Townsville Bulletin - - Cars Guide -

THE same ba­sic Mercedes-Benz beast that is do­ing a tour of duty with the Aus­tralian Army is now avail­able for civil­ian work, though it costs at least $ 161,680. Some will dis­miss the G-class as ir­rel­e­vant, but Mercedes-Benz says there is a place for the boxy new four-wheel drive and it is pre­pared to do face off against any­thing in an off-road battle. Value THE G350 with its clever BlueTEC diesel starts from $ 161,680 and the G55 AMG with its stun­ning 5.5-litre su­per­charged petrol V8 comes with a price tag of at least $ 217,230. Tech­nol­ogy THE G350’ s cat­alytic con­verter uses the urea liq­uid AdBlue for ex­haust gas af­ter-treat­ment. It can be added ex­ter­nally through a fun­nel near the fuel tank’s out­let. Ex­tra-stiff shocks are used to deal with the mas­sive out­put of the roar­ing 5.5-litre V8. But it’s the off-road sys­tem that’s the big­gest sur­prise for a brand that spe­cialises in cushy com­fort cars. Both mod­els have a sys­tem of three lock­able dif­fer­en­tials and a low-range ca­pac­ity for shim­my­ing up slopes. Per­ma­nent all-wheel-drive de­faults the torque 50: 50 to each axle. The ball steer­ing is heav­ier than a com­pact SUV to over­come kick­back. The G350 runs Merc’s seven-speed auto but the Safety brakes, a very adroit sta­bil­ity pro­gram and

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