Mercedes has long been known for high-end luxury vehicles but in the off-road world, they have a rich history of producing some of the most capable vehicles on the planet. Not surprisingly, the Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 6x6 that was unveiled in 2013 was an instant off-road hero despite having a price tag larger than most people’s homes. With 37-inch off-road tires, high clearance portal axles and Ohlins shocks, the G63 6x6 was the stuff that off-road enthusiasts dream of.
It seems Mercedes has another ace up it’s sleeve and from the looks of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4-2 (squared), They’ve created another off-road monster that picks up right where the G63 6x6 left off. The G500 4x4-2 can conquer virtually any terrain in it’s path thanks in part to its use of big beefy portal axles like the one’s found on its bigger brother.
The G500 4x4-2 features a set of portal axles, lower transfer-case gearing, three locking differentials and an optional (mandatory in our opinion) set of 37x12.5R18 Mud Terrain tires mounted on 18-inch Beadlock wheels that can deflate and air up in a matter of seconds allow it to conquer the highest sand dunes, treacherous rocky terrain and even ford water crossings up to 39.3 inches deep. The G500 4x4-2 can do this thanks to the big beefy portal axles that come right from the G63 6x6 and give it more than adequate ground clearance that takes it from 8.3 inches to a whopping 17.7 inches of ground clearance along with a break over angle improvement from 21 degrees to 47 degrees.
Those impressive numbers are achieved thanks to the use of portal axles which not only raise the differential high up and out of the way of trail obstacles, but also further reduces gearing to help spin the massive 37-inch rubber. The higher center of gravity is countered by the much wider 69.8-inch track width that give this new G500 4x4-2 plenty of stability both on and off-road.
Moving all this weight isn’t an easy task but the G500 4x42 gets going in a hurry thanks to Mercedes’ new 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged and direct-injected V-8 engine that pumps out 422 horsepower. This new engine features turbochargers that reside inboard of the cylinder heads in what Mercedes calls a “Hot-V” configuration to achieve a shorter and more efficient exhaust setup that helps reduce turbo-lag. Exhuast gases are then spent out a set of twin side pipes which dump out on each side just in front of the rear tire and give the G500 4x4-2 it’s distinctively aggressive growl.
One of the areas where the G500 4x4-2 differs from it’s bigger brother, the G63 6x6 is in the suspension department. The G500 4x4-2 features dual springs and shocks at every corner to soak up nasty beat up of off-road terrain. One set of springs and shocks are adjustable from inside the cab via a switch on the center console that allows the driver to flip between sport and comfort settings while on the road to deliver sports car-like handling but don’t expect the massive 37-inch Mud Terrain tires to handle curvy canyon roads like the stock 325/55R22 tires.
Mercedes-Benz hasn’t yet said whether they will be releasing the G500 4x4-2 in the U.S. but we think it would be foolish not to bring it over to conquer some of the serious trails out here to set itself apart from the run-of-the-mill country club luxury SUV’s. All we know for sure is that it’s a pretty impressive off-road beast and we can’t wait to put it to the test off the beaten path.