Mercedes-Benz will launch a facelifted version of the G-Class off-roader next year, which will take learnings from its forthcoming electric EQG sibling to offer significant improvements in fuel economy.
The new EQG is set to arrive in 2024 and is conceived as a zero-emission equivalent to the ultra-rugged machine.
It features near-identical styling to the current G-Class, although Mercedes has introduced a number of bodywork revisions to make it as efficient as possible.
Dr Emerich Schiller, the boss of the G-Class business unit, said those changes will be carried over to a facelift version of the petrol-engined machine, which is set to arrive at a similar time to the EQG next year.
“With electric cars, aerodynamics are quite a big challenge,” said Schiller. “With the EQG our first task was to keep the design of the car, but to improve the aerodynamics as much as possible.
“When you really go into the details of the car, we have changed things. Most customers won’t see it, even if they stand in front of the car, but the change in some cases had a really dramatic improvement to the aerodynamics.
“We really improved the aerodynamics without changing the shape, and what we’ve learned with the electric version we will put to the combustion engine car. So when the facelift comes next year, the cars will have most of the aerodynamic improvements as well, with a tremendous reduction in fuel consumption.”
Schiller added: “It will be almost the same car. It comes with our philosophy: it’s not an electric car, it’s a G-Class and you can have it with a petrol engine, a Diesel engine or with electric power.”