Mercedes-Benz unveils new-generation 464 G-Class for Rescue and Special Operations

The world premiere of the new-generation G-Class (model series 464) for emergency crews working on behalf of the state and authorities took place: in Graz, Mercedes-Benz is opening a new chapter in the success story of the off-road vehicle with the largest product revision of the G-Class for Rescue and Special Operations in 29 years (here, “special operations” must be understood as uncommon use, not militarily speaking, as special ops vehicle are designed in a much different shape). A very robust vehicle, the new G-Class for Rescue and Special Operations (model series 464) ensures maximum mobility even under the most difficult conditions. The already brilliant reputation will certainly get new credentials. The first vehicles are already in production for some customers.
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Demonstration of some of the stunning capabilities of the new G-Class 464 model at Graz on September 28, 2021 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The constant overall design of the vehicle results from the customers’ demand (compare with what happened to Land Rover with its former iconic Defender design). The new G-class 464 for Rescue and Special Operations cannot be homologated for civilian customers, as it lacks several safety components like airbags, inside door protections, etc. But “institutional” don’t need that. But these safety concerns have been properly overrun.

Enhanced off-road and on-road performance as well as maximum user-friendliness, combined with new features such as the Emergency Override Switch for emergency situations, characterize the new model. The new G-generation is initially available as a station wagon, and as a chassis with a cab. The 'longest-serving Mercedes-Benz model series is thus ideally equipped to continue its success story.

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New G-Class 464 model at Graz on September 28, 2021 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Runs on Responsibility. The new-generation G-Class for Rescue and Special Operations

"Developing a product that can ensure the highest possible availability and security of personnel in extremely demanding peacekeeping and security missions is a top priority. The G-Class takes responsibility in this respect and has proved itself a reliable partner over decades, even in extreme and almost impassable terrain", emphasizes Dr Emmerich Schiller, Head of the Off-Road Vehicle Product Division at Mercedes-Benz AG and CEO of Mercedes-Benz G GmbH.

The new 464 model series, while keeping all the assets of the initial 461 model, marks a significant step in the development and offers important innovations to help emergency crews with the successful completion of their tasks.

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New G-Class 464 model at Graz on September 28, 2021 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The new G-Class delivers enhanced performance both on and off the road.

The key to its on-road and off-road mobility is a powerful new common-rail turbo Diesel engine with more power (183 kW/249 hp) and increased torque (600 Nm) that consumes less fuel despite increased performance. The Euro 3 engine can be operated with fuel of varying quality. The Euro 3 standard results from the customers’ demand to make sure the vehicle can operate anywhere in the world, not only in the most developed countries where Euro 6 becomes the standard. No hybrid development is considered for the moment.

As Florian Laudan, Head of Corporate Communications, Daimler Truck A.G. stressed in his presentation during the world premiere, 100 percent reliability since the launch f the G-Class in 1979 and, later, the first military contract (with the Bundeswehr/German Army) in 1992 remains a motto of the manufacturer. When the first special forces experimental variant was unveiled at Eurostory 2018, Mercedes-Benz drew even more attention in the military world, as it did with its 6x6 variant created to address a foreign request “Always listen to the market!”, as Georges Nahas, a customer-satisfaction manager, told Army Recognition.

The new G-Class impresses with its high level of robustness. In addition to the engine and 6-gear automatic transmission, transfer case, longitudinal and transverse differential locks the sturdy ladder-type frame also supports the rigid axles at the front and rear, thus providing optimum conditions for use in the most difficult conditions.

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New G-Class 464 model climbing a 100 percent slope at Graz on September 28, 2021 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Characteristics of the vehicle's extraordinary off-road capability include the high ground clearance of 221 mm, a lean angle of up to 54 percent, and an impressive maximum gradeability of 100 percent (45°). The fording depth has been increased to 66 cm.

Specific technical equipment is already integrated ex factory. This includes the 24-Volt onboard electrical system for power supply, LED and military-type blackout lighting, infrared light, and EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) protection in accordance with recognized standards. The latter helps optimize the emission of electromagnetic interference and the vehicle's immunity to such interference with respect to the electrical installations installed by the customer.

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The Emergency Override Switch (EOS) is the third from the top-left of the panel, protected by an orange cover to avoid any undesired use (Picture source: Army Recognition)

A unique feature is the Emergency Override Switch (EOS). This makes it possible to bring the crew and vehicle to safety immediately and quickly in dangerous situations. In such a situation engine protection measures, such as overheating protection, are bypassed. The system is triggered by a protected switch on the dashboard. It “boosts” the engine power to its maximum possibilities, no matter the heath or other mechanical threats, an emergency solution that may “kill” the engine but save the crew lives.

The intuitive operating concept for all functions of the vehicle is supported by ergonomic, glove-compatible controls (no small buttons or switches needing bare fingers to be activated). In the installation space for needs-based installation kits, integrated lashing points and mounting rails facilitate the safe storage of equipment and personal gear.

The G-Class models of the 464 series have been tested and certified according to various specific standards (e.g. MIL-STD, STANAG).

Two means exist to immediately make the distinction between a 461 and the news 464 model: first, the extended air intake is no longer fixed on the right side of the windscreen but on its left; second, the front bumper has become a much more sophisticated part, as it now includes an oil cooler and various brackets. As Bob Morrisson, from Joint Forces, smilingly commented: “Considering that a soldier uses his bumper to push trees, how long will it resist?” Well, this new bumper is obviously built in a very strong way but...

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On the new G-Class 464 model, the front bumper has become by far more sophisticated, enco^mpassing namely an oil cooler in its left end (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The G-Class name is synonymous with a long service life

For over 40 years, the G-Class has helped ensure that demanding rescue, peacekeeping, protection and security missions in rough terrain never fail due to transport issues, even under the most difficult conditions. More than 60,000 units of the G-Class for Rescue and Special Operations have been delivered since 1979 and have proved their worth in guard, patrol, and liaison duties, in disaster relief operations, and in peacekeeping missions all over the world.

For the users, more than 60 different equipment sets have been integrated, allowing broad use in a variety of roles, for example as mobile medical units, fire service and police vehicles, or as radio communications vehicles. Users benefit from the long service life of the G-Class. Individual vehicles have achieved a service life of over 30 years in tough customer use.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class Station-Wagon G 350d (model series 464)

The station wagon offers the vehicle's occupants a closed, five-door body with four seats. There is space in the rear for additional equipment and personal gear. With a permissible gross weight of 3.5 tonnes, 1.0 tonne is available for payload. Of this, up to 200 kg can be carried on the roof. Additional payloads can be transported with a 3.5-tonne trailer.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class chassis with cab G 350d (model series 464)

The chassis with a two-door cab (BA09) is designed for a two-person team. The new cab is longer than on the previous model. This makes it possible, in combination with the new seating system, to stow luggage and equipment in the cab and to adopt a more comfortable seating position.

As standard, the vehicle is supplied with a double triangular mounting bracket allowing the largely torsion-free and low-vibration attachment of load carriers. An intermediate frame can be ordered as an option for bodies such as aluminum platforms that can easily twist when being driven off-road.

The permissible gross weight of 4.9 tonnes allows a payload of 2.5 tonnes. If required, a 3.5-tonne trailer can be towed – as with the BA06. With a fuel tank capacity of 80 litres or 96 litres, ranges of 600 km are easily possible.

A standard wheelbase version of the G-Class 464 with an LAPV (Light Armoured Patrol Vehicle) body by Plasan (Israel) and portal axles for increased ground clearance has also been developed. Army Recognition will present it in a separate piece of news.