Stuttgart - We’ll have to wait until next month’s Detroit Auto Show to see the new G-Class in all its predictably brick-shaped glory, but to tide us over until then Mercedes has offered up some pics of the luxury offroader’s interior.

As expected the next Gelandewagen inherits plenty of technology and design themes from the brand’s existing models - namely a pair of 31.2cm digital displays which are arranged side-by-side to form one giant widescreen instrument cluster/multimedia interface just as in latest E and S-Class sedans. This setup is reserved for higher trim levels though, as lower spec models will retain more conventional analogue gauges with a smaller LCD trip computer positioned between them.

The steering wheel is also carried over from E and S, and features the same Blackberry-style haptic thumb pads for controlling content within the two dashboard screens.

The dashboard as a whole is similar in shape to the outgoing model’s, in that it’s quite shallow without much depth between its face and the windscreen. It has been extensively modernised, however, with square speaker grills (as part of an optional 16-speaker Burmester system) protruding at either end to mimic the turn signal lenses on the front fender tops, and circular centre vents designed to resemble the SUV’s historically round headlights.

Merc’s now ubiquitous curved touchpad for infotainment control, which does duty in nearly all other models, makes its way into the G-Class for the first time and the revised centre console layout has also freed up space for two proper cup holders - something previous G-Wagen owners have sorely missed.

Mercedes says that as standard the G-Class comes with a choice of black, brown or beige leather upholstery, but this can be upgraded to other colours with various optional interior packages. As before cabin materials include top notch suede-like headliners, fine nappa leathers, and open pore wood or carbonfibre trim pieces, but it’s all arranged with a much slicker, 21st century look and feel.

The current generation G-Class cabin has for the most part kept the same cramped dimension since the original was launched in 1972, but the new one has maximised space with clever packaging. The rear seat bench now splits in a 60/40 configuration, and it’s been moved further back into the cargo hold for an extra 15cm of legroom. This in turn allows front seats to gain almost 4cm in legroom, while elbow and shoulder room also increases significantly for both seating rows.

IOL Motoring