When you're 33 years old, it's hard to reinvent yourself. Trying something radically new will just pull suspicious glances from your family and friends. It's too late for that gap year now my friend — sadly you're stuck with what you've got.
Unless, you happen to be a 33-year-old Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen. Stuttgart has once again reinvented its iconic all-terrain vehicle. Well, as much as you can reinvent an icon…
Obviously, we never for a second expected drastically different looks — in fact, we expected no styling changes at all — but Stuttgart has cobbled together enough updates to the conceived-in-1979 SUV to call it new. And however slight these changes seem at first glance, let's all remember that this king of the road is the epitome of the phrase, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Or should we say: "Man soll nicht reparieren, was nicht kaputt ist." The 2013 G Class (available from June this year, to be precise) therefore earns its ‘new' tag with a refreshed interior, redesigned instrument cluster with the addition of a colour screen, redesigned centre console, Comand Online infotainment system as standard, new LED daytime driving lights, new exterior mirrors, and the addition of safety systems such as Blind Spot Assist, Parktronic, and adaptive cruise control.
Oh, and now there is also a G 65 AMG version spouting 612bhp and 1,000Nm of torque. Wunderbar.
The Geländewagen may have originally been conceived to transport sacks of potatoes over the Alps in comfort, but now this SUV sits proudly on the motoring hierarchy throne in the UAE. Nothing else commands quite as much fast-lane presence on Shaikh Zayed Road, especially when you consider the G 65 is now officially the most powerful production SUV in the world. Its 6.0-litre V12 engine uses two turbochargers to come up with those stunning torque and horsepower figures, featuring updated engine electronics, and improved efficiency and economy over AMG's V12 forerunner.
Eagle eyes will also be able to distinguish the new G-Class from the old, with the car's characteristic AMG radiator grille with double louvres, new bumpers with larger air intakes, and red brake callipers under 20in wheels.
The blocky old interior now makes way to a thoroughly redesigned dash, plus a TFT display between the tacho and speedo. That G-Class character remains intact though, with the retaining of the passenger-side grab handle useful for when you attack a gigantic dune head-on.
The range kicks off with a G 350 powered by a V6 diesel engine, but the one of interest to us is the G 500, housing a 5.5-litre petrol V8. It's good for 388bhp and 530Nm, which is unchanged from the current model, as is the seven-speed transmission.
However, the G 63 AMG is another new addition to the range, with its V8 biturbo engine rated at 544bhp and 760Nm of torque. It replaces the old G 55 AMG, besting it by 37bhp and 60Nm, adding a stop-start system as standard. The three electrically controlled 100 per cent differential locks stay intact, naturally, and the G-Class is still the only ladder-frame and solid-axle SUV in the Mercedes-Benz range.
Like we said, "Man soll nicht reparieren, was nicht kaputt ist."