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Benz eyes rural role for cab-chassis 4×4 and its two-tonne payload

on December 5 2016 | in Highlights, Industry news, Latest news | by | with Comments Off

Mercedes-Benz has added to its ever-growing model range in New Zealand a cab-chassis variant of the four-wheel-drive G-Wagen, priced from $129,900 and aimed at heavy duty contractors.

It is called the G-Professional, aka G-Pro or G300 CDI. Its underpinnings, 3.0-litre 135kW/400Nm turbo-diesel V6 powertrain, and four-wheel-drive system are pretty much identical to the G-Wagens used by defence forces around the world.

But G-Pro’s cab-chassis can be adapted for all sorts of uses in the most demanding of off-road conditions. Mercedes-Benz NZ general manager Ben Giffin says the vehicle has “real merit” for special applications.

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“The cab-chassis can be purpose-built for so many rural applications,” he said. “For fire services, forestry and mining industries, as an agricultural spreader, even an off-road vehicle for St John.”

G-Pro has a payload of 2085kg, braked towing capacity of 2120kg, and can tow 750kg unbraked. Ground clearance is 245mm and wading depth 650mm. Approach angle is 38 degrees, departure 35 degrees, and break-over point 22 degrees.

The V6 is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and delivers its 135kW at 3800rpm and 400Nm between 1600-2000rpm. Full-time four-wheel-drive is split 50:50 front-rear and its three differential locks can be shifted to low range on the move. The five-speeder can be used in manual override mode.

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G-Pro has already been snapped up for bushfire use in Australia, where the cab-chassis costs $A119,900. The Victorian Country Fire Authority has ordered 100. One G-Pro, said an Australian report, has been adapted to carry 650 litres of water. Another will carry 800 litres.

Standard items include a 96-litre fuel tank, bullbar, indicator guards, an engine snorkel, sump and transmission guard, tow 12-volt batteries, water drain plugs, wheel chocks, vinyl seats, rubber mats, and a sliding rear window.

It also gets air-conditioning and under-seat storage. Safety gear includes an on/off stability control system, brake force distribution and brake assist, and two airbags. Its five-speed automatic transmission can be used in manual override mode.

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The first example will be available for evaluation in NZ early next month. General manager Giffin says: “With its GVM (gross vehicle mass) of 4.5-tonne, there’s nothing like it.” GVM is of course the maximum weight a vehicle can carry including its own weight.

G-Pro’s only genuine rival in New Zealand is Toyota’s Land Cruiser 70-Series, although the Toyota can’t match the G-Pro’s payload. The 70-Series uses a 4.5-litre V8 turbo-diesel good for 151kW at 3400rpm and 430Nm between 1200-3200rpm.

Its GVM is 3400kg. Ground clearance is 283mm, wading depth 700mm, braked towing capacity 3500kg. The 70-Series starts in price at $75,780 for the single cab variant.

Meantime, spy photographers have captured the Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe near the carmaker’s headquarters in Stuttgart. The first of the four-cylinder E-Class sedans has arrived in NZ and the more powerful six-cylinder variants are to follow. The coupe (below) is expected later in the piece.

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