What started as a military vehicle is now one of Mercedes-Benz's most popular off-road vehicles. Of course, we're talking about the G-Class, and it just reached a production milestone. The German automaker recently rolled out the 400,000th unit from the Magna Steyr plant in Austria.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class: Over 400,000 built since 1979 image

The 400,000th G-Class is a red G400 d, and it will not go to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. Unlike most landmark cars, this one of a kind SUV will go straight to a customer. The lucky buyer is said to be a long-time fan and collector of the SUV. The owner of this significant G400 d has over 20 G-Class models in his collection.

For those who are curious, the G400 d uses a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder turbodiesel engine. It serves as the most powerful diesel option in the current G-Class range, and it's good for 330 PS and a whopping 700 Nm of torque. This model weighs well over 2,300 kilograms, but the grunt this large 4x4 delivers is enough to propel it to 100 km/h in just 6.4 seconds.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class: Over 400,000 built since 1979 image

It took 41 years for Mercedes-Benz to build the 400,000th G-Class. First launched in 1979, the first G-Class models are bare compared to the ones available now. The initial batches had limited standard equipment, and features such as an automatic transmission and air conditioning were options at the time. The most potent version during that era was the 280 GE that had 158 PS and 226 Nm of torque.

Mercedes-Benz G-Class: Over 400,000 built since 1979 image

Fast forward to today and, the "weakest" G-Class around has 100 PS and 144 Nm more than the 1979 280 GE. The 2021 G 350 uses a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo-gas engine that's good for 258 PS and 370 Nm of torque. It also comes with features previously unimaginable in G-Class models, such as a widescreen cockpit, automatic emergency braking, and electronic off-road drive modes.

But even though over 40 years have passed since its launch, the G-Class still sticks to the original formula. It's the hard-nosed, slab-sided, and capable off-roader many have known and loved since 1979.