An automotive legend has reached a serious milestone. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class has hit 500,000 units built. The latest one rolled off an assembly line in the same factory that has been building the SUV for 44 years. And that 500,000th G-Class was given a retro makeover.
Mercedes says the design inspiration for this special G-Class was a relatively early 1986 280 GE. And to get that retro look, the SUV was painted in one of the original color offerings, Agave Green, along with black for the grille, bumpers, fender flares, rub strips and door handles. The headlights get stone guards, and small, silver-painted wheels with chunky tires are fitted, including at the rear where a vintage-style vinyl spare cover hides it. One detail Mercedes is particularly proud of is the front turn signals. They had to use a different bright amber plastic to emulate the old look.
The inside of the G-Class also has vintage touches (though, tragically, Mercedes didn’t provide images). The seats have a checkered fabric like the 1986 inspiration. On the grab handle, there’s a badge denoting that this is the 500,000th model, and it’s painted to match the exterior.
The G-Class has come a long way since it was introduced in 1979. The original trucks only made between 72 and 150 horsepower, though you could get it in two- and four-door versions and in hardtop and convertible variants. And until the current generation that was introduced in 2018, they had solid axles front and rear. Today’s truck, at least in the U.S., comes standard with a 415-horsepower twin-turbo V8, and it can be optioned up to 577 with the AMG model. And now it has independent front suspension and much better packaging.
There’s no sign of the G-Class ending production, either. And Mercedes has confirmed there will even be an electric one coming out next year. That model will apparently pack four motors, one for each wheel, that should allow for some impressive off-road capabilities.