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Mercedes G400d muscles up for Oz

Anticipated G350 diesel likely ditched for range-topping G400d instead in 2020

Mercedes-Benz logo10 Jun 2019

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in FRANKFURT

MERCEDES-BENZ is reportedly preparing a more powerful version of its inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel for the Geländewagen G-Class flagship SUV, and it is thought to be heading to Australia sometime next year.
 
Though precise details of the coming G400d remain murky, it is believed that Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific (MBAP) has elected to choose this over the G350d originally slated for our market.
 
While MBAP media relations and product communications manager Ryan Lewis refused to confirm any speculation on future product, he declined to rule out the possibility either.
 
“We have yet to make any decision on upcoming diesel models that may be in the pipeline,” he told GoAuto at the global first drive of the GLC Series II in Frankfurt last week.
 
Slated to debut internationally sometime before the end of this year, with the Frankfurt IAA in September shaping up to be the most likely venue, the G400d will be powered by an upgraded version of the G350d’s 2.9-litre in-line six-cylinder turbo-diesel unit from the OM 656 family, driving all four wheels via a nine-speed 9G-tronic torque-converter automatic transmission. 
 
In its highest state of European tune, the G400d is said to deliver 243kW of power and a handy 700Nm of torque – the latter kicking in from as low as 1200rpm. 
 
These should be more than enough to slice a few tenths of a second off the 210kW/600Nm G350d’s already-impressive 7.4s 0-100km/h sprint time, while retaining its 9.7L/100km combined fuel consumption figure. Top speed should be north of 210km/h.
 
In contrast, the only SUV version of the Geländewagen on sale in Australia is the AMG G63, which sells from $247,700 plus on-road costs, produces a heady 430kW and 850Nm from its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine, accelerates to 100km/h in just 4.5s, while averaging 13.1L/100km. 
 
Though it’s far too early to talk pricing, based on the price gap between the previous-generation G350d ($164,611) and G63 ($235,411) models, the G400d is likely to be positioned somewhere between $170,000 and $190,000.
 
As with all G-wagons since the series first surfaced in 1979, the latest W464 is sourced from Graz in Austria and is manufactured by Magna Steyr.
 
Launched in the tail end of last year, G-wagon sales are up 181.8 per cent in the first five months of this year, with 31 registrations against 13 over the corresponding period in 2018. Though the G63 would remain the better seller, the G400d is expected to add incremental volume to the range.

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