It sounded like a great idea at the time: take some European off-road vehicles into the Australian Outback and have them make the first crossing of the historic, 1,900-mile (1,187-km) Canning Stock Route by a manufacturer. The trek was delayed while Mercedes-Benz rushed parts to the expedition after six of its stock G-Class SUVs broke down during the attempt to tout the model’s off-road credentials. Melbourne’s The Age newspaper reported 14 people, including two Mercedes technicians, ...

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