Mercedes Benz 280GE w460 Binz ambulance
Year of production 1984
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class, sometimes called G-Wagen (short for Geländewagen, "terrain vehicle"), is a mid-size four-wheel drive luxury SUV manufactured by Magna Steyr (formerly Steyr-Daimler-Puch) in Austria and sold by Mercedes-Benz. In certain markets, it has been sold under the Puch name as Puch G.
The development of the G-Class started in 1972 with a cooperative agreement between Daimler-Benz and Steyr-Daimler-Puch in Graz, Austria. Mercedes-Benz engineers in Stuttgart were in charge of design and testing, while the team in Graz developed the production plans. The first wooden model was presented to Daimler-Benz management in 1973, with the first drivable prototype beginning various testing including German coalfields, the Sahara Desert, and the Arctic Circle in 1974. Construction commenced on a new production facility in Graz, where the new cross-country vehicle would be assembled nearly entirely by hand in 1975, with production of the "G Model" beginning in Graz in 1979.
The G-class was developed as a military vehicle from a suggestion by the Shah of Iran (at the time a significant Mercedes shareholder) to Mercedes and was offered as a civilian version in 1979. In this role vehicle was sometimes referred to as the "Wolf". The Peugeot P4 was a variant made under licence in France with a Peugeot engine.
The W460 was introduced at a press event held at the off-road proving ground in Toulon, France and went on sale in September 1979 with three engine choices and five body variants. Over the next decade, the engine and transmission choices were expanded or updated along with more and more optional extra cost creature comforts (air conditioning, automatic transmission, power windows, etc.).
The first major refinements were introduced in 1981, including an automatic transmission, air conditioning, an auxiliary fuel tank, protective headlamp grilles and a cable winch. Fuel injection became available in 1982, when the 230 GE was introduced in Turin, along with more comfortable and supportive front seats, auxiliary heating, wider tires and fender flares.
Binz GmbH & Co. KG is a coachbuilder and custom vehicle manufacturer. It manufacturers ambulances, firetrucks, police cars and other emergency-service vehicles as well as modified military vehicles mainly on a Mercedes-Benz platform. It was founded in 1936 as coachbuilder Binz Lorch & Co by Michael Binz in Lorch, Germany.