Mercedes G500 4×4² Off-Roading – Video
Only a G-Class can be better than a G-Class. This is the credo followed by the developers of the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6, who are stepping up a gear with the G 550 4×4². The basic recipe for this all-terrain conquerer is simple. First, take the superior all-wheel drive powertrain – including portal axles – from the 6×6, remove an axle, and combine it with a newly-developed variable chassis and a series-production G-Class body. Then, add a large pinch of V8 power with 416 hp, a set of 22-inch 325/55 R 22-sized wheels, and carbon-fibre parts. Finally, top it all off with luxurious interior features from the seductive designo Exclusive range. Just like that, this 5-star feast for off-road enthusiasts is ready.
A new addition to the extreme G-Class model family, the G 550 4×4² is a worthy contemporary of the G 63 AMG 6×6. A blend of all of the advantages of the model series, this model is the latest highlight in the superlative-rich history of the G-Class. With its body and ladder-type frame, the series-production model of the G-Class forms the unshakeable foundation of the G 550 4×4², and easily accommodates its considerably increased performance without any type of reinforcement. The G 63 AMG 6×6 contributes a modified version of its ruggedly determined, permanent all-wheel drive powertrain with portal axles. The engine compartment houses a completely new 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine with direct injection. It also comes with a new chassis that features dual spring/damper struts and adjustable damping. Once inside, occupants of the G 550 4×4² are able to enjoy comfort and ambience on par with a luxury sedan.
The 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine in the G 550 4×4² stands out for its sublime power delivery, targeted lightweight construction, and high efficiency. The newly developed eight-cylinder features twin turbochargers that are not mounted on the outside of the cylinder banks, but rather inside the V configuration – what is known as the “hot inside V.” The advantages of this configuration include compact engine design, optimum response, and low exhaust gas emissions. The piezo direct gasoline injection used exclusively at Mercedes-Benz is responsible for the mixture formation.
The V8 crankcase consists of an aluminium alloy, which provides maximum strength with the lowest possible weight. The cylinder walls used in its NANOSLIDE® technology are twice as hard as conventional cast-iron cylinder liners and minimize inner friction, thus optimizing the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Daimler began to develop NANOSLIDE® in 2000, and the technology has been used successfully and reliably in over 200,000 engines since 2006.
In front of the rear wheels, twin sidepipes on both sides modulate the G-typical sound of the G 550 4×4², and have mastered the entire sonic repertoire of potent sports cars: from soft rumbling in neutral through sonorous humming in the partial-load range, to emphatic booming when accelerating under full load. A welcome side effect of the sidepipes is improved off-road capability, as there are none of the usual rear silencers that could otherwise restrict the angle of departure.
The chassis and powertrain data make it easy to imagine that, for the G 550 4×4², the off-road world starts where other vehicles are forced to stop. But it may be surprising to some that the new “G” puts in an absolutely convincing performance on the asphalt, as well. Due to the considerably wider track of its portal axles compared with the series-production car (+299 mm), large 22-inch 325/55 R 22-sized wheels, and adjustable damping in Sport mode, the enhanced G-Class drives through bends so dynamically that its occupants feel as though they are in a sports car rather than a cross-country vehicle. This also applies to tours across unsurfaced slopes and along snowbound roads, when the performance of a high-powered rally car really kicks in.
Its permanent all-wheel drive, transfer case’s off-road reduction, portal axles, and three lockable differentials allow those who prefer to take the G 550 4×4² off the beaten track to negotiate terrain that for others is only a dream. Uncompromising driving dynamics are delivered in all conditions: even the highest sand dunes are stormed with ease, while rocky terrain is scaled with agility, and water forded effortlessly.
Versatile portal axles supplement Mercedes-Benz’s off-road portfolio and are the technical highlight of the G 550 4×4². In contrast to conventional rigid axles, its wheels are not at the same height as the centre of the axle, but are instead situated much further down on the axle heads due to the portal transmission. This means the G 550 4×4² is able to achieve ground clearance of 450 millimetres and a fording – or diving – depth of 1,000 millimetres.