"Stronger Than Time" may sound like an overstatement – and it is when taken literally – but off the beaten path, the Gelandewagen shows its true colors.
Be it ruts, mud, puddles, ice blocks, the forests of Russia, or rocks, the W463 in the following video is much obliged to tackle every obstacle with little to no drama at all. Uploaded by the Black & White Team, the video also shows the G-Class getting stuck on a couple of occasions because of the tires or the driver's overzealous off-roading.
While stuck in a muddy puddle, the body-on-frame SUV has also exhibited a few electrical glitches, most likely because of the driver's careless approach to driving out of that spot. A visit to the workshop later, the G-Class was back in business and with all-terrain tires instead of street tires, ready for another round of merciless treatment.
Built from 1990 to 2018, the first incarnation of the W463 was offered exclusively with four-wheel-drive, three fully-locking differentials, and many body styles. The short-wheelbase Gelandewagen with three doors is arguably the most adequate for getting down and dirty even though it's quite a heavy leviathan even in this configuration.
This generation of the G-Class has also spawned the infamous G63 6x6 by Mercedes-AMG as well as the G 500 4x4 Squared. Both special editions utilize portal axles that boost the ground clearance, improved articulation thanks to the increase in track, and massive tires of the all- or mud-terrain type. The second generation doesn't have any options with portal axles, but given time, here's hope they will be brought back.
Having produced more than 300,000 examples of the breed at the Magna Steyr facility in Austria, Mercedes looks forward to the future with a bit of electrification on the sides. "There will be a zero-emission EV version of the Mercedes G-Class," said the head of digital transformation, Sascha Pallenberg, quoting chief exec Ola Källenius.