A very special tradition of the G-Class began together with the series production of the G-model: as early as from 1979, Mercedes-Benz already offered the off-road vehicle with special protection. This meant that these off-road vehicles offered significantly increased protection against armed attacks thanks to armour and other features.
The outstanding competence of the Stuttgart-based brand in this segment dates back to the Mercedes-Benz Nürburg introduced in 1928. After 1945, the focus was predominantly on the luxury saloon cars of the S-Class. Starting in 1979, the G-model then provided the perfect basis for being able to offer customer special protection both in off-road terrain and on the road. As a result, special protection versions of the 280 GE, 300 GE, and 500 GE models were built in the first two decades of the history of the G-Class.
Integral protective equipment
The concept behind the Mercedes-Benz Guard models, as the special protection vehicles of the brand have been called since 1999, is comprehensive protection. For this reason, the protective equipment is already taken into account in the development of the base vehicle and the vehicle bodies are fitted with armour and other elements already in the early production phases. This principle, which the specialists call “integral special protection”, allows significantly better integration into the vehicle concept and thereby significantly better protection than a retrofit at a later time.
In 1999, the Stuttgart-based brand presented three different Guard variants of the G-Class. The basis of each was the G 500, which thanks to different measures was equipped to protection classes B4, B6 and maximum protection B7 specifications. The Mercedes-Benz developers also applied the philosophy that the special protection variant of the particular vehicle should hardly differ in outward appearance from the production version of the G-Class. The special specification was also hardly noticeable in operations, because the G-Guard models combined the outstanding off-road capabilities of the G-Class and the driving dynamics features of the G 500 with increased safety with almost no compromises.
From 2001, Mercedes-Benz offered the G-Class with the maximum protection specifications B6 and B7. Depending on the extent of the armour, the kerb weight of the vehicles increased from 2400 kilograms to 3570 kilograms and 3970 kilograms, respectively. Nonetheless, the modification of the chassis made a top speed of 160 km/h possible, while the off-road capabilities were also retained. An adequate level of motorization is of course standard in the Guard programme of Mercedes-Benz, i.e. in the G 500 Guard with 5.5-litre V8 engine and maximum protection of resistance class VR7 (as per BRV 2009).