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The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen will soon see the addition of a pair of new, more affordable models in the form of the G300 from early 2017.

The new model – well, not really new, because the Gelandewagen has been around for quite some time now! – will be offered in two body styles: a single-cab-chassis utility with two seats, or a four-seat station wagon.

Mercedes-Benz Australia senior manager of public relations, product and corporate communications, David McCarthy, said the addition of these two new “civilian” models comes off the back of a three-year project to get rugged versions of the G-Wagen to bulk buyers.

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“Currently we are selling the vehicle but only to government and fleet, and direct from here,” he said, indicating that the vehicles have, until this point, been unable to be ordered through dealerships.

“We want those customers to understand what the vehicle is about and is capable of, and what mods can be made and what equipment is available for it,” he said, before suggesting that emergency services equipment is generally standardised for this sort of application.

According to McCarthy, the brand insisted on changes being made to the G300 model, including the standard fitment of electronic stability control, and dual airbags, which are fitted standard but, under the laws surrounding commercial vehicles, still aren’t necessities.

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That “modification” took some time to get through, according to McCarthy, but he said that the military contract, which saw the order of 2500 G-Wagen models, helped get it over the line.

As for this new specification model, it has a 3.0-litre turbo diesel V6 engine producing 135kW of power and 400Nm of torque. The four-wheel-drive model is fitted with a five-speed automatic as standard.

It’s made for hard work, with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 4490 kilograms, and a gross combined mass (GCM) of 6700kg. The payload of the vehicle is a huge 2080kg.

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The vehicle will therefore compete with the likes of the Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series cab-chassis and wagon models, and will also play in the space left by the Land Rover Defender 110 and 130 models.

It will, however, play on a higher price field than those vehicles, with a list price expected to “start with a one”. And no, we’re not talking $19,990 – more like $109,000, at a guess.

McCarthy said the pricing is still be negotiated, but that it is exempt from the Luxury Car Tax (LCT) due to its duty classification. Currently, the passenger-focused G-Wagen range starts at $163,900 for the G350d and goes up to $233,900 for the Mercedes-AMG G63.

As for fleet buyers, McCarthy said the interest is good.

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“We’ve delivered over 100, and the contracts we have in place will take that up to 250. We have interest from other fire services and ambulance services for remote areas. There is some mining company interest for cab-chassis and wagon,” he said.

Further, there’s an expectation that the fleet sales, as well as retail purchases, should push the annual figure towards 500 units.

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