The Mercedes-Benz G-Class or G-Wagen, short for Geländewagen (or cross-country vehicle), is a four-wheel drive vehicle / sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced by German automaker Mercedes-Benz. The Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, a major Daimler-Benz shareholder during his reign, proposed the development of a military vehicle in the early 1970s. A major reason to start development was the need of the German Army for a light military vehicle, but later the cheaper Volkswagen Iltis were chosen without any joint test. After a design change to a civilian cross-country vehicle in co-operation with the Austrian car manufacturer Steyr-Daimler-Puch, production of the G-Class began in 1979 with the 460 Series models. The G-Class has been sold under the Puch name in certain markets, and the Peugeot P4 is a variant made under license, with a Peugeot engine and different parts.
Mercedes-Benz secured military contracts for the vehicle in the late 1970s and offered a civilian version in 1979. Designed to be a durable, reliable, and rugged off-roader, the G-wagen utilizes three fully locking differentials, one of the few vehicles sold in the U.S. to have such a feature, along with the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Toyota 80-series Land Cruiser, Pinzgauer High Mobility All-Terrain Vehicle, and Mercedes-Benz Unimog. Among the engines offered in the G-Class for the 2004 model year is a 5.5-liter V8.
In its 25th anniversary, the 2005 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG was launched again as the G55 Kompressor or G55K and improved in power, thanks to a 5.5-liter, supercharged V8 developing 469 hp (350 kW) and 516 lb·ft (700 N·m). of torque.
The G-Wagen was first offered for sale in 1979 and redesigned in 1990/1991. A new version was expected for 2007, but the new GL-Class will not replace the G-Wagen, and it will continue to be hand-built in Graz, Austria at an annual production of 4,000 to 6,000 units. In February 2009, Magna Steyr, the operating unit of Magna International, announced that it s...