Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that its portal axled, V8 powered and uber expensive G550 4×4² (four x four squared) will be heading stateside in the new year.
The G550 4×4² is the malnourished son of the G63 AMG 6X6 which owes it’s existence to our armies requirements for a G-Class 6X6 vehicle to replace the old Land Rover Perentie 6X6s.
While the G550 4×4² doesn’t get the G63’s AMG engine, it does run a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 that outputs 310kW and 610Nm. A step down perhaps but not a big one.
Speaking of steps down, the factory fitted, military grade portal axles are standard fitment on the G550 4×4² and they increase standard clearance by a hefty 200mm, providing overall clearance of 436mm. The result is a factory confirmed fording depth of 1 metre.
Each corner is fitted with two individual integral spring and damper units, one of which works conventionally, with set damping characterists while the other is variable and controlled electronically.
Mercedes-Benz claim that this setup allows considerable kingpin inclination between the settings SPORT and COMFORT. The switching time between the two modes is 15 milliseconds.
The G550 4×4² stands at 2.25 metres high, excluding it from most underground carparks and it’s not one for tight parking spaces either with it’s 228mm wider front and 254mm wider rear track.
On the inside the G550 4×4² is mostly the same as other G-Wagens, which means there’s the updated COMAND infotainment system with a larger 8-inch screen and plenty of plushness that you don’t want to get mud on.
Expected in US showrooms early in 2017, the pricing is as yet unknown but expect it to top US$200,000.
It’s definitely a beast, but what we’d really like to see is a less plush, diesel powered version made available in Australia, at a price that doesn’t put it out of reach of all but the most cashed-up off-roaders.
We also believe that given just the right stiff northerly, pigs can indeed fly.