This is an old G-Class, to remind us what’s missing in the new one

By topgear, 23 September 2021

Stuttgart-based Lorinser works its magic on an old Mercedes G500 Cabrio

lorinser g-class cabrio

Question: what’s the biggest problem with the new G-Wagen?

If you’re anything like us, it’ll be that Mercedes insists on calling the thing a G-Class, as if it’s just another class of vehicle in Merc’s 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 ’un.

And, as if to remind us of what we’re missing, they’ve 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 62 miles of headroom, the colour scheme of a Dachshund and a woofling V8 under the bonnet, it might be time to place a call to Lorinser.

Now, if you’re not too familiar with Lorinser, it’s a family-run Mercedes 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 also 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. While they’re far from our stein of Schwaben Bräu, it’s not as if they’re not in keeping with what Lorinser’s going for with its drop-top 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 drop-top, 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. 

lorinser g-class cabrio
lorinser g-class cabrio