NEWS: Deep Dive: Mercedes-Benz Baby G-class

September 12, 2012
Mercedes Benz Baby G Class Front Left View
View All (1) Photos
The Mercedes-Benz model range currently contains three iconic products: the S-class luxury sedan, the SL roadster, and the G-class SUV. The S-class paved the way for the C-class and the E-class; the SL was the role model for the SLK, the SLS, and the SLR. Now the G-class is set to get its own spin-off, called the GLG.
The G-class has already inspired the design of the GL and the GLK, the latter of which is not selling nearly as well as anticipated. But Mercedes still thinks a small-scale G-wagen done right will sell in great numbers. Code-named X156, the GLG would be a utility-oriented model based on the front-wheel-drive A-class platform. Compared with the BMW X1-fighting GLA crossover we've reported on in the past, which is still due in 2014, the GLG would be taller, narrower, and very robust. The GLG would come exclusively as a four-door with a metal top.
A front-wheel-drive Mercedes G-class? Although the connection with the Gelaendewagen, launched in 1979, is a key selling point, Mercedes realizes that the GLG has to be a contemporary product. The unibody, front-wheel-drive A-class platform provides a wide track, a long wheelbase, and short overhangs. An upright grille and a relatively tall windshield, along with the butch proportions, establish a strong visual link to the body-on-frame G-class.
Four-wheel-drive versions will distribute torque between the axles via a Haldex clutch. While the G-class comes with three separate differential locks, its baby brother will make do with stability-control-based electronics and all-season tires. An off-road package featuring hill-descent control, a special four-wheel-drive mode selector, a lifted suspension, and skid plates should help matters. The four-cylinder engine lineup will be largely identical to that of the A-class. There'll even be a 350-hp AMG variant. The earliest possible launch date is mid-2015. However, the project has not yet been signed off, and it's possible that it might be pushed back until the next-generation compacts get into gear. But the mini G is definitely first in line for approval -- ahead of all other A-class variants, such as the coupe and the convertible.


Photo Gallery

Research A Vehicle

Select a vehicle to research pricing, see photos, compare similar vehicles and much more.
Research Now

Top Lists

Find Local Car Deals

Cost to Own
Fuel Cost
Repair Costs
State Fees
Loss in Value + Expenses
= 5 Year Cost to Own