After 30 years in production the boxy Benz gets a drastic makeover Mercedes-Benz may finally be ready to move past the boxy G-Wagen.

It's served the company well in its 30-plus years in production but, not surprisingly, is starting to look a little dated.

Enter Ener-G-Force, which will be revealed in 1:1 model form at the Los Angeles Motor Show.

It's being snuck through as a "design study" rather than an out and out concept, and Mercedes design boss Gorden Wagener has clearly hinted at its possible future as a basis for a production model.


"The Ener-G-Force is the vision of an off-roader that, while reflecting tomorrow's adventures, also invokes the genes of the Mercedes-Benz off-road icon, the G model.

"Modern and cool, it could also be a clue about a new beginning for the off-road design idiom of Mercedes-Benz," he, or a team of marketing personnel, said in a statement released this week.

That's a really nice way of saying "we know the G has had its day, so we'll wave this flash semi-concept around and if you all like it, we'll make it, if not will chalk it up to an interesting design exercise".

Looking at the muscular proportions, staunch frame and its hyper-modern lines, it is obviously very much inspired by the old G-Class.

It was built at Mercedes' design studio in Carlsbad, California as its entry into this year's LA Design Challenge, which asked manufacturers to imagine a Highway Patrol vehicle for 2025.

The Ener-G-Force's proposed drive train is four hydrogen-powered electric motors mounted on each wheel. Water is held in containers that feed a "Hydro-Tech Converter" that will provide electric power to batteries stored in the running boards. Some of this is pure sci-fi, especially for a model moving towards potential production, but with Mercedes' recent forays into alternative energy-powered machinery it's quite possible.

The AMG SLS Electric Drive that the company introduced at the Paris Motor Show in September boasted four electric motors, one for each wheel, and made 555kW and 1000Nm of torque, making it gruntier than the petrol-powered version.