Is Mercedes-Benz Bringing the G500 4×4 Squared Stateside?
The Mercedes-Benz G-Class was originally designed in the early 70’s to become an off-road vehicle that delivered safety and comfort. It was developed in Germany and built in Graz, Austria. The company used Mercedes-Benz off-roaders in the Sahara Desert, the German coalfields, and the Arctic Circle as proving grounds for the new model.
Production began in 1979 and it quickly became the premier off-road vehicle. In 1980 one of the most famous G-Class ever produced was used as the foundation for the Popemobile. This special G-Class truck was set up with a clear thermoplastic top to provide additional safety to its notable user.
The G-Class started making its transition into a luxury vehicle in the early 80’s. Automatic transmissions, air conditioning, heating, and more comfortable seats became options during this decade. By the time the 90’s came by, the G-Class was a full-fledged luxury vehicle. Leather seats, wood trimmed interior, anti-lock brakes, and a premium sound system were all options that could be chosen when ordering a new truck from a Mercedes-Benz dealership.
Then the range-topping G500 was introduced in 1996 and included the legendary and widely used Mercedes-Benz V8 engine with 296 horsepower. By this time, over 100,000 G Models had been built in the Graz Austria production plant. The Mercedes-Benz edition that had made the off-road its home had become additionally versatile and it promised to deliver unbelievable performance.
The Modern G-Class
The G-Class has stayed true to its roots. At its core, it is still very similar to the original from the 1970’s. It actually looks very similar, although the 2016 G-Wagen is outfitted with the most technologically advanced bits and pieces available from the Mercedes-Benz first-rate feature catalog.
The distinctive looking G-Class is currently one of the most luxurious, capable, and expensive SUV’s in the market with a base price of $120,000. Unlike most of the SUV’s out there that are basically car-based chassis that have been fitted with bigger tires and slightly raised from the ground, the G500 is just as capable, reliable, and sturdy as the original. It’s a true off-road car from the moment it leaves the factory.
The 2016 base G 550 has a 416 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque 4.0-liter twin turbo engine. Next is the G 63 AMG® with a 5.5-liter twin turbo V8 engine capable of generating 563 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque. And if that isn’t enough power for your needs, you can always purchase the massive Mercedes-Benz AMG® G 65, which boasts a 6.0-liter V12 engine that produces a breathtaking 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque.
All of the G-Wagens put the power on the ground through a 7-speed automatic transmission and when the road gets tough, they can engage their 3 electronically locking differentials.
The Unstoppable Off-Road Vehicle
What does an off-road vehicle need to actually be good at? The short list of items would be:
- enough ground clearance
- steep break and departure angle
- skid plates
- plenty of low-end torque
- wheel articulation
- gripping tires
- and locking differentials.
Ground clearance is first on the list because if you can’t get over an obstacle on the way, you won’t get anywhere. The worst-case scenario would actually be that when you are able to move, you managed to scrape off the whole undercarriage. Next, we have a steep break and departure angles. These are measured between the front/rear tires and the front/rear bumpers. The greater the angle, the steeper to obstacle you can go up and down of. Skid plates are important to protect vital engine components, such as the oil pan, which is usually located on the lower part of the car.
Low-end torque is quite necessary because you have to be able to “crawl” over obstacles whenever needed. Wheel articulation comes in handy when you go over obstacles where one wheel is higher than the other. Tires that can hold onto mud, sand, rocks, or whatever terrain you’re on are also critical to make an effective off-roader of it. Last but not least, locking differentials are the final element of a great off-road car. A locking differential will basically keep your tires from spinning when one or more of the tires are in the air.
The Ultimate Geländewagen
The 4×4 Squared was designed to be the ultimate cross country truck. To sum it up, it has more of everything that the already outstanding G-Class has. This makes it one of the most capable off-road vehicles currently being produced anywhere in the world.
Compared to the regular G500, the 4×4 Squared is taller by 8 inches, almost a foot wider, has steeper approach/departure angles, bigger tires, a modified suspension, military grade locking differentials, and a digital tuning that allows it to use all of the torque available.
The engine and interior are the same, though. It features NANOSLIDE technology on the cylinder walls that has been proven in over 200,000 engines. However, it comes with the same twin turbo 4.0 V8 as the regular version described. Mercedes-Benz selected this engine due to its proven reliability, and its competency in off-road situations.
As for the exterior, it comes in a special lime green hue, it has carbon fiber fender guards and front and rear bumpers especially designed for the 4×4 Squared model. The interior is impeccably assembled and finished with leather upholstery and features premium navigation and sound system.
As seen on official footage from Mercedes-Benz, this new G 500 4×4 Squared will be virtually unstoppable. And as of the latest press release, it seems that it will be available in the US as a 2017 model from your local Mercedes-Benz dealership. Official pricing hasn’t been announced, but all this hardware will likely come at a premium.
It’s a powerful yet smooth vehicle. It features unmatched driving options, which will make your ride memorable and exciting. It’ll take you everywhere you want to go, and you can be sure that it’ll perform at its best. For those who have used Mercedes-Benz off-roaders, they know this to be tried and true time and time again.