feet)
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