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4×4 SQUARED

| 21/02/2015 | 0 Comments

Only a G-Class can be better than a G-Class. This is the credo followed by the developers with the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6, and they are now stepping up a gear with the G 500 4×4².

The basic recipe for this overcomer of everything is simple: take the superior all-wheel-drive powertrain including portal axles from the 6×6 – take away one axle – and blend it all with a newly-developed variable chassis and the series-production G-Class body. A large pinch of V8 power with 310 kW (422 hp), a set of 22-inch 325/55 R 22-sized wheels, carbon-fibre body parts and then just gourmet ingredients from the seductive designo Exclusive range for the interior – and the 5-star menu for all off-road enthusiasts is ready.

Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4² ShowcarThe newly developed 4.0 litre eight-cylinder features twin turbochargers, which are not mounted on the outside of the cylinder banks but rather inside the V configuration – what is known as the ‘hot inside V’. The advantages lie in the compact engine design, the optimum response and the low exhaust gas emissions. In series production, the highly efficient and economical 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine would meet the Euro 6 emission standard.

Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4² ShowcarTwin sidepipes on both sides in front of the rear wheels modulate the G-typical sound of the G 500 4×4². A welcome side effect of the sidepipes: there is improved off-road capability, because in the rear area there are none of the usual rear silencers, which could otherwise restrict the angle of departure.

Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4² ShowcarDue to the considerably wider track of the portal axles compared with the series-production car (+299 mm), the large 22-inch 325/55 R 22-sized wheels and the adjustable damping with its Sport mode, the enhanced G-Class drives through bends so dynamically. For anyone preferring to use the G 500 4×4² off the beaten track, the optional off-road size 37 x 12.5 x 18-inch MT tyres on special beadlock wheels are recommended.

Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4² ShowcarAs opposed to conventional rigid axles, here the wheels are not at the height of the centre of the axle, instead they are situated much further below on the axle heads due to the portal transmission. Therefore the ground clearance rises to 450 millimetres and the fording depth – or rather the diving depth – to 1000 millimetres. The most important assemblies in the front and rear area are well protected by integrated two-piece underguard in stainless steel.

But the portal axle design has yet more decisive advantages which render complex adjustments superfluous: through the unchanged position of the rigid axles in relation to the chassis, the anchorage points of the suspension, the steering connection and the position of the cardan shafts all remain identical. In addition, the reduction in the portal transmissions balances the huge rolling circumferences in both the off-road and the on-road tyres. The gear ratios, speedometer drive and ABS sensor system also remain unchanged. This reduction in the hub drives also has the effect that the drive torque is first set at the wheel and thus the mechanical loads in the entire powertrain, in particular for the drive shafts, are reduced.

Two spring/damper struts running in parallel are used per wheel. One spring/damper strut works conventionally with set damper characteristics. The second spring strut has electronically controlled adjustable damping, which thus varies the entire damping behaviour depending on the current driving situation. With this set-up, considerable kingpin inclination is possible between the settings SPORT and COMFORT, which the driver can select using a button in the centre console. The switching times between the two modes are record-breakingly low, at 15 milliseconds. In extreme situations such as abrupt evasive manoeuvres, the system automatically switches over to the firm setting for the sake of maximum possible handling safety.

The interior appointments make a sportily luxurious impression. The G 500 4×4² offers an exclusive ambience with the designo Exclusive package. The seat bolsters and head restraints as well as the dashboard, centre console and armrests in the doors are styled in black designo leather with white contrasting topstitching. The seat surfaces and door panels are covered in DINAMICA microfibre and impress with their attractive diamond-design quilting. In addition to this there is DINAMICA trim for the roof liner and the body pillars.

Whether and when the decision on series production of the Mercedes-Benz G 500 4×4² will be made depends on the reaction, which the near-series show car receives.

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