The legendary Gelandewagen started life as a rough, tough military machine before Mercedes-Benz and AMG evolved it into an incredibly profitable premium off-roader. The first all-new one in 39 years is due in 2018, but it won’t follow anything like its ancestor’s path, leaping straight past the workman phase directly into the luxury field. It is likely to remain a hardcore mountain masher, with Benz insisting it will retain its three mechanical diff locks and its hardcore ladder-frame chassis (though it moves from heavy steel to a lighter aluminium construction). Just five parts (including the windscreen washer nozzle and door handle shape) carry over from the original, even though the outgoing car first appeared in 1979. It will see the faithful adoption of much of the S and E-Class interior electronics, including the 12.3-inch flatscreen infotainment systems, and, as an option, even the fully digital instrument cluster. There will be traditional tubular gauges for the diehards, th...

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