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Mercedes-Benz has given its G-Class a mild facelift. Not much needs to be done, as this icon is one of the most recognisable off-roader shapes alongside the Land Rover Defender and Jeep Wrangler. More on the visual updates later, but let’s just say it ain’t broke.

Four variants of the G-Class will be available – G 350 d, G 500, G 63 AMG and the G 65 AMG. Of the lot, the G 500 is the big news, receiving a new 4.0 litre V8 biturbo engine. Based on the unit that powers the Mercedes-AMG GT (456 hp/600 Nm) and C 63 AMG (476 PS/650 Nm), the piezo direct injection unit has been modified to deliver 422 hp and 610 Nm of torque from 2,250 to 4,750 rpm here.

Instead of being configured on the outside of the cylinder banks, the two turbochargers are arranged between them in the V – the so-called “hot inside V”. This layout allows a compact design, optimal response and low exhaust emissions, Mercedes says.

The M178 engine also sports an aluminium crankcase and cylinder bore surfaces with Daimler’s Nanoslide tech, which is twice as hard as conventional cast-iron linings, minimising both friction and fuel demand.

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The other engines in the range have also seen improvements. The 3.0 litre V6 turbodiesel in the G 350 d gets a power hike from 211 hp to 245 hp, with torque climbing from 540 to 600 Nm. The rapper-baiting AMG models follow the same path – the AMG G 63’s 5.5 V8 gets an extra 27 hp to make 571 hp/760 Nm, while the V12 in the G 65 now puts out 630 hp and 1,000 Nm, up from 612 hp.

These boxes move really fast – the G 65 takes just 5.3 seconds to reach 100 km/h from rest, a tenth faster than the G 63. The non-AMG G 500 also ducks below the six second mark with 5.9s, while the more utilitarian G 350 d does the benchmark sprint in 8.9 seconds.

To keep things in shape, Merc has revised the G’s suspension with optimised shock absorbers for improved body control and ride comfort, while an adapted ESP setup provides enhanced driving dynamics together with increased driving stability and safety. Optimisations to ASR and ABS result in improved traction while shortening the braking distances.

The G 500 can be had with a new adaptive damping system with Sport and Comfort modes. Its maker says that the active suspension brings significantly more agile on-road performance in Sport mode with undiminished off-road capability, while at the same time reducing typical SUV roll on corners.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class (BR 463) 2015; AMG G 65; Interieur: designo Nappa Leder schwarz/sand, Zierteile designo Zierelemente Klavierlack champagnerweiß interior: designo nappa leather black/sand, designo piano lacquer trim in champagne white

Mercedes-Benz G-Class (BR 463) 2015; AMG G 65;
Interieur: designo Nappa Leder schwarz/sand, Zierteile designo Zierelemente Klavierlack champagnerweiß
interior: designo nappa leather black/sand, designo piano lacquer trim in champagne white

Visually, the revised non-AMG G can be identified by its restyled bumpers and now standard AMG flared wheel arches in body colour. The G 350 d now also comes as standard with 18-inch five-spoke alloys.

A new colour package gives the choice of solar beam, tomato red, alien green, sunset beam and galactic beam exterior colours, contrasted with black for the mirrors, bumpers, wheel arch extensions, the ring around the spare wheel cover and roof. As you can see in the gallery below, only extroverts need apply.

Inside, the G 350 d and G 500 sport a two-tube instrument cluster with 11.4 cm multifunction display and redesigned pointers and dials. The two AMG variants also come with a revised instrument cluster. Those who take the exterior colour package get interior topstitching in the same hue.

Lastly, there’s a new AMG Edition 463 which further adds bling to the two AMG models. It throws in a two-tone instrument panel, two-tone seats in designo leather with side bolsters in carbon-look leather, seats and door cards in a diamond design, carbon-fibre trim and door pulls in nappa leather. On the outside, a stainless steel underguard, AMG sport stripes along the sides, side protective-strip insert in black aluminium and exclusive 21-inch forged alloys mark it out.