Are you a fan of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, but wish it was just a little bit smaller? You’re in luck, as Mercedes has revealed plans to launch a new “mini-G” by 2026.
As reported by German publication Handelsblatt, the mini-G’s wheelbase will only be slightly shorter than the 4.8m long G-Class, but it will be significantly shorter. (The G-Class is a rather lofty 2m tall.)
You can surmise from this that this baby Benz will almost certainly have less ground clearance than the standard model, too – meaning it’s likely to be a more lifestyle-focused car compared to the rugged, off-road-capable original.
The report also says that the mini-G will be built on the brand’s new Mercedes Modular Architecture (MMA) platform, a new “entry-level luxury” platform designed with EVs in mind and the same platform that the next CLA is being built upon.
While some purists might cry foul that Mercedes-Benz wants to water down its iconic 4×4, we see this baby G-Wagen as a good thing. The G-Wagen has long transcended its no-frills, military origins. It’s now a status symbol; something rich housewives in Beverly Hills drive to get frappuccinos rather than take anywhere close to off-road.
The reality is that the G-Wagen has been in production for 43 years and while modern examples are luxuriously appointed, they’re still military vehicles underneath. They’re actually not that comfortable or easy to drive. In that sense, it’s bizarre that they’ve become such a lifestyle product – people like the tough aesthetic, but forget that it comes with some tough driving characteristics.
A softer, more comfortable, easier-to-drive vehicle that still looks like a boxy G-Wagen? That sounds like a license to print money.
Motortrend speculates that if this baby G-Wagen gets the green light, it will most likely also be an electric vehicle with a range of just over 480kms and capable of rapid charging thanks to the 800-volt system said to be paired with all MMA platform EVs.
Regardless of whether this baby G-Wagen makes it to market, one thing is for certain: that Mercedes also wants to kill off a number of models, including the A-Class, B-Class, the CLS and several convertible models, in order to consolidate their compact car offerings as they move towards electrification.