At the 2023 IAA Munich, Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius made a significant revelation, confirming the development of a smaller version of the iconic G-Class SUV. While unveiling the Concept CLA Class, Källenius unveiled a design sketch of the upcoming “Little G” – a fully electric, downsized off-roader.
The Swedish executive refrained from specifying a release date for the compact G-Class, but considering the current stage of development with only a design sketch available, it is expected to be at least a couple of years before it hits the market. Källenius acknowledged the challenges associated with creating a smaller iteration of the revered G-Class, stating that it has “some very big shoes to fill.” He emphasized that Mercedes-Benz fully comprehends the responsibility and is committed to making the “Little G” instantly recognizable while ensuring it delivers an enjoyable driving experience both on and off-road.
Reports of a downsized G-Class had initially surfaced in February, with German business publication Handelsblatt being the first to provide insights. According to these reports, the compact G-Class is rumored to go on sale in 2026 and will be built on the same MMA (Mercedes Modular Architecture) platform showcased with the Concept CLA Class at the IAA event. Unlike its larger sibling, the smaller G-Class is expected to feature a unibody construction rather than a body-on-frame design. While it may not significantly reduce in size compared to the standard G-Class, it is expected to have a lower ride height, bringing it closer to the road.
Notably, the MMA platform is designed to accommodate both combustion engines and electric powertrains, offering flexibility in terms of propulsion options. Christoph Starzynski, Mercedes-Benz vice president of development for electric drive, had previously explained that compromises would be made on the internal combustion engine side, rather than the electric vehicle side, reflecting the brand's commitment to electrification. Handelsblatt's sources suggest that the “Little G” will also be available with traditional powertrains, providing customers with a range of options when it eventually arrives in the market.