The Mercedes-Benz G-class is also referred as Gelandwagen, G-Wagen, G-Wagon. In German Army service it is known as the Wolf. It was developed in the early 1970s as a military vehicle from the ground up. The first prototype was revealed in 1974. Production of this vehicle commenced in 1979. Since it's introduction the G-class is also available for civilian customers as sport utility vehicle. This military vehicle was constantly improved. In 1990 the redesigned G-class replaced the Volkswagen Iltis in the German Army service. Later it replaced the Iltis with Canadian Army. Currently the Mercedes-Benz G-class is still in production. It is in service with more than 60 countries. Each year 4 000 to 6 000 of these trucks are produced both for military and civil customers. In some countries it is manufactured under license.
The Mercedes-Benz G-class was developed for tough terrain conditions. It is available in various body styles and various wheelbase lengths. This light utility vehicle is available with hard or open tops. It is also used as shelter carrier, ambulance and communication vehicle. A 6x6 model is also available for certain markets. Some vehicles have turret rings and are armed with machine guns or automatic grenade launchers. A light armor kit can be fitted in field condition. Specially designed armored models are also available.
The payload capacity of the G-class is about 500 - 1 500 kg, depending on the model. It can also tow light trailers or artillery pieces.
Since it's introduction a number of petrol and diesel engines have been fitted to this vehicle. Both manual and automatic gearboxes were available. Older vehicles have selectable four-wheel drive. Modern G-class utility vehicles have a full-time all-wheel drive. This military vehicle made it's reputation for reliability and ruggedness.
The French Peugeot P4 military vehicle is a license produced version of the G-class, fitted with French engine, transmission and has a reshaped body. There is also another French Panhard VPS vehicle for special forces.
There is also a G-class with a 6x6 configuration. Recently Australian Defense Forces ordered a number of these vehicles.
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