A giant wide-track design and 37-inch tires run much of the hardcore offroad tech from the AMG G63 6×6, but under the skin of the standard G-Class. This G500 runs the latest 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 from the AMG GT, but retuned to have rock-crushing torque at all times versus peaky high-rev horsepower. Even so, 422 ponies is plenty when riding this high off the earth below!
Mercedes calls this a concept, but the G500 4×4-squared is almost a sure-thing for limited-production this summertime. Ditto on the new drivetrain and turbo V8 becoming the base US-model Galendewagen for the 2016 model-year.
Intriguingly, Mercedes also mentions a LWB G500 in the specs below. We are looking at the SWB model in these photos, with the giant tires. But a long-wheelbase version on street rubber might be a production ‘G63 Black Series’ we dreamed up in digital form a half-year ago!
G63 Black Series Renderings
2015 Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4²
THE G-CLASS SQUARED
Stuttgart. Only a G-Class can better a G-Class. This is the credo followed by the developers with the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6, and they are now stepping up a gear with the G 500 4×4². The basic recipe for this overcomer of everything is simple: take the superior all-wheel-drive powertrain including portal axles from the 6×6 – take away one axle – and blend it all with a newly-developed variable chassis and the series-production G-Class body. A large pinch of V8 power with 422 hp, a set of 22-inch 325/55 R 22-sized wheels, carbon-fibre detachable body parts and then just gourmet ingredients from the seductive designo Exclusive range for the interior – and the 5-star menu for all off-road enthusiasts is ready.
A new addition to the extreme G-Class model family: the G 63 AMG 6×6 has a model brother in the form of the G 500 4×4². The near-series show car is a new highlight in the superlative-rich history of the G-Class and blends all the advantages of the model series. The series-production models of the G-Class supply the unshakeable foundations in the form of the body and ladder-type frame, which compensate for the considerably increased performance of the G 500 4×4² without any problem and also without any type of reinforcements. The G 63 AMG 6×6 donates an amended version of the ruggedly determined permanent all-wheel-drive powertrain with portal axles. The engine compartment houses a completely new V8 engine with a displacement of four litres, direct injection and biturbocharging. Also new is the chassis with dual spring/damper struts and adjustable damping. Finally, on the inside, the G 500 4×4² occupants enjoy comfort and an ambience on a par with a luxury saloon.
New engine offers V8 biturbo power
The 4.0 litre V8 biturbo engine in the G 500 4×4² stands out for its sublime power delivery, the targeted lightweight construction, as well as its high efficiency. The newly developed eight-cylinder features twin turbochargers which are not mounted on the outside of the cylinder banks but rather inside the V configuration – what is known as the ‘hot inside V’. The advantages lie in the compact engine design, the optimum response and the low exhaust gas emissions. The piezo direct petrol injection used exclusively at Mercedes-Benz is responsible for the mixture formation. The spray-guided combustion process has been enhanced in the third generation to meet all future statutory requirements. In series production, the highly efficient and economical 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine would meet the Euro 6 emission standard, including the maximum particulate emissions level that will not take effect until 2016.
The V8 crankcase consists of an aluminium alloy and ensures maximum strength with the lowest possible weight. The cylinder walls in NANOSLIDE® technology are twice as hard as conventional cast-iron cylinder liners, minimise the inner friction and thus the fuel required and facilitate maximum mileages. NANOSLIDE® was developed by Daimler starting in the year 2000 and has so far been used successfully and reliably in over 200,000 engines since 2006.
Twin sidepipes on both sides in front of the rear wheels modulate the G-typical sound of the G 500 4×4² and master the entire repertoire of potent sports cars – from soft mumbling in neutral through sonorous humming in the partial-load range to emphatic booming when accelerating under full load. A welcome side effect of the sidepipes: there is improved off-road capability, because in the rear area there are none of the usual rear silencers, which could otherwise restrict the angle of departure.
Things are really looking up both on and off-road
In view of the key data for the chassis and powertrain it seems more than logical that the off-road world starts for the G 500 4×4² where other vehicles capitulate. But it is surprising that the new “G” puts in an absolutely convincing performance on the asphalt. Due to the considerably wider track of the portal axles compared with the series-production car (+299 mm), the large 22-inch 325/55 R 22-sized wheels and the adjustable damping with its Sport mode, the enhanced G-Class drives through bends so dynamically that the occupants feel as though they are in a sports car rather than a cross-country vehicle. This also applies to tours on unsurfaced slopes or snow-bound roads, in which case the performance of a high-powered rally car kicks in.
For anyone preferring to use the G 500 4×4² off the beaten track, the optional off-road size 37 x 12.5 x 18-inch MT tyres are recommended. Permanent all-wheel drive, an off-road reduction in the transfer case, portal axles and three differentials lockable whilst on the move will not be found on conventional cross-country vehicles. This results in merciless driving dynamics in all conditions. Even the highest sand dunes are stormed by the show car with ease, whilst rocky terrain is scaled like a chamois, and water is driven through without any problems.
The portal axles developed for versatile applications supplement the off-road portfolio of Mercedes-Benz and are the technical highlight of the G 500 4×4² show car. As opposed to conventional rigid axles, here the wheels are not at the height of the centre of the axle, instead they are situated much further below on the axle heads due to the portal transmission. Therefore, on the G 500 4×4² the ground clearance rises to 450 millimetres and the fording depth – or rather the diving depth – to 1000 millimetres. Here is the off-road data in comparison with the series-production Mercedes-Benz G 500:
|G 500 4×4²||Long-wheelbase G 500|
|Ground clearance||450 mm||210 mm|
|Angle of approach/departure f/r||52 / 54||36/27|
|Fording depth||1000 mm||600 mm|
|Slope climbing ability||100%||100%|
|Track, front/rear||1774 mm||1475 mm|
|Wheel/tyre combination||9.5 J x 22|
325/55 R 22
|7.5 J x 18|
265/60 R 18
At the highest level: the portal axles’ tricks
But the portal axle design has yet more decisive advantages which render complex adjustments superfluous: through the unchanged position of the rigid axles in relation to the chassis, the anchorage points of the suspension, the steering connection and the position of the cardan shafts all remain identical. In addition, the reduction in the portal transmissions balances the huge rolling circumferences in both the off-road and the on-road tyres. The gear ratios, speedometer drive and ABS sensor system also remain unchanged. This reduction in the hub drives also has the effect that the drive torque is first set at the wheel and thus the mechanical loads in the entire powertrain, in particular for the drive shafts, are reduced.
Mobile declaration of independence – the chassis