Extreme Mercedes-Benz G-Class 4x4² caught testing

21 July 2020 - autocar

Extreme Mercedes-Benz G-Class 4x4² caught testing

AMG will once again offer a super-sized, off-road-biased G-Class; price well above £150,000 expected

Mercedes-AMG is testing a new version of its mammoth G-Class 4x4², as spy shots show an undisguised prototype of the extreme off-roader.

Affalterbach is well-known for producing some outlandish vehicles over the years, and the old 4x4² joined the even more bonkers G63 6x6 as two of the most off-the-wall examples. It seems that the formula will be revived for the new-generation G-Class, despite mounting pressure to reduce CO2 emissions across the Mercedes-Benz fleet.

The largely undisguised 4x4² mule seen here features the same traits as the old model: widened wheel arches, a substantially raised ride height and chunky off-road tyres. Also visible is a functional enclosed roof rack that's accessible via a ladder mounted on the tailgate, alongside an external spare wheel.

Likely to be a very limited-run variant, the 4x4² will likely make use of the same 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 as the AMG G63. Whether it puts out the same 577bhp as that model remains to be seen; the old 4x4² was never tuned beyond 416bhp, due to the performance limitations of its tyres and raised chassis, and received the G500 moniker.

Regardless, it should be pretty fast and pretty thirsty. Given the old car weighed nigh-on three tonnes due to the modifications, the new 4x4² could approach that, despite the new base car being a bit lighter than before.

Expect a similarly mammoth price tag to match: the G63 is already nearly £150,000, so this version should sit well north of that.