6 wheels, 3 driven axles, 5 lockable diffs…

Last week we reported on the G63 6×6 AMG – after a single road test had been posted to the web, off-roading enthusiasts (in this office and elsewhere) went justifiably green at the thought of something so delightfully over the top. Now, Mercedes-Benz has released more official details on what could be the most awesome bundu-bashing vehicle ever.

The Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen has to be one of the most thrilling off-road vehicles of all time, and while the demise of the Hummer may have had us believing that the G-Wagon is the last authority on off-roading capability, we’ve been proved wrong.

The twin-turbocharged V8 5,5 litre engine under the massive hood of the G63 6×6 produces just under 400kW of power and 759Nm of torque.


Five lockable differentials

Differentials are electronically engaged, and the three-stage pre-select system familiar to G-Wagon drivers still stands, with preselected and engaged locks indicated by yellow and red lights respectively.

With stage one selected, the two inter-axle differential locks in the transfer case are active, as well as the through-drive in the centre differential (driving power and torque to the most rear axle). Stage two additionally locks the interwheel differentials in the two rear axle differentials, and when in stage three, the front axle differential is also locked. Unlike in the series G-Wagons, all lock stages can be selected whether the vehicle is in low-range or not.

Six wheels

It’s fitted with 37-inch wheels and low-range gearing, capable of providing a 2.16:1 ratio for off-roading and a 30:40:30 power split across the axles. The massive tyres can be inflated and deflated from inside the cabin, with truck-like controls and pressure gauges for front and rear tyre pressure allowing for independent adjustment by the driver. A compressor as well as four 20 litre compressed air reservoirs are fitted in the rear wheel arches for this purpose.

Three axles

Remarkably, the three axles articulate independently of each other. Rather than independent wheel suspension, the 6×6 has independent axle suspension. The two rear axles are 1100mm apart on a wheelbase of 4220mm, and are said to be capable of simultaneous, opposing articulation angles.

According the Mercedes-Benz, “the chassis is largely based on the current production configuration, the only difference being that the helical springs and dampers have been adjusted to take account of the changed characteristics of the three-axle model.”

The vehicle is 5875mm long, 2110mm wide and 2209mm “tall”, with a ground clearance of 460mm! That’s 1104mm longer, 226mm wider and 271mm taller than the standard AMG Gelandewagen. Thanks to the portal gears on the axle heads, the wheels of the portal axle are lower than on a traditional, rigid axle where the wheels are centred on the axis of the shaft. Should you find a way to scrape the undercarriage, however, it is protected with three plates of stainless steel underguard. Strips of LED lights are integrated above the windscreen, the gigantic flared wheel arches are carbon fibre and it’s fitted with stainless-steel running boards.

And that’s not all

Its approach angle is 52 degrees and departure angle a whopping 54 degrees, with the break-over angle a respectable 22 degrees (only one degree more than the standard model).

Inside, luxury knows no bounds. The rear bench has been replaced by two plush bucket seats behind the B-pillar, with a fixed centre console. Finishes are in Alcantara leather and the vehicle is equipped with all the features and gadgetry an oil sheikh could desire. The cargo bed is made from polished bamboo and all four seats are electronically adjustable, heated and ventilated.

The G63 6×6 AMG’s top speed is said to be limited to 160km/h and it should reach the 100km/h mark within six seconds, but that’s not why anyone would buy it. In fact, there is no reason this side of Armageddon that you should need something with this level of opulence and redundancy, but we can think of plenty of reasons to want one!

The company is said to be building between 20 and 30 units a year at Magna Steyr’s operations in Graz, Austria. Each unit weighs in at a little under four tons – 3774kg, to be precise.



G 63 AMG 6×6

G 500 Long Station Wagon

Hummer H1

Ground clearance 460 mm 210 mm 406mm
Angle of approach 52° 36° 47°
Angle of departure 54° 27° 37.5°
Breakover angle 22° 21° 35°
Tilt angle 30° (58%) 28° (54%) 40%
Wading depth 1000mm 600mm 760mm
Grade Capacity 100% 100% 60%
Length 5875mm 4771mm 4680mm
Width 2110 1884mm 2190mm
Wheelbase 4220 (with 1100 between rear axles) 2850mm 3300mm
Height 2209mm 1938mm 1970mm