Car News: Oversteer
The Mercedes G-Wagen Coupe and Cabriolet: the "Other" G-Wagens
The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen lineup has been rapidly expanding recently, adding a host of new models to the 4-door version -- like the 6x6 pickup truck, the off-roader 4x4 Squared and the new G650 Landaulet, which is probably the craziest one yet. But did you know there's also a regular G-Wagen Coupe and Convertible?
Admittedly, those are my terms: Mercedes calls the G-Wagen Convertible the "Cabriolet," and the Coupe is, well, just the 2-door G-Wagen. But both are very cool -- and neither were ever officially sold in the United States.
The Cabriolet is my favorite G-Wagen variant, simply because -- until the 650 Landaulet model -- it was just the most absurd: a 4-wheeler SUV coated with opulence and fitted with (in later years) a power-operated top so you can easily demonstrate to everyone just how cool you are when you drive down the street. Here in the U.S., Land Rover Defender owners scoff at Jeep owners who think they're cool, because Defender owners know the real social hierarchy. Well, G-Wagen Cabriolet owners openly laugh at Defender owners. "A Defender?" they giggle. "Is that all you've got?"
The Coupe is also pretty cool, since it's just a regular G-Wagen except ... shorter (and, theoretically, more maneuverable). I took the above photo of a G-Wagen Coupe in Manhattan's West Village, where it combines the best of all worlds: the attitude and opulence of a regular G-Wagen with the parkability of something smaller. As you can see from its windshield, this added ease of parking apparently didn't save this G Coupe's owner from the wrath of the meter maids.
Unfortunately, neither the G Coupe nor the Cabriolet are offered in any market anymore, as the G-Wagen is now primarily just the 4-door model across the globe -- plus whatever ridiculous new version Mercedes seems to have created this month. But a New Mexico company called Europa still imports these special G-Wagens for drivers who think a normal G-Wagen is just a little too mainstream for their sensibilities.
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.