Mercedes G-Class 6×6: Tyrannosaurus rex

Mercedes G-Class 6x6
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There is no real value for money for the Arab sheikhs who are happy to live in countries where the petrol is way cheaper than water. Thus, Mercedes has built a G-Class pick-up with four luxurious seats, 6×6 wheel drive and bi-turbo V8 AMG engine that can deliver 544 HP.

Surely Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) the mathematician would have coped better with a 6×6 on Sorna island in the second series of Lost World trilogy: Jurassic Park where dinosaurs were raised before inhabiting the Nublar Islands, during their first appearance in Jurassic Park series. But in 1997, Malcom had at his disposal only a Mercedes ML, that appeared in the movie shortly before the global launch of the first generation of modern Mercedes SUVs.

Surprisingly or not, a G-Class 6×6 equipped with two and four doors is already in Australian army’s endowment, the only army in the world that has such a vehicle. This is the only 6×6 model ever built by Mercedes from 1941 until now. Working on this idea, Mercedes has build at Graz plant two versions of G 63 AMG 6×6 meant for individual use. What’s more, at Graz plant is also being produced the current G Class, and, depending on specific request, Mercedes will decide if it will produce in small-scale production this 5.875 meters length monster with a V8 bi-turbo AMG engine, 6 driving wheels and a very luxurious ambiance.

 The G Class 6×6 is the first 6×6 Mercedes built after 1941

We do believe that there will be enough desirous people in the Arab world, where the oil is way cheaper than water and where the fuel consumption doesn’t matter. Mercedes didn’t make public in the technical data sheet the consumption nor the CO2 emissions, but a G 63 AMG equipped with an identical engine, according to the official figures, use 13.8 l/100 km (322 g/km CO2 emissions). Probably in real time, the fuel consumption goes up to 25 l/km, and for a six wheel drive and an additional weight of 1.3 tones, we will have to add another 10-15 l/km at least. Mercedes predicted that this G-Class 6×6 will be similar to a camel in the desert, because it requires a large tank for a decent autonomy and, therefore, the overall capacity of the full tank is 159 litres (96 in the standard tank and 63 in the auxiliary one).

The V8 bi-turbo engine, AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic automatic transmission and the front axle come from G 63 AMG, while the gear reduction unit was combined with the rear-wheel driving system that derives from the 6×6 military version for Australia. There is no „wrong-way”, nor a possible mistake with this G Class 6×6. The incredible traction and the impressive ground clearance will eliminate every obstacle in your way.

 The G Class 6×6 has five differential locks that offer 100 per cent lock up

 Let’s take them one by one. Traction. G Class 6×6 has three switches for system’s electronic control, just like the usual G Class. But, in this case, the switches enable something else, because there are five 100% differential locks in total. Three stages can be chosen from the three switches:

1st stage: the two inter-axle differential locks are being enabled in the transfer case and between the two rear axles.

2nd stage: the two interwheel differentials from the rear axles need to be connected

3rd stage: the front differential is blocked and now, all the five differentials are enabled.

The traction force is now distributed in 30/40/30% ratio to the three axles.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 Showcar, Dubai 2013

The off-road capabilities. Mercedes came up with a rather practical innovation – the portal axles. Instead of the rigid axles where the wheel is centered on the shaft axis, at the portal axles the fixing point is placed above and it is connected to the center of the wheel through a portal gears. Thus, the ground clearance is truly impressive with 460 mm, far higher than the 210 mm offered by a normal G Class. Therefore, G Class 6×6 manages to cross really deep waters of 1000 mm, with 400 mm more than the standard 4×4. Moreover, thanks to these portal axles, the position on the front axles towards the chassis is unchanged, and likewise for the fixing points of the suspension, steering and the drive shaft. The portal gears helps also compensating the huge circumference of the enormous 37-inch tires, so that the gear ratio, the speedometer grading and the ABS sensors shall remain unchanged.

 The breakover angle outruns the G Class 4×4 despite the longer wheelbase

 The huge 422 cm wheelbase makes you consider that the angles, especially the breakover angle can’t be very good. Despite all this, the numbers are even better than at the standard G Class: the approach and the departure angles are at 52 degrees, respectively 54 degrees, a visible increase compared to the standard values of 36/27 degrees at G Class 4×4. And the breakover angle has increased at 22 degrees, compared to 21 degrees at G Class 4×4. Let’s say you get to a really inaccessible place and you hit a rock, the sump and the transmission will be protected by a three – segment stainless steel shield.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 Showcar, Dubai 2013

Just like the Hummer H1, the G Class 6×6 features an inflation/ deflation system of the enormous rear wheels of almost 1 meter in diameter, more precisely at 94 cm. The driver can adjust the tyre pressure in just 20 seconds all the six wheels, from a friendly 0.5 bar fitted for the sand dunes, to the 1.8 bar, required for the on-road used, all this through four switches mounted on the dashboard. The dispatch of this action is ensured by the powerful compressor and the four 20-litre tanks of compressed air placed to the side of the rear wheel arches. With a standard compressor, the same action take around 10 minutes. In addition to this, a normal tyre is no longer air-tight on the rim if the pressure recorded is under 1 bar. The G Class 6×6 can cruise through the desert even if the tyre pressure is at only 0.5 bar, thanks to rim’s special design. The tyre is clamped to the  two parts of the rim with a internal beadlock ring which doesn’t allow it to come off the rim at a low pressure.

The wheels can be inflated/deflated in only 20 seconds from 0.5 to 1.8 bar

 Mercedes also took into consideration passengers’s comfort. The front axle and the first read axle have stiff springs, while the second rear axle has softer springs and the adjustable gas dampers provided by an external supplier, still not disclosed by Mercedes, conferring a high level comfort combined with good dynamics on and off the road.

It is obvious that in the off-road, the ABS and ESP safety systems can be declutched and thus, the G Class 6×6 brakes more effectively.  At a kerbweight of 3850 kg we might be inclined to think that the huge vehicle will simply sunk in the desert despite fantastic off-road capabilities and all the preparation will have no real meaning. But it’s not like this, on the contrary. With deflated wheels and a tyre pressure of 0.5 bar, the footprint of the wheel is much greater and the ground pressure distribution on the six wheels is similar to a human’s with average weight that walks through the desert.

As in G 63 AMG 4×4, in G 63 AMG 6×6 works the same  5,5 litre V8 bi-turbo AMG (M 157 code name) which deliver 544 HP and 760 Nm torque when paired with the AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic automatic transmission. It features three modes – Control Efficiency (C), Sport (S) and Manual (M). Even though, at a first impression, the Manual mode seems more fitted for a sports car, in fact it is not like this at all. On Manual mode, the same pre-selected gear can be maintained and thus, the engine can be raced to the maximum, which is sometimes necessary especially when attacking steep slopes.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 Showcar, Dubai 2013

On the exterior, the G Class 6×6 looks more spectacular than the 4×4 version, due to the front and rear fenders, the flared area is carbon fiber made. You can also notice the four LED lights from the roof and below the two round headlamps, plus the radiator grille with the two bars supporting the Mercedes logo. The silhouette is extended with a third side window and with the ladle that features a stainless steel roll bar. The ladle floor is bamboo made, a durable wood.

G Class 6×6 is a four-seat pick-up and it features the new dashboard with color display from the 4×4 model. The AMG instrument panel has a TFT display, an AMG menu and a separate indicator that shows the selected gear. The gear-shift has embossed the AMG logo, like SLS AMG, and the side sills are white enlightened at every door. The interior is extremely luxurious, similar to S Class level: red or brown designo leather upholstery which covers not only the seats but also the door skins. The dashboard is also covered in leather, and Alcantara and carbon fiber finishes cover the roof and the pillars. This prototype also features electrically powered individual  rear seats, heated and ventilated, the separate central console with designo leather and entertainment system for the back of the car with two monitors mounted on the front seats headrests.

Mercedes has built only two models of this steel monster. If there is demand, it will be produced in small series production. The technical basis is massive and reliable: the engine, the gearbox, the drive train  come from G 63 AMG 4×4 and the 4×4 system from the 6×6 military version for Australia. In conclusion, Mercedes didn’t reveal any possible prices, but we can presume that such a vehicle with this kind of engineering and level of exclusiveness and features can cost between 350-400.000 euro.

Technical data comparison  Mercedes G 63 AMG 6×6/G  63 AMG 4×4

ModelG 63 AMG 6x6G 63 AMG 4x4
Engine typeV8, biturboV8, bi-turbo
Displacement (cmc)54615461
Max.power/revs (HP/rpm)544/5500544/5500
Max. torque/revs (Nm/rpm)760/2000-5000760/2000-5000
Transmission6x6 permanent4x4 permanent
GearboxAMG Speedshift Plus 7G-TronicAMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic
L/l/h (mm)5875/2110/22804662/1760/1951
Wheelbase (mm)42202850
Kerbweight/payload (kg)3850/6502550/650
Ground clearance (mm)460210
Approach/departure angle (grade)52/5436/27
Breakover angle (grade)2221
Fording depth (mm)1000600
Maximum speed (km/h)160210
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)nc5,4
Combined fuel consumption (l/100 km)nc13,8
Emission CO2 (g/km)nc322

You can see how it performs G 63 AMG 6×6 in the desert in this movie with Richard Hammond from Top Gear in action

An interesting comparison between G 63 AMG 4×4 and G 63 AMG 6×6 you can see in the following movie of Head2Head show.