The Concept CLA Class is Mercedes’ big debut this year at the 2023 IAA Munich, but the company’s CEO took the stage to make another major announcement. Ola Källenius confirmed reports of a smaller G-Class being in development. While the top brass was talking about the downsized off-roader, a design sketch of a boxy SUV was shown in the background. The 54-year-old described it as a “Little G,” adding it’s going to be fully electric.
The Swedish exec refrained from revealing when the downsized G-Class will hit the market, but since there’s only a sketch for the time being, it’s likely at least a couple of years away. Ola Källenius admitted it’s not going to be an easy task since the newcomer has “some very big shoes to fill.” The three-pointed star “fully understands the responsibility this entails,” adding it’ll be “instantly recognizable.” We’re being told the “Little G” is going to be fun to drive on and off-road.
German business paper Handelsblatt was the first to report about a smaller G-Class back in February. It’s rumored to go on sale in 2026 and ride on the same MMA architecture as the Concept CLA Class presented at IAA this week. If true, it means the more compact G will eschew the body-on-frame platform of its big brother in favor of a unibody construction. According to the original report, it’s not going to be much shorter than the full-fat G but is said to ride substantially closer to the road.
Bear in mind MMA won’t be a dedicated electric car platform in the sense that it’s being engineered to accommodate combustion engines as well. Last year, Christoph Starzynski, Mercedes-Benz vice president of development for electric drive told us the compromises would be made on the ICE side instead of the EV side as is the case today with the EQA and EQB. Handelsblatt has it on good authority the “Little G” will also be offered with traditional powertrains.