Remember the days when Mercedes-Benz only made understated luxury sedans and utilitarian work vehicles? Those days are over, baby. And one of the most ridiculous Benzes ever, the G500 4x4² that debuted as a concept a year ago, might come to the U.S. market. Aw hell yeah!
Bart Herring, who heads up product planning for Mercedes in the U.S., told Steven Ewing that Mercedes is "very close to a good decision" regarding selling the portal axle-equipped Geländewagen here. The G500 4x4² is mechanically similar to the thoroughly bonkers six-wheeled G63 AMG 6x6 Mercedes built a few years ago. That means it gets high-clearance portal axles to raise its differentials above the center of the wheels, dual shocks at each corner, 37-inch tires, and a track a full foot wider than a regular G-Wagen.
The engine isn't the same roided-out AMG monster you'll find in the 6x6, but a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 which makes "only" 416 horsepower. Hopefully the highlighter yellow paint makes production too, because if you're going to buy a car this over the top, why get it in black?
While the G-Wagen is far from Mercedes' most popular SUV offering, it acts as a halo for the brand. Hence why Mercedes, after nearly 40 years of G-Wagen production, continues to build stuff like this, and the gloriously pointless, twin-turbo V12-powered AMG G65. Like the $217,900 G65, expect the G500 4x4² to be extremely pricey when (and if) it goes on sale here.
That's the price you pay for what is almost assuredly the most capable off-roader you can buy from any factory today—and hands-down the most outrageous.