The good news first: the G-Class fans can cheer, because the Mercedes G 500 in agave green, which was specially made for the 500,000th production model, will not remain a one-off with its classic look. Mercedes is launching a limited series of 461 vehicles from the 500 – all identically equipped and with the supercharged V8 engine. The jubilee model was inspired by a lavishly restored Mercedes 280 GE from 1986, and it is precisely this G model that will be used on a tour from Munich to the G homeland of Graz.

The new edition, also painted in agave green, would undoubtedly have been a clear winner, because the thermometer already shows 25 degrees Celsius in the Isar metropolis in the morning and it will not stay that way for the rest of the day. Air conditioning, sunroof or at least electric windows – none of this is the case with the new 280 GE with a short wheelbase and two doors. The third door is hardly smaller than the two entrances on the flanks and is responsible for loading the small trunk. If you want to invite more, you can fold down or remove the rear seat – the G-model was not only a pure commercial vehicle during its development period in the 1970s – until the early 1990s the Mercedes G-Class did not have much to do with cult, chic and exclusivity Cap.

This even applies to the top model, the 280 GE. Its 2.8-liter M-110 engine delivers 136 kW / 185 hp thanks to injection in models such as the 280 E or a 280 SE. Torque-optimized, this was reduced to 115 kW / 156 sonorous tramping horses in the off-road vehicle from Styria. Coupled with the obligatory all-wheel drive and five-speed gearbox, no speed records are to be expected from the W 460 series on the Autobahn to Graz, which at least on the other side of the German-Austrian border prevent the speed limits of the Alpine state anyway. The G-Class is not intended for fast driving, even as a 280; you can feel that quickly when you climb the first inclines on the A8 autobahn. The odometer doesn’t even show 60,000 kilometers; However, due to the missing sixth digit in the round instrument, it is not clear whether the green Hochsitzbeau has at least almost 160,000 kilometers on the clock. This can hardly be seen from the condition of the interior, because instead of the usual standard seats, the 280 GE has excellent sports seats in the original checkered look from the 1980s.

The rest is familiar and typical of the early years of the G in the 460 generation, which was only replaced in 1990: sparse instrumentation, no radio and where there has been a paneled center console for decades, operating modules for electric windows, corresponding exterior mirrors, heated seats or other amenities of the In modern times, there is little more than a pull switch for the corresponding locks and gear reduction in the test subject. However, since the mobile head forester does not have to travel through impassable terrain away from paved slopes, but via the motorway to Graz, they remain unemployed. What helps with the ride is the small, centrally-positioned tachometer, which keeps snapping up when downshifting into fourth gear on hill climbs to avoid being eaten by trucks.

The 2.8-liter in-line engine has as few problems with the temperatures at the 35-degree mark as the increasingly muggy summer heat puts on the occupants. With the windows rolled down, it hardly gets noticeably cooler even at 110 km/h – only louder and the bubbles in the water bottles slowly but surely work their way up to cooler temperatures. Thumbs up again and again when other vehicles are passed and mobile phone cameras click when they stop for fuel or refreshments, while the inquiries about roof structures or the year of construction know almost no bounds. In addition, the additional instruments in front of the passenger seat cause a stir – these are anything but original and make the agave green Mercedes 280 GE fit for the corresponding classic car rallies, where regularity and tenths of a second are important.

Graz is reached after almost 430 kilometers – after a six-hour drive with breaks and traffic jams. This time, however, the path does not lead to the production facility near Magna Steyr or directly to the local mountain Schöckl, where the various G-Class generations have been given their spectacular off-road capabilities for almost 50 years, but to the still young Experience Center, where 3,000 G fans per Year to test what the G-Class can do on hearts and animals. This applies equally to the new G-Class and the historic 460 series, which climbs the steep hill in the vicinity of Graz Airport without any problems in first gear. “On the occasion of the 500,000th anniversary, we would like to thank our loyal customers and long-time fans as well as our employees and our production partner Magna Steyr. We are proud of this number, which also underscores the exclusivity of the G-Class. This makes the G-Class anything but a mass product,” says Emmerich Schiller, who is responsible for the off-road vehicle product area future of the off-road vehicle icon.”

And if you can’t wait for the electric version next year, you can secure one of the 461 anniversary models of the 500,000 G-Class – if you’re very fast. The agave green Mercedes G 500 lures its fans with aluminum rims in a classic design, yellow indicators, checkered fabric seats, 500,000 grab handles and Schöckl door sills. And if it should get as hot as on the road trip to Graz, electric windows and automatic air conditioning, among other things, help.