Currently in its 34th year of production, the square-jawed Geländewagen debuted with military aim back in 1979.
Definitely the automotive world’s most famous rectangle, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2013 model has debuted with an array of upgrades and revisions, suggesting that it has no intention of making an exit anytime soon.
With its Ener-G-Force all-terrain concept, the company offers a dramatic glimpse at a possible sequel for one of the world’s vehicular icons. The Ener-G-Force is jam-packed with futuristic features and “invokes the genes” of the current G-Class.
“We wanted to take a clear step forward, but we also wanted the G’s characteristic features,” says designer Hubert Lee. And that’s why you see some Geländewagen in the shape of the grille and headlamps, the slot-style tail-lamps, and the trademark fender-top-mounted turn indicators.
The Ener-G-Force power comes from a quartet of wheel-hub-mounted electric motors, energised by battery packs in the rocker panels, which are charged by hydrogen fuel cells. Its theoretical operating range of this system is 500 miles, and the only emission is water.
On the roof, a pan collects rainwater and funnels it into a “hydro-tech converter” where it is separated into its elemental parts, which keeps the fuel-cell power plant fuelled with hydrogen and extends the driving range.
For now though the futuristic Ener-G-Force is just an impressive dream and Mercedes has made no promises about production.
For now, you’ve got to be happy with the classic 2013 G-Class: the standard G550, with Mercedes’s 382 hp 5.5-liter V-8, and the G63 AMG, with a 536 hp twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8, priced at $113,000 and $134,300, respectively.