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It’s a G63 6x6 mini-me: Students build R100 000 Merc bakkie clone

2017-07-03 09:16

Lance Branquinho

Tokyo - If you desire the ultimate bakkie and only have R100 000, you are depressingly far from achieving the dream of Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6X6 ownership. 

The world’s most famous double-cab is a rather pricey R15-million investment and then of course there is the issue of not being able to park it in any standard residential garage - or use parking garages when you’re keen on some Woollies snacks or a drink with mates. 

Fortunately, the automotive world is one of unparalleled innovation and the solution to a much cheaper – and more manageable - G63 6x6 is now in the offering. It’s the work of some truly admirable and ingenious students of Japan’s Nihon Automotive Technology School (NATS). These budding professional car fabricators have done a stellar job of creating a disarmingly cute G63 6x6 clone. 

Team of 15 students

The project featured a team of 15 students, in their advanced course syllabus – customization. This team of NATS undergraduates set themselves a design goal of building a G63 lookalike, better suited to Japanese claustrophobically narrow roads and choking urbanisation. 

With a mere R100 000 budget, the NATS student team used two donor Suzuki Jimny JA11s and managed to build an amazingly convincing three-axle G63 6x6 replica. We’re certain the team worked exhaustive hours, but the profit of their purpose is a brilliant vehicle – one garnering much attention, as it rightly should. 

                                                                                              Original Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6X6

Not a true '6x6'

Mechanically the Jimny chassis was lengthened, with an additional (third) axle added. Although there isn’t drive to both ‘rear-axles’, thus not qualifying this project car as a true ‘6x6’, we’d still commend the NATS team for creating something that has four-drive wheels and six rolling ones. 

To achieve a masking of its Suzuki identity and appear as a true Lilliputian G63, the design students fabricated a new grille, front bumper, LEDs and outlandishly proportioned wheel arches. 

If you are an obsessive off-road vehicle devotee, you’d notice the giveaway clues: visible solid-axle leaf springs under the front bumper and characteristic box-shape Jimny doors, but for the most – it’s a fantastically original execution of what a miniature G63 6x6 could be. And all done for a mere R100 000. Remarkable. 

Best of all, these students have built something with the cachet of a true 6x6, capable of accessing an array of parking opportunities that G63 AMG 6x6 owners will never have the privilege of using. 

Read more on:    mercedes-benz  |  lance branquinho  |  japan  |  off-road  |  bakkie  |  4x4

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