We have both good and bad news for fans of the extreme Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² show car. The automaker has confirmed it will build the off-roader, but the price will make it prohibitive for most people: it costs from €226,100 ($255,570) in Germany.
Powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 petrol engine which produces 422PS (416hp) and 610Nm (450Nm) of torque, the G500 4×4² gets portal axles and one pair of wheels less compared to the G63 AMG 6×6 it is derived from.
The model features a considerably wider track compared with the series-production car (+299mm), huge 325/55 R 22-sized wheels and adjustable damping with Sport mode, with Mercedes-Benz saying all these features allow it to drive through bends “so dynamically that the occupants feel as though they are in a sports car rather than a cross-country vehicle.”
But the G500 4×4² shows its true nature off-road, where the permanent all-wheel drive, off-road reduction in the transfer case, portal axles and the three differentials which can be locked while on the move make it exceptionally competent.
Unlike on conventional rigid axles, the portal axles allow the wheels to be mounted further below the height of the axle center. As a result, the ground clearance of the G 500 4×4² increases to 450mm (17.7in) and the fording depth to 1,000mm (39,3in). The G 500 4×4² will arrive in Mercedes-Benz showrooms from December 2015.
As you probably know, all the other G-Class models have recently received improved interiors and powertrains. Besides the G500 4×4², the lineup now includes the G350 d, G500, AMG G63 and AMG G65. Orders can be placed for each of these models, of which the most “affordable” is the G350 d, priced from €89,922. The first of the updated G-Class models will arrive in German dealerships in September.