Question: What’s the biggest problem with the new G-Wagen?
If you’re anything like us, it’ll be that Mercedes-Benz insists on calling the thing a G-Class, as if it’s just another class of vehicle in its vast, almost byzantine model range. If we were dealing with anyone but Merc, you’d expect the G to be broken off into its own sub-brand by now.
If you’re from the Lorinser family, on the other hand, you’ll find fault in something that’s perhaps equally specific but resoundingly more fun to demonstrate: You could buy the old G with a soft top; no such luck with the new one.
And, as if to remind us of what we’re missing, the company has tarted up an old G500 cabrio, proving once and for all that the unsung genius of the old G-Wagen is the blank canvas it presents. If you want a proper, military-grade Gelandewagen, it’s yours. If you want to announce your arrival (and that you’re an arriviste), a few decidedly unsubtle tweaks will get you there. And if you crave 100km of headroom, the color scheme of a dachshund, and a woofling V8 under the hood, it might be time to place a call to Lorinser.
Now, if you’re not too familiar with the name, it’s a family-run Merc dealership and workshop near Stuttgart. And for those not too familiar with German geography, Stuttgart is a lovely spot in Deutschland’s southwest. It’s pretty much Germany’s motor city, with names like Gottlieb Daimler, Robert Bosch, and Ferdinand Porsche all calling it home at some point. Also, and this may be beside the point, but so did Georg Herwegh, who must be in the running for the angriest poet ever. But as ever, we digress.
Sportservice Lorinser is what you’ll most likely think of if you know of Lorinser already; it’s a tuning branch of the original workshop, and where you’ll find performance upgrades, aero packages, great galumphing wheels, and so on. The wheels you see here are Lorinser’s own and, being a full 10 inches wide and 22 inches across, likely qualify as both great and galumphing, and very much in keeping with what Lorinser is going for with its droptop G: seriously unserious.
And that brings us to a question. Is Lorinser’s G-Wagen cabriolet a simple statement of what we’ve lost with the new G, a far-from-subtle hint to Merc to bring back the droptop, or a vital mnemonic for modern times, reminding us that life doesn’t always have to be so serious? Thanks to the blank canvas of the G, it really could be any or all of the above, or something else entirely.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.