On the road to success with 4x4: G-Class, M-Class and Unimog win awards in the "Off Road" readers’ vote
Stuttgart/München, Germany, Mercedes-Benz was among the most successful brands in the readers’ vote for the “Off-roader of the Year 2010” held by the motoring magazine “Off Road”. Within the portfolio the legendary G-Class was even able to notch up a double success: it won first place in the “Luxury off-roader” category, while the special EDITION.PUR model, which entered production in 2009 to mark the 30th anniversary of the G-Class, took second place in the “Classic” category. The M-Class achieved the same ranking in the “Luxury SUV” category. In the “Special-purpose vehicle” category, the multi-talented Unimog once again took its place on the winner’s rostrum.
These awards make the G-Class one of the most popular and highly acclaimed models in the world of off-road vehicles, as a look at the major awards received in recent years reveals. For the seventh time, the readers of “Off Road” have awarded the title of “Off-roader of the Year” to the G-Class, following its successes in 2001, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. In its 2007 and 2009 readers’ votes, the off-road magazine “4Wheel Fun” declared the “G” to be the “Superstar”. Following its successes in 2003 and 2007, the readers of “Motor Klassik” once again voted the Mercedes-Benz G-Class the “Classic of the Future” last year. And no less than 14 times, readers of the motoring magazine “auto motor und sport” have voted the G-Class the world’s best off-road vehicle. In the special-purpose vehicle segment – off-road vehicles used to carry loads and cargo into remote areas, or used as a basis for special-purpose bodies - the Unimog clearly leads the field, with particular praise for its outstanding off-road capabilities combined with extreme robustness.
A full range: the current G-Class
The current 463-series “G” family has three body variants. The short wheelbase Station Wagon, the long wheelbase Station Wagon or the Cabriolet can be combined either with the economical V6 CDI engine developing 165 kW(224 hp) and 540 newton metres, or a powerful 5.5-litre V8 petrol engine with 285 kW (388 hp) and 530 newton metres. The top-of-the-range G 55 AMG, which is available only as a four-door Station Wagon, is powered by a supercharged V8 engine generating 373 kW(507 hp) and an impressive maximum torque of 700 newton metres. The G-Class continues to offer an outstanding synthesis of powerful drive and dynamic handling systems. In addition to permanent all-wheel drive with an off-road reduction range and the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission, standard equipment includes the electronically controlled traction system 4ETS, the Electronic Stability Program ESP® and three differential locks that can be engaged at the touch of a button.
The special EDITION.PUR model, which has received an award in the “Classic” category, entered production in 2009 to mark the 30th birthday of the G-Class and is based on the G 280 CDI from the G 461 series. This long wheelbase Station Wagon is homage to the first-generation G-Model, and like its ancestor it is specially optimised for operation in the very toughest off-road conditions.
The trendsetter: Mercedes-Benz M-Class
As a trendsetter among today’s SUVs, the M-Class owes its exceptional status to its characteristically dynamic and elegant design, as well as to a combination of excellent on-road/off-road performance, the ride and operating comfort of a saloon car and a high level of perceived value. Moreover, the M-Class has safety features that are unrivalled anywhere in the SUV segment. These outstanding attributes were duly rewarded by the readers of the motoring magazine “Off Road”.
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