The G-Class is the top model among luxury off-road vehicles. It is not only by far the passenger car model series with the longest production run in the history of Mercedes-Benz, but also the forefather of all SUVs to bear the three-pointed star – this is why all Mercedes off-road models feature the upper-case G in their name. What began in 1972 with a collaboration agreement between the then Daimler-Benz AG and Steyr-Daimler-Puch in the Austrian city of Graz is now a story peppered with superlatives and significant milestones. As it was back then, the G-Class is still built largely by hand in Graz. Right from the very first design, this was no ordinary cross-country vehicle. Product planners, designers and engineers designed a vehicle that offered a compelling combination of reliability, robust build and superb off-road performance, which nevertheless appealed to customers as a fully-fledged, comfortable and above all safe, exclusive automobile for recreational purposes. At the time of its market launch, in the spring of 1979, it was available with a choice of four engine variants covering a performance spectrum of 53 kW/72 hp to 115 kW/156 hp. Customers had the option of a Cabriolet with a short wheelbase or Station Wagon models with short or long wheelbase. In 1989, the vehicles in the model series 463 marked the beginning of an evolutionary process for the off-roader that was not just about keeping pace with technical progress. It was an evolution that also brought a steadily expanding fanbase and emphasised its character as an exclusive vehicle for any occasion. And, since 1993, a vehicle with an official name: the G-Class. The 25th anniversary of the G-Class was marked by the arrival of a very special model on the market, honed by Mercedes-AMG: the G 55 AMG Kompressor. Its eight-cylinder power unit (350 kW/476 hp, 700 newton metres of torque) gave the robust off-roader an unprecedented level of performance and demonstrated the tremendous potential of the G-Class. The G-Class's 30th birthday was celebrated in 2009 with a series of new equipment features, enhancing primarily the comfort and exclusivity of the interior. The ergonomically optimised front seats offered more support, while new designs and climatised seats made the veteran beast even more luxurious. Sales of the G-Class have increased continually ever since. Thanks to the strong growth rates, the forefather of the SUV achieved a new sales record in 2016, with almost 20,000 units being sold within a year. The G 500 4x4² of 2015 added not only a luxurious interior to the equation, but also ground clearance of 45 centimetres and impressive on-road performance. Since 2015 designo manufaktur has offered customers the possibility to individualise their G with exclusive equipment variants. The extraordinary G 650 Landaulet (combined fuel consumption: 17.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 397 g/km) made its own very special mark in 2017. It was the first of its type to emerge under the Mercedes-Maybach name and only 99 vehicles were built. With its superlative V12 engine, portal axles, electrically operated fabric top and exclusive equipment specification in the rear compartment, this variant of the "G" was aimed at customers who want their open-top driving to be as exclusive as it is stylish.