What is it?
The high riding G 500 4x4² is being pitched as a road-going concept but, as with the G 63 AMG 6x6 at its unveiling back in 2012, it has been engineered to production maturity and is likely to go on sale later this year for "more than £200,000" in the UK.
The starting point is the standard G 500, but a chassis that borrows heavily from that originally developed for the G 63 AMG 6x6 and various bodywork tweaks differentiate them.
The G 500 4x4² is the first publically revealed Mercedes-Benz model to receive the standard version of the German car maker’s new twin-turbocharged four-valve-per-cylinder 4.0-litre V8 direct injection petrol engine.
Drive is channeled permanently to all four wheels by a reworked version of Mercedes-Benz’s seven-speed 7G-tronic automatic gearbox, complete with a separate transfer case and the high and low ratio gearing from the standard G 500. There are also three mechanical differential locks that can be operated on the move.
Key among the changes brought to the chassis of the G 500 4x4² is new dual strut spring and damper units that bring adjustable damping control in two modes: comfort and sport. The real party trick, though, is the complex axle geometry. Following the example of the G 63 AMG 6x6, the G 500 4x4² receives a set of specially engineered portal axles in which the transverse tube is positioned above the center of the wheel hub to provide a whopping 450mm of ground clearance. This is more than double that of the standard G 500, which offers some 210mm of clearance, no less.
Mercedes-Benz also says the approach and departure angles have been increased from 36 and 27 degrees to a respective 52 and 54 degrees. The crucial break over angle has also improved from 21 to 47 degrees while fording depth is up from 600mm to 1000mm and the tipping angle increases from 28 to 30 degrees.
Further chassis changes centre around the width of the tracks. They have increased by a considerable 299mm both front and rear, going from 1475mm on the standard G 500 to 1774mm on the G 500 4x4².
Mercedes-Benz has also ditched the standard 18-inch wheels and 265/60 profile tyres in favour of new 22-inch rims shod with rather serious looking 325/55 rubber. Also available are off-road biased Huchinson beadlock wheels.