2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class cold weather tests in Austria

Wider body suggests new G-Class will have a roomier cabin; E-Class’s six-pot diesel also likely to be added

The Mercedes G-Class has been spotted cold weather testing in Austria by Autocar ahead of its expected debut later in the year.

The rugged SUV looks to have the same widened track as earlier development cars with the fitment of extended wheel arches, as well as minor cosmetic tweaks to its front.

Earlier sightings confirmed that the car will maintain a V8 in the range, although the powertrain of the latest development car is unknown.

Like all previous generations of the G-Class, aka G-Wagen, the future model will feature the same basic retro body mounted on a frame chassis with a live rear axle. The enlarged width of spotted development cars suggests the 2018 G-Class could be widened to allow for more cabin space.

This increase in room will likely be joined by an updated interior, evidence for which comes with the new door cards fitted to the car below, as well as Mercedes’ latest infotainment system.

Changes are also likely to be made to the G-Class’s engine line-up, which currently comprises a turbocharged six-cylinder diesel and turbocharged eight-cylinder petrol engines in the UK, with a turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 and 4.0-litre ‘hot-vee’ turbocharged V8 available in other markets.

The ‘hot-vee’ V8 and V12 units are expected to remain unchanged, and our sources also believe the other V8, an older 5.5-litre unit, will still be offered with the AMG G 63, which can be seen testing in the image above. The six-cylinder diesel of the current G 350 d could be replaced with a more efficient unit to be shared with the E-Class.

The E-Class features a turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine that produces 254bhp and 457lb ft, which is 12bhp and 14lb ft more than the G-Class’s current diesel unit. It also conforms to the latest Euro 6 emissions standards, so our sources believe the G-Class will inherit it.

No other significant changes are predicted for the 2018 model, largely because much of the G-Class’s charm and appeal comes from the fact it has stayed true to the design of the 1979 original.

The updated G-Class looks set to make its world debut later later this year, possibly at the Frankfurt motor show in September, before going on sale in 2018.

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