Mercedes updates G-Class SUV

Mercedes-Benz G-Class

While the British love affair with gas-guzzling SUVs has waned somewhat, elsewhere in the world (places with cheap fuel, predictably) demand for huge, conspicuous off-roaders shows no sign of slowing. And they don't get much bigger or more conspicuous than the Mercedes G-Class, which has just received a raft of updates.

In production for well over three decades, the 'G-Wagen' has been subjected to continual upgrades throughout its life. Chief amongst the revisions for 2015 is the addition of Mercedes' new turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine in the G500 model. Already seen in both the C63 AMG and the AMG GT sports car, the potent new motor develops 422bhp.

Despite being smaller than the outgoing unit, it's no slouch, and will get this 2.5-tonne SUV from 0-62mph in just 5.9 seconds.

Elsewhere in the engine range, the G350 diesel has been tweaked to produce more power and torque, with this 3.0-litre turbocharged unit now able to get the G-Wagen to 62mph in a respectable 8.9 seconds. Mercedes claims that fuel consumption and emissions have also been improved, but exact figures have not been released.

Refreshed Mercedes G-Class

Refreshed Mercedes G-Class

However, for the ultimate in conspicuous consumption you're going to need the fire-breathing AMG models. Available in V8 and V12 guises - in the G63 and G65 AMG respectively - they're just the thing if you need supercar levels of grunt in your leather-lined dune-basher, or you just love the ambience at your local petrol station.

The G-Class's boxy styling has been tweaked for a fresher appearance, too, with the addition of new bumpers and larger wheel arches. Buyers also have a greater selection of interior and exterior colour finishes to choose from.

The Mercedes G-Class is available to order now, priced from £86,445.