Behold the next Mercedes G-Class 4×4 squared blitzing through the snow
There are few cars more appealing to our inner six-year old than a Mercedes-Benz G-Class, a brutal box better known as the G-Wagen. The luxury off-roader is about as practical as a hammer in pottery class, and no less subtle. The only thing that could improve the G 550 would be an even taller, heftier version—which is why the G-Class 4×4 Squared below brings us so much joy.
Witness the next iteration of this lifted-up G, for the buyer who looks at a vehicle with three locking differentials and near vertical approach and departure angles and decides that’s not even close to good enough.
Fun fact: The previous-generation G 550 4×4 Squared was essentially a subdued version of an even crazier, six-wheeled G-Wagen called the G 63 AMG 6×6. Making the 4×4 out of the 6×6 required more than subtraction. How about this absurd engineering: Mercedes dropped two rear wheels, retained the portal axles on the remaining four, and reverted from the truckish body back to the normal G-Wagen box. The result was a Teutonic Tonka truck that could climb up and over pretty much anything in its path and yet displayed reasonably civil road manners.
The newest version can be seen here testing here in northern Sweden, tossing snow like a chunky rally car. As for the testing manager that insisted camouflaging the fenders and roof rack was necessary, this disguise is, shall we say, insufficient.
We can glean a few things from the spy video. First, the 4×4 Squared will likely continue the portal-axle tradition at both ends. Between those axles and the massive tires on the prototypes, expect ground clearance to be stupendous. The previous generation had nearly 18 inches of ground clearance, and metrics in subsequent iterations of luxury vehicles—especially at the G-Class’s price point—tend to do one thing: improve.
The audio reveals some pretty boosty blow-off noises on downshifts as the trucks pull into the parking lot. Expect the same thunderous, turbocharged AMG 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 under the new G-Class’s hood, probably with increased boost to improve on the current (non-AMG) truck’s 416 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. We love that engine in darn near everything Mercedes powers with it, so there’s no reason to think it won’t be well-suited here.
The mules look equally strong on stopping power: Massive drilled and vented brake discs can be seen as the white prototype comes to a temporary stop in the early part of the footage.
Lastly, we get sneak a peek at those neat-looking roof racks affixed to each vehicle. Could Mercedes be preparing the trump card to Lexus’ recently revealed LX570 overlanding concept? Hard to say, but if that is the case, we might need to brainstorm a new word. Overmountaining? Überlanding? You decide.