Mercedes-Benz has revealed new details about the new G-Class ahead of its debut on January 15 at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, primarily in relation to its off-road capabilities.

The automaker says the new vehicle remains a true Gelandewagen, thanks to its ladder-type frame configuration, three 100% differential locks and a low-range off-road ratio, but improvement to the suspension geometry makes the new G an even more effective off-road performer than before.

At the front, the G-Class gets an independent suspension with double-wishbone front axle, which has its components directly fixed to the ladder-type frame without a suspension subframe, with attachment points on the frame of the lower wishbone positioned as high up as possible, an arrangement the company says ensures good driveability beyond the asphalt.

The back, meanwhile, features a new rigid rear axle, which is guided with four longitudinal control arms on each side and a Panhard rod, promising better tracking and agility in off-road applications.

Numbers have been offered as a means to showcase the improved off-road characteristics of the G-Class, and these include 241 mm of ground clearance between the axles (an increase of six mm from the current G), a maximum fording depth of 70 cm in water and mud (up 10 cm), a 30-degree departure and 31-degree approach angle as well as a breakover angle of 26 degrees.

No powertrain mention, but it’s expected that the G-Class will feature the same 4.0 litre biturbo V8 as seen in the 2015 G 500 facelift and the G 500 4×4² iterations of the older vehicle. The transmission, however, has been confirmed – a 9G-Tronic automatic transmission with torque converter specifically adapted for the G-Class, with dedicated software mapping helping to reduce shift and response times.

A new transfer case, flange-mounted directly on to the 9G-Tronic unit, offers 40% of the drive torque to the front axle and 60% to the rear reaches the rear axle. The low-range ratio can be engaged at speeds of up to 40 km/h, while changing from low range to high range can be done at speeds of up to 70 km/h.

There’s also a new G-Mode off-road drive mode, which is activated when any low range is engaged or when one of the three differential locks has been activated. The automaker says the mode tailors the steering, accelerator pedal and adjustable damping of the chassis to avoid unnecessary gearshifts and ensure maximum off-road capability.

Driver assistance kit includes a 360 degree bird’s-eye view of the vehicle, presented clearly in full HD in a choice of different views on the vehicle’s multimedia system’s display. A specially-designed off-road screen presents relevant data such as height, gradient, angle, compass, steering angle and activated differential locks.

Mercedes says that extensive trials on a 5.6 km-long course at Schöckl, a 1,445 meter high local mountain near the Austrian city of Graz have shown the new G-Class to be a significant advancement from before, the new car covering the route with noticeably more control and comfort.