Johannesburg - When it hasn't been celebrating the 50th anniversary of its tuning arm, AMG, Mercedes has spent most of 2017 reminding car connoisseurs of the G-Class, its iconic status among the SUV fraternity and the fact that after 38 years of continuous production, the car is finally being phased out.
These nods and nudges towards the car's status and age, and the fact that 2017 is the last year that you'll be able to add one to your car collection, have come in the form of numerous special and limited editions. From the designo manufaktur Edition, the G 63 AMG and G 65 AMG Exclusive Editions, right up to the jaw-dropping Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet four-door convertible model, complete with portal axles and a $500 000 price tag.
And now, with the latest limited edition, the Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition, Mercedes is finally closing the book on the G-Class and will be starting a new SUV chapter in 2018.
This particular take on the venerable G-Wagon will be limited to 65 numbered examples. Each will come with a €310 233 price tag but for that financial outlay you'll be getting the only production SUV currently on sale that offers a 6.0-liter bi-turbo V12 under its hood, a 0-100km/h time of 5.3 seconds, 470kW being channeled to all four wheels via locking differentials and a transfer case and an immense 1000Nm of torque.
George Mienie, AutoTrader CEO, says: "These are iconic cars made famous in music videos, and driven around by celebrities. This will most likely become the next collectors item in the Mercedes stable."Mercedes-Benz SA says: "No G 65s are destined for SA, as they are not available in right-hand drive.
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To ensure it stands out among other G Wagons, the Final Edition sits on 21" alloys with a bronze finish that contrasts against the huge silver brake calipers. The underbody skid plate is also finished in a matte bronze, as are the exterior trim elements that aren't treated in obsidian black.
Inside, the cabin is awash with Mercedes' highest quality design nappa black leather with contrasting brown stitching. And as cossetting and luxurious as the interior is, Mercedes goes to great lengths to highlight the car's genuine off-road process. It can cope with an 80% slope, can ford at depths of 60cm, has a 27° approach and departure angle and is stable driving at perpendicular angles of up to 28°.
But the truth is the vast majority of AMG-tuned G Wagons spend most of their lives cruising the boulevards of Los Angles and Miami and, with this latest, last edition, it's very likely that many will be simply stored away as potential automotive investments.