At its core, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is still the same off-roading beast it's been since it first rolled off the line in 1979. The G-Class lineup has expanded with some truly outrageous models like the 621-hp Mercedes-AMG G65 and the insane G500 4x4 2 based on the AMG 6x6. Now, Mercedes is looking to bring some simplicity and purity back to the G-Class family. Enter the G350 d Professional.
The goal with the G350 d Professional was to essentially strip away all the fancy luxury and appearance bits and showcase the G-Wagen's legendary off-roading capabilities. Leather seats give way to cloth ones; Benz's COMAND infotainment system is replaced by a simple radio; and the floors have been stripped of carpet and are washable thanks to drainage outlets . Want to open the windows? You'll have to manually crank them open.
Power comes from Benz's 3.0-liter, V-6 turbodiesel making 241 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, which comes mated to a seven-speed automatic. Like all G-Wagens, the G350 d Professional will have permanent all-wheel drive and three looking differentials.
Benz says its ride height of 9.6 inches is about 0.3 inches higher than the normal model. Its approach and departure angles are 36 and 39 degrees, respectively, while its breakover angle is rated at 24 degrees.
A matte black grille and 16-inch, black-painted wheels set the G350 d Professional apart from other G-Wagens. An optional Professional Off-Road package adds protection for the grille and Xenon headlights, tinted rear windows, wood-finished cargo area, and a roof rack with a rear ladder. Other options include a steel front bumper with winch mount, side running boards, and a fixed tow hitch that requires moving the rear license plate mount high on the back door.
Mercedes previously offered the G300 CDI Professional that was discontinued in 2013. That model, however, was based on the W461 series, which was essentially a military version of the G-Class with a spartan interior, rear drum brakes, and 24-volt starter motor. The previous Professional model also had a four-seat layout, a standard air intake snorkel, available split barn-style rear doors, and the option for a more robust hood that you could stand on (to more easily load the roof rack). You could also option the outgoing Professional G-Wagen with steel wheels and mud terrain tires.
Despite the lack of the air snorkel, the new G350 d Professional can still ford through approximately 2 feet of water, the same as its predecessor. And since it's based on the civilian W463 series, it has a tad more creature comforts like a telescoping steering wheel with audio controls.
The Mercedes G350 d Professional is currently on sale in Germany for 79,968 euros (about $89,000), but there's no word on whether this purist G-Wagen will come to the U.S.