Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² Is A Chunky Off-Roader With A Silly Name

What you’re looking at here is a four-wheeled version of the bombastic Mercedes G63 6x6. ‘But wait!’ I hear you cry. ‘Doesn’t that just make it a regular G-Class?’ Not quite.
What you’re looking at here is a four-wheeled version of the bombastic Mercedes G63 6x6. ‘But wait!’ I hear you cry....

Other than the obvious extra pair of wheels, the 6x6 is blessed with all sorts of hardcore modifications over the regular G, including a considerably higher ground clearance, massive wheels shod in chunky off-road tyres (with arch extensions to suit) and portal axles. And all of that extreme off-road clobber features on this: the G500 4×4².

Once you get over the fact that Four-by-Four-Squared is a hopelessly rubbish name for a car, this all seems like a jolly good idea. Having myself witnessed a G63 6x6 struggling to manoeuvre out of the car park of a swanky Knightsbridge hotel, it’s quite clear the vehicle’s massive size makes it a bit of a faff for the real world. With the G500 Four-by-Four-Squared, you’d have similar terrain bashing ability without the size issues of the 6x6.

However, another aspect you don’t get - as you might gather from the ‘G500’ in the name - is a turbocharged 5.5-litre AMG V8. Instead, this new G makes do with a naturally aspirated version sporting a more modest (but still pokey) 416bhp.

The 4×4² will say a rather imposing hello at next month’s Geneva motorshow. It’s officially being dubbed as a ‘show car’ for now, but a production run seems likely.