Mercedes-Benz Celebrates G-Class 30th Anniversary With Bare-Bones Off-Road Model

How impressive was the original Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen? So awesome, it seems, that Mercedes-Benz is reviving its design for a 30th-anniversary edition model.

“Wait,” you say; “Isn’t the G-wagen still in production?” Sure, but while its exterior has changed little over the past three decades, other things have. As North Americans, we’re most accustomed to the posh, “comfort-oriented” W463 model, which was developed from the spartan W460 and W461 models, first introduced in 1979. As the G shifted from a commercial/military workhorse to an expensive plaything, the W461 range faded into the background, sold only to the Swiss government - until now. The 2009 Mercedes-Benz G-class EDITION30.PUR, a limited-edition model that’s intended to celebrate the G-wagen’s roots, shifts back to the W461. Although most changes come underneath the skin (you’ll find a 2.7-liter turbo-diesel I-5 underhood, and an actual electronic transfer case in lieu of a full-time four-wheel-drive system), the only visual clues are the beveled front fascia and old-school grille. Interestingly, the EDITION30.PUR can be ordered as a rather spartan device (the tan wagon pictured) or as one full of neat goodies, like the black example shown here. Buyers can opt for two different off-road packages, which add things like sixteen-inch aluminum wheels, brush guards, and a roof rack with ladder. Standard equipment includes four cloth-trimmed bucket seats, rubber floormats, manual air-conditioning, and a wooden cargo floor. If that’s not fancy enough, Mercedes-Benz also plans on offering a G-class EDITION30, which reverts to the supreme W463 series. Built off the G500, the EDITION30 is little more than a trim package, adding a unique black paint hue, interior trim, and aluminum wheels. It’ll run twice the price of the EDITION30.PUR, but no matter – neither model will make its way to the U.S.

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