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.