Automotive

Mercedes sends G550 Squared roaming toward US market

Mercedes sends G550 Squared ro...
"The most capable G-Class ever" 
"The most capable G-Class ever" 
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Mercedes-Benz revealed the G500 4×4² show car at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show
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Mercedes-Benz revealed the G500 4×4² show car at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show
The portal axles raise the entire chassis and body up, increasing ground clearance
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The portal axles raise the entire chassis and body up, increasing ground clearance
Because the axle sits higher than the wheel center, it's able to lift the chassis while remaining in the same place in relation to it
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Because the axle sits higher than the wheel center, it's able to lift the chassis while remaining in the same place in relation to it
Mercedes launched the G500 4x4 Squared in Germany last year
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Mercedes launched the G500 4x4 Squared in Germany last year
"The most capable G-Class ever" 
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"The most capable G-Class ever" 
With a fording depth of more than 3 feet, the new G-Class really swims
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With a fording depth of more than 3 feet, the new G-Class really swims
Known as the G500 4×4² in Europe, the big utility vehicle will follow the US naming structure (G550) when it lands
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Known as the G500 4×4² in Europe, the big utility vehicle will follow the US naming structure (G550) when it lands
The G500 4×4² is made to get dirty
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The G500 4×4² is made to get dirty
Mercedes G500 4×4² 
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Mercedes G500 4×4² 
Mercedes G500 4×4² 
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Mercedes G500 4×4² 
Mercedes G500 4×4² 
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Mercedes G500 4×4² 
Mercedes G500 4×4² 
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Mercedes G500 4×4² 
The G500 4×4²  was originally launched at a price of €226,100
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The G500 4×4²  was originally launched at a price of €226,100
The G550 4×4² will be powered by the biturbo V8 from the standard G550
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The G550 4×4² will be powered by the biturbo V8 from the standard G550
The Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² will make the trip over to the US
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The Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² will make the trip over to the US
It's a brute outside, but it's a Mercedes inside, complete with a standard COMAND infotainment system
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It's a brute outside, but it's a Mercedes inside, complete with a standard COMAND infotainment system
Inside the Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4²
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Inside the Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4²
Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show
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Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show
Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show
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Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show
Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show
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Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4² at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show
The Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4²  has some fun
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The Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4²  has some fun

The Mercedes G500 4×4² gained momentum about as fast as you might expect a hulking 4x4 to do, moving from 2015 Geneva show car to confirmed for production in just a few months, then on to an appearance at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show a few months later. That momentum continues, as the 4×4² will make the trip to the United States, where it will be sold as the G550 4×4² and unleashed upon remote stretches of Utah desert, Pacific Northwest forest, North Carolina mountain ... and a whole lot of good old fashioned highway and parking lot in between.

Mercedes never brought the 4×4²'s more extreme predecessor, the G63 AMG 6x6, to the US, but the 4×4² will make the journey over the Atlantic in early 2017.

The Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4²  has some fun
The Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4²  has some fun

Mercedes worked with the same credo when designing both the G550 4×4² and G63 6x6: "Only a G-Class can be better than a G-Class." We're not sure the improvement is truly exponential, but the G550 4×4² is certainly better in some specific ways than the standard G550. The rugged steel ladder frame is the same – no reinforcements or modifications necessary – but the portal axles lifting that frame toward the sky offer a marked departure from the standard G550 spec, adding an extra 7.9 in (20 cm) of ground clearance (17.2 in/43.7 cm total ground clearance).

The technical highlight of the 4×4² design, the portal axles sit above the wheel center and rely on special gearing to transmit power to the wheel hubs. This keeps the axle-to-chassis positioning unchanged while putting some added air below. Approach/departure/break-over angles improve to 51.6/43.8/47.4 degrees from 30/30/24 degrees on the standard G550, and the G550 4×4² adds on 15.8 in (40 cm) of fording depth for a total of 39.4 in (1 m).

The portal axles raise the entire chassis and body up, increasing ground clearance
The portal axles raise the entire chassis and body up, increasing ground clearance

Driving those portal axles is a 416-hp/450 lb-ft 4.0-liter V8 biturbo with 7G-tronic Plus seven-speed automatic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive. The 4ETS electronic traction control system, three locking differentials and off-road low-range gear help in navigating variable off-road terrain. The dual-spring, adjustable-damping suspension system tunes the ride for everything from ultra-rugged off-road to smooth road driving.

Mercedes hasn't yet announced pricing, leaving blank the box next to the $217,900 2016 AMG G65, $139,900 2016 AMG G63 and standard $119,900 2016 G550 (all prices before transportation charge). When the G500 4×4² launched in Europe, it was priced at more than double the standard G500. Whatever the price, we sure hope an Overland Expo attendee or two gets hands on one and decorates it in roof tents and sliding kitchen equipment.

Source: Mercedes Benz

5 comments
f8lee
Can't wait to see who the first Beverly Hills yutz who thinks "off road" means "park on the front lawn" will be to buy one of these babies!
Richard Schmidt
Oh, wow, the perfect new vehicle for the stupid car market, which is large and growing in size in America. The Germans really know their American market, don't they?
Jonathan Colvin
portal axles but no doubt filled to the brim with leather and other trim for the gliterati/drug dealer who will never take it anywhere it might be scratched. Perfect. If Mercedes could try releasing a functional 4x4 that wasn't a luxury vehicle I'd be impressed but I guess that's not where the profit is.
leondotcom
@Jonathan Colvin yeah sure like you would spend $219000 and take it to rough it up in the country
T N Args
Do Mercedes also still make horse-drawn carriages?