The genuine 4×4 are still in the gapAutomotive News
In 2018 the trend of the automotive industry is very clear: the sector is focused on SUVs, launching new models for all segments on a constant basis. His initial vocation as a roadster, a kind of urban version of the all-terrain vehicles, has been almost completely diluted, since the client demands his image, not his functionality.
Does this mean that there is no space for the usual 4×4? Not at all, because although it is a product more niche than ever, there are iconic models that continue to be renewed to this day.
These are vehicles that can even be considered from another era, but after decades of production (some have been manufactured since the middle of the last century) have followed the footsteps, adapting to a new scenario but without losing the essence that made them unique .
As is logical, they have been forced to evolve, experiencing important changes in most cases, but in the background they remain the same that became icons of driving off the road.
In the current market there is no room for the Spartan style of yesteryear, functional to the core, so they have grown in complexity, improved in quality, paid more attention to comfort and incorporated technology comparable to premium cars.
And all this while maintaining its ability to circulate without having any problem for impossible terrains for other vehicles. This is the case of these three emblematic models of the sector that are renewed this year.
Mercedes Class G.
The German all-terrain vehicle is immovable like a rock. For sale since 1979, it has just been released and it is, without a doubt, the one that has changed least, especially in the aesthetic level. Its robust and squared image is easily recognizable. Its cabin has numerous technological elements (instrument panel and central screen of 12.3 inches each, heated seats, ventilated and with massage function) and its off-road capability remains unparalleled.
It offers 241 mm free to the ground, 700 mm of wading, angles of attack and exit improved, a selector of ways of driving with G-Mode, specific for difficult terrains; all-wheel drive, three differentials (front, center and rear) and a 4.0 V8 engine of 422 hp and 620 Nm of torque. It also incorporates systems that facilitate driving at peak times.
It was born in its current configuration in 1987, but as successor of the Jeep CJ, civil version of the iconic Willys MB, so its origin goes back to the forties of the last century. The passage of time has only meant an increase in size, but its off-road capability has not diminished a bit.
In 2018, it has launched its fourth generation, which, together with the updating of connectivity and security systems, has a soft hybridization technology with a 48V electrical system that reduces consumption and emissions.
As is tradition, its most outstanding version is the Rubicon: specific modified suspension, disconnectable stabilizer bars, 33-inch tires, limited slip rear differential and reducer with 4: 1 reduction ratio.
It is clearly the one that has evolved the most from this peculiar group. In its 67 years of history, which have led it to sell now in 190 countries, has passed through six generations in which the changes have been evident.
It was born practically a Japanese version of the Willys Jeep under the name of BJ, but soon followed its own path, growing in size and versions, adopting a much more robust appearance in the mid-eighties and entering the new century with a more similar image to SUVs, retaining their off-road aptitude, but emphasizing the qualities and technology.
The current generation uses a 177 hp turbodiesel engine, integral traction, reduction, central and rear differential locks, and a driving mode selector to adapt to different situations.
MARIO HERRÁEZ Five days – Madrid – 2 MAR 2018 (Translation Soft)