Remember Mercedes' monstrous six-wheeled G63 AMG? Well the hyper-exclusive G Wagon truck has now become available with two less wheels, in G500 Squared form.
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Essentially, the G500 Squared is a normal G Wagon with parts and underpinnings carried over from the six-wheeler, and gains power from a new twin-turbo V8. The 416bhp 4-litre unit is similar to the one found in the AMG-GT sports coupe, so uses Merc’s F1 derived ‘hot-v’ packaging, where the turbos sit within the cylinder banks to reduce lag.
To match the new powerplant is an updated chassis, with dual spring and damper struts featuring adjustable damping. Track has been increased by a substantial 299mm compared with the standard G, and massive 22-inch wheels wrapped in 325/55 tyres help create a meatier stance.
This gives the G500 a 450mm ground clearance, enabling it to pass through fording depths of up to 1000mm and tilt at angles of as much as 30 degrees. The G500 can drive up slopes of 52 degrees and down slopes of 54 degrees, making it a seriously capable off-roader.
Mercedes promises that the Squared’s Sport mode provides handling so dynamic ‘that the occupants feel as though they are in a sports car rather than a cross-country vehicle.’ But those more concerned with venturing onto the rough stuff can order their G500 with thicker, 18-inch MT off-road tyres.
One of the Squared’s strongest attributes is its use of portal axles. These axles remain fixed in relation to the car, keeping the suspension, steering and drive shaft in-line. Mercedes claims this helps the G500 to utilise torque more effectively.
A Comfort mode is also available when the Squared is faced with smoother surfaces, and switching to this from Sport takes just 15 milliseconds. Sport mode can be automatically engaged if the car’s systems detect that a tauter ride is necessary to maintain body control.
Added to this dynamic chassis is a rugged exterior, and a cabin lathed in black Designo leather with contrasting stitching. Merc’s diamond-design Dinamica trim is also featured.
We’re in the process of confirming the new car’s pricing, but expect it to substantially increase on the standard G Wagon’s £86,435 starting figure. To put things into perspective, the six-wheeler on which the Squared shares some of its tech retails for a whopping £370,000.