Mercedes G 500 4x4 is mighty mean and bright lime green
The Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4², finally ready to meet the crowds at the Geneva Motor Show, might just be the best factory-prepped expedition off-roader on the market, should Mercedes choose to build it. The short story is that some well-heeled admirers of the G63 AMG 6x6 said, "It's nice, but can you take it down a notch?" And by "notch" they meant "an axle." So the G500 4x4² gets just two portal axles instead of three, and a slew of other features.
The 4x4 squared offers up a standard G-wagen body, but instead of the 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 from the G63, there's a new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 422 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the standard G500, the track is 11.8 inches wider, the street-cred rims being 22-inchers on 325/55 R-series tires. When it's time to get dirty, they can be swapped for an optional set of 18-inch wheels with 37-inch beadlock tires. With that setup and the same wheelbase as the G500 LWB, ground clearance and fording depth are more than doubled to 17.7 inches and 39 inches respectively, the angle of approach goes from 36 degrees to 52 degrees and the angle of departure leaps from 27 degrees to 54 degrees. Breakover angle is bumped from 21 degrees to 47 degrees, a two-piece stainless steel undertray protecting the sensitive bits when you push it. The only parts that get a raised eyebrow are the carbon fiber wheel arches and bumpers, which might behave badly when they meet an immovable granite object.
To escape the sensation of driving the Taj Mahal in urban environments, there's a twin spring-and-damper setup at each wheel. One of the spring-damper combos is electronically controlled and adjustable, and when called into action via the Comfort or Sport mode, takes control of wheel action; even when passive, it will kick in to automatically to stiffen the body if it detects evasive maneuvers.
On top of all that, to remind you that you're in a Mercedes the interior is fitted out with Designo leather trim and diamond-quilted microfiber. Mercedes is going to gauge its Geneva reception before deciding to build it, a hurdle we're sure will be overcome. Car and Driver drove it and verified it's the real deal, with pricing - if it's built - speculated to land between the G63 AMG and G65 AMG.
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