The G-Wagen SUV (G-Class to the noobs) from Mercedes Benz started life as a rough-and-robust off-roader for the military after a suggestion by the Shah of Iran in the 1970s. By the end of the decade, the German military vehicle had spawned a civilian model, which continues to live in nearly the same boxy shape to this day. While there are quite a few examples of the G-Wagen that can be found in India, its high price and rarity have seen some owners of the Force Gurkha and the Mahindra Bolero modify their vehicles to look like the legendary Gelandewagen (German for cross-country vehicle). Here are five of the best G-Wagen replicas that can be found in India today.
Force Gurkha – Mercedes G-Wagen conversion 1
A Kerala-based car customisation house took on the challenge of making this owner’s Force Gurkha look like a G-Wagen and has mostly succeeded. The front end features original fittings from the German SUV including the bumper, headlights and bonnet. Other features include a roof flattened out to match the one on the G-Class, while the reshaped wheel arches feature fenders from Mercedes.
The rear end of the SUV features new bumpers, LED lighting and, while it may fool most, the rear window is what gives this car away as a replica car. The G-Class features windows that stretch to the rear, the replica features a three-side-window design. This G-Wagen uses a 2.6-litre engine producing a 2.6-litre turbo diesel engine producing 85 bhp and 230 Nm of torque, which is sent to the rear wheels via a 5-speed gearbox with 4×4 low and high gears.
Force Gurkha – Mercedes G-Wagen conversion 2
Here is another Force Gurkha from God’s own country that has been given the G-Wagen treatment and features a 3-slat grille instead of the regular one found on the front of the bonnet. Other changes include different wheels. The cost of this conversion is said to be Rs. 6.5 lakh.
While the Force Gurkha is still somewhat similar to the original G_wagen thanks to its engine, the only thing similar between the Bolero and the G_wagen is the Bolero’s boxy lines, which has allowed some Bolero owners to modify their Bolero’s into G-Wagen lookalikes, Here are three of them.
Mahindra Bolero – Mercedes G-Wagen conversion 1
This Mahindra Bolero has been modified to look like a G-Class SUV by R&T Auto Catalyst, Kerala. The front grille, bumper, headlights, LED bars, fenders and bonnet have been replaced with ones that make the SUV look like the G-Wagen.
The sides feature flared wheel arches and sideboards once again similar to the ones on the G-Wagen, while the rear borrows the German SUV’s tail lamp cluster, and a spare wheel with the Mercedes cover on it. The converted SUV retains the Bolero’s 2.5-litre engine and can easily be passed off as G-Wagen by the common man.
Mahindra Bolero – Mercedes G-Wagen conversion 2
This customisation job on the Mahindra Bolero was done at a cost of Rs. 7.35 lakh by Jeep Studio, Coimbatore. The custom Bolero gets new projector headlamps, LED DRLs, a new bumper and bonnet to make it look like the German SUV. The front and rear tracks of this modified Bolero have been changed to match the German SUV.
The alloy wheels get Mercedes badges and the ORVMs have been filched from a G-Wagen. This wannabe G-Wagen retains the Bolero’s 2.5-litre M2DiCR turbo diesel engine producing 63 bhp and 195 Nm of peak torque.
Mahindra Bolero – Mercedes G-Wagen conversion 3
This Mahindra Bolero G-Wagen wannabe hails from Delhi. The front end looks quite similar to the one found on the German SUV with the Bolero using the same front grille, headlamps and LED lights as the original model. The modified Bolero also sports indicators mounted on the bonnet in a bid to make it look like the G-Class SUV. Another feature similar to the G-Wagen are the side-mounted exhausts.
While the rear isn’t the same as the one on the G-Class, this modified SUV does feature the Gelandewagen’s tail lamps that have been placed vertically instead of horizontally. The Bolero’s engine seems to have been retained as well.