We’re visiting Graz, Austria this week not to take in Alpine splendor or prime wiener schnitzel, but rather to try on the revamped 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class -- and the 2013 G63 AMG, in particular. We’re due to exercise both over some strenuous off-road courses in short order, but before we do, here’s a quick breakdown of the G-Class and its history in numerical form.
33: Years of G-Class production. The G-Class was first added to Mercedes-Benz’s European portfolio in 1979, and has remained in series production ever since.
12: Number of letters in the word Geländewagen, which is the G’s formal name. Think it carries a secret meaning? Think again – it’s simply German for “off-road vehicle.”
20,000: number of G-Wagens ordered by the Shah of Iran. It was the Shah – then a Daimler stakeholder -- who planted the seed of the G-Wagen in Mercedes-Benz’s ear. The order never was fulfilled, as Iran's new ruling party canceled the order by the time the G-Wagen was finally developed.
2: the number of G-Wagen model families currently in production. A box may look like a box, but the commercial/military (460) family is fairly well removed from the gussied-up consumer-oriented model (463) launched in 1989/1990. Although the former is closest to the G-Wagen’s original form, only the consumer-oriented 463 has been officially imported into the U.S.
1191: How many 2012 G-Class models were sold in the U.S. last year. Since the G55/G63 was not part of last year's lineup, this consisted entirely of G550 sales.
60-70%: The percentage of Present G-Class Production attributed to AMG-tuned models. Since there was no AMG-tuned G-Wagen last year, the production line is working to meet pent-up demand for the G63 and G65 AMG are on the market. Roughly 60-70% of all consumer-oriented Gs coming off the line are AMG models, although officials say this mix will ultimately decrease back to 40-50%.
10: The number of days it takes to build a G-Wagen. As has been the case since 1979, G-Class assembly occurs within the confines of the Magna Steyr (formally Steyr-Daimler-Puch) plant in Graz, Austria. Save for axles, engines, and transmissions, everything -- including chassis assembly, body construction, and so on -- is performed by hand. Further modification and performance upgrades can applied at AMG’s facilities in Affalterbach, Germany.
54: The number of G-Wagens built each day. Magna Steyr runs 10 shifts to reach that number, which is composed of both consumer and military models.
4: Number Of Brand Names Used To Sell G-Wagens. Americans are most familiar with G-Wagens as Mercedes-Benz products, but for some time, models sold in Austria – and to the Austrian army, especially – were badged as Puchs in deference to Steyr-Daimler-Puch’s heritage. Additionally, G-Wagens have been built under license in France and badged as both the Peugeot P4 and Panhard P4.
7: The number of G-Class body styles offered to military customers. That figure includes a five-door wagon, two-door panel van, two-door open-top carrier, a two-door chassis cab, a two-door 6x6 chassis cab, a four-door 6x6 chassis cab, and the mighty LAPV armored vehicle.
1: The number of G-Class body styles offered in the U.S. Mercedes-Benz’s official importation has only focused on the five-door wagon, although a few semi-official importers have brought new three-door convertible and hardtop models into our country. Europe continues to receive a short-wheelbase convertible model, but the short-wheelbase, three-door hardtop was dropped last year.
157: The number of G-Wagens used by the United States Marine Corps. Known as the IFAV, the USMC views the G as a replacement for the old M151A jeep. The majority of IFAVs are stationed outside of North America.
3: The number of locking differentials in each G-Class. A locking center differential, applied first, splits power evenly between the front and rear axles. A locking rear differential splits power evenly between the rear wheels, while a locking front differential does the same for the front wheels. This progressive system of locks is key to the G-Class’s off-road mobility.
12: The maximum number of cylinders Mercedes-Benz offers in the G-Class, thanks to the advent of the new G65 AMG for the 2013 model year. This model, which won’t be sold in North America, packs a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12 that’s good for 612 hp.
789: The Horsepower On Tap In Brabus’ G800 Widestar. Y’know, just in case the G65 is somehow a bit too tame for your tastes. Brabus can shoehorn in a highly-modified 6.3-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 underhood. Brabus says its super-G can race from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds, and hit an electronically-limited top end of 150 mph.
36/31°: The G’s approach and departure angles, respectively, which help allow it to climb vertical grades up to 80%.
500,000: Number of miles Gunther Holtorf racked up on his G-Wagen during a ‘round-the-globe trek. Thus far, he’s piloted his G to the far corners of the world for a whopping 23 years, and doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.
$113,905: Base price for the 2013 G550 in the United States. Including $905 in destination charges.
$134,395: Base Price for the 2013 G63 AMG in the United States. Including $905 in destination charges.
$347,000: Estimated base price for the 2013 G65 AMG. Want 12-cylinder power for your G? You’ll have to pay to play, and that’s before considering the cost of fueling the beast.