The wild Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4² has been confirmed for production following its unveiling in lightly veiled concept car form at the Geneva motor show.
Building on the sales success of the earlier six-wheeled G63 AMG 6x6, the G500 4x4² is planned to be produced alongside existing versions of the military grade G-Class, including the G350d, G500, G63 AMG and G65 AMG, at production specialist Magna-Steyr in Graz, Austria.
Mercedes-Benz says unanticipated interest from potential buyers has led to a decision that will result in open-ended production of the new G500 4x4², which is priced at €226,110 in left-hand drive guise and planned to reach showrooms in September.
The starting point for the extreme G500 4x4² is the standard G500. However, with a never-before-revealed production engine, based around the unit used by the Mercedes-AMG GT, a chassis that borrows heavily from that originally developed for the G63 AMG 6x6 and various bodywork tweaks, mean the two models are significantly different.
The G500 4x4² is powered by AMG’s new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine – as used by the new C63 AMG and GT. Set to replace the existing 4.7-litre V8 in a raft of up-market Mercedes-Benz models, the new motor has been tuned to deliver 416bhp and 450lb ft of torque. This Euro 6 compliant engine is planned to replace up to three existing Mercedes-Benz V8 units when it goes into full-time production later in 2015.
Drive is channelled permanently to all four wheels by a reworked version of Mercedes' seven-speed 7G-Tronic automatic gearbox, complete with a separate transfer case and the high and low-ratio gearing from the standard G500. There are also three mechanical differential locks that can be operated on the move.