Thirty years after the G-Class 4x4 was first fitted with a V8 engine, Mercedes-Benz are closing the chapter on the G 500 variant. To farewell the V8, a ‘Final Edition’ will be produced in limited numbers, all with exclusive equipment, special badging and premium interior trim.
While the G-Class can trace its history back to 1979 under the internal code of W460, it wasn’t until the W463 platform was launched in 1990 that a 5.0-litre petrol V8 was added as part of a general move upmarket from the G-Class’s utilitarian origins.
The ‘500 GE V8’ launched at the 1993 Geneva International Motor Show in 5-door LWB form. Intended as a limited edition for the 1993 model year only, the 500 GE V8 featured exclusive paint, leather and walnut veneer interior trim, central locking, heated seats and many other luxuries as standard.
From 1998, the V8 became a regular production option, initially in 5.0-litre form, but with 5.5-litre, 4.0-litre twin turbo, 5.4-litre supercharged and 5.5-litre twin turbo versions following. A twin turbo diesel V8 was also available.
For the G500 Final Edition, the powerplant is a 4.0-litre twin turbo petrol V8, similar to what’s fitted to the AMG G 63, but detuned from 436kW and 850Nm to 310kW and 610Nm. The V8 drives all four wheels via a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Paint choices will be limited to Obsidian Black and two colours from the Mercedes ‘MANUFAKTUR’ in-house personalization service; Opalith White Mango and new Olive Mango. The Final Edition takes its 20-inch alloy wheels from AMG and adds a body colour high gloss finish in the case of the Olive Mango paint, with gloss black for the other two paint options.
Final Edition badging features on the front guards and rear spare wheel cover, which adds a chrome outer ring. Most of the other exterior detailing is in body colour, while the door handles come from the MANUFAKTUR catalogue.
The final bespoke touch on the G 500 Final Edition’s exterior is puddle lamps in the mirrors that project the G-Class’s ‘G’ logo and the phrase ‘stronger than time’. An indoor car cover supplied with each vehicle carries the same phrase.
Inside, illuminated ‘Final Edition’ sill plates have been added, with the same lettering on the passenger grab handle. A Burmester surround sound system from Mercedes’ Superior Line is standard, while the key fob incorporates a unique silver coin carrying the ‘G’ logo.
The Final Edition also gains the MANUFAKTUR full leather package, which means not only the front and rear seats, but almost the entire interior is trimmed in black Nappa leather, from the boot to the headlining. A quilted treatment on each seat’s centre section and the headlining is picked out in a contrasting colour that’s determined by the exterior paint option under the Active Multicolour Seat Package Plus. With Obsidian Black, these sections are finished in Titanium Grey Pearl. For Opalith White Mango, the contrast section is in Platinum White, while the Olive Mango version features Espresso Brown.
“The Final Edition is our 30th birthday gift for the G 500, which in 1993 was considered the trendsetter and harbinger of the high-end off-roader in the luxury class,” said Dr. Emmerich Schiller, Chairman of the Managing Board of Mercedes-Benz G GmbH and Head of the Off-Road Vehicle Division at Mercedes-Benz. “With its exclusive equipment details, the limited special model is also a fitting parting gift from the V8 biturbo engine in the G 500.”
Pricing for the Mercedes-Benz G 500 Final Edition is listed at 196,350 Euros, which translates to AU$273,750 approx., but given a 2022 G400 d lists for around AU$225,000, expect the Final Edition to come with a sizeable premium, should it be offered here.
Only 1,500 examples will be built; 500 in each of the three colours. Production of these final, V8-powered G-Class 4x4s got underway in September and will continue through to March, 2024. Production of the AMG versions is expected to continue beyond this period.
At time of writing, there was no indication as to whether any examples of the G 500 Final Edition would be coming to Australia.