Graz, Austria - Most carmakers get upset when the reaction to a new model is “It looks just like the old one!” For the Mercedes-Benz G-Class crew at Magna-Steyr in Graz, that’s music to their ears.

The rugged, boxy shape of the G-Class has been a constant since the model was first introduced, 300 000 units ago, in 1979; the development staff know that’s what customers want. What they don’t want, however, is a military grade bare-metal interior with no more than basic features, a harsh ride and an inordinate thirst.

So the 2018 G-Class is longer, wider and bigger inside - but 170kg lighter than its predecessor - with a leather-lined interior that’s more business class than bundu-basher, recognisably Mercedes-Benz.

The whitecoats at AMG were called in to smooth out the suspension with special anti-roll technology to stop you from getting seasick at highway speeds, while giving it almost as much articulation in the rough as its agricultural cousin the Unimog.

In this behind-the-scenes development video, the people who made the new G-Class describe why it is the way it is, and how it got that way. Most of it is in German, however, So don’t forget to hit the CC button at bottom left for English subtitles.