RUGGED AND POWERFUL: The developers of the Mercedes-Benz G 500 4x4² think they have a winner. Image: Supplied
STUTTGART, Germany - Only a G-Class can better a G-Class. That's the credo followed by developers with the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6x6 and they are now stepping up a gear with the G 500 4x4².
The basic recipe for the vehicle is simple: take the superior all-wheel-drive power train, including portal high-rise axles from the 6x6 – take away one axle - and blend it all with a new variable chassis and the series-production G-Class body.
A large pinch of V8 power (316kW), a set of 22" 325/55 radial-wrapped rims and carbon-fibre detachable body parts form part of this vehicle.
As a new addition to the extreme G-Class model family the G 63 AMG 6x6 now has a model brother in the form of the G500 4x4². The near-series show car is another new highlight in the superlative-rich history of the G-Class and blends all the advantages of the model series.
The production models of the G-Class supply unshakeable foundations in the form of the body sitting on a ladder-type frame, which compensate for the considerably increased performance of the G 500 4x4² without any problem and also without any type of reinforcements.
The G 63 AMG 6x6 donates an amended version of the ruggedly determined permanent all-wheel-drive with those portal axles.
The engine compartment houses a completely new V8 engine with a displacement of four litres, direct injection and bi-turbocharging. Also new is the chassis with dual spring/damper struts and adjustable damping. Finally, on the inside, the G500 4x4² occupants will enjoy comfort on par with a luxury saloon.
The V8. Mercedes says, stands out for its power delivery, light construction and 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 bi-turbo 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 side pipes on both sides in front of the rear wheels modulate the G-typical sound of the G 500 4x4². A side effect of the side pipes are 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.
The new "G" puts in an absolutely convincing performance on the asphalt, the developers say, 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 as well as the adjustable damping with its Sport mode.
For anyone preferring to use the G 500 4x4² off the beaten track, the optional off-road size 37 x 12.5 x 18-inch MT tyres are recommended, according to the developers. Permanent all-wheel drive, an off-road reduction in the transfer case, portal axles and three differentials lockable while on the move will not be found on conventional cross-country vehicles.
The portal axles developed for versatile applications supplement the off-road portfolio of Mercedes-Benz and are the technical highlight of the G 500 4x4² show car. As opposed to conventional rigid axles, the wheels are not at the height of the centre of the axle, but instead they are situated much further below on the axle heads due to the portal transmission. The ground clearance of the G 500 4x4² is 450mm.
The off-road data in comparison with the series-production Mercedes-Benz G 500: G 500 4x4² Long-wheelbase G 500
Ground clearance 450 mm 210 mm
App/dep angle (f/r) 52 / 54 36/27
Breakover angle 47° 21°
Tipping angle 30° 28°
Fording depth 1000mm 600mm
Slope ability 100% 100%
Wheelbase 2850 mm
Track, front/rear 74 mm 1475 mm
Wheels/tyres 9.5 J x 22 325/55 R 22 / 7.5 J x 18 265/60 R 18
The chassis is based on the series-production G model The new damper adjustment, derived from rally sport, has a decisive effect. Two spring/damper struts running in parallel are used per wheel.
One spring/damper strut works conventionally with set damper characteristics, the second spring strut has electronically controlled adjustable damping, which varies the entire damping behaviour depending on the driving situation.
Optimised tyres are available for the G 500 4x4², especially for punishing off-road trips: mud/terrain tyres (M/T) in size 37 x 12.5 x 18 " on special beadlock wheels.
The chassis is fundamentally based on the series-production G model The new damper adjustment, derived from rally sport, has a decisive effect. Two spring/damper struts running in parallel are used per wheel. One spring/damper strut works conventionally with set damper characteristics. The second spring strut has electronically controlled adjustable damping, which varies the entire damping behaviour depending on the driving situation.
Optimised tyres are available for the G 500 4x4², especially for punishing off-road trips: mud/terrain tyres (M/T) in size 37 x 12.5 x 18 inches on special beadlock wheels.