New G-Wagen looks understated compared to 2017 G550 4Ã—4 Squared with highlighter paint job and portal axles.
The newest version of theÂ Mercedes-BenzÂ G-Wagen is more refined and technologically advanced than the model it replaced, but it canâ€™t match the last G-Class when it comes to outright wow factorâ€”yet. Toward the end of the run of the last-generation G-Wagen, Mercedes went absolutely nuts making special versions of it. TheÂ G 63Â AMG 6Ã—6 was the ultimate super-lux pickup. Mercedes-AMG created the G 650 Landaulet, a combination of a G-Class and a Maybach uber-convertible. And we canâ€™t forget the (four-wheeled) G-Wagen on steroids, the Mercedes-Benz G550 4Ã—4 Squared. The hosts of the popular YouTube channelÂ TheStraightPipes,Â JakubÂ andÂ Yuri, sure didnâ€™t. They tracked one of them down and took it out for a tag team test drive.
Fundamentally, the G is an unmistakable design. Even though itâ€™s basically a square on wheels, no other vehicle out on the road looks like it. Itâ€™s immediately recognizable. The G550 4Ã—4 Squared makes it look common by comparison, especially when itâ€™s covered in the eye-searing Electric Beam paint that Jakubâ€™s and Yuriâ€™s test vehicle wears. As if that werenâ€™t enough of an attention-getter, the G550 4Ã—4 Squared also has wide fender flares that are half painted and half exposed carbon fiber.
Those arch over a set of massive 22-inch wheels wrapped in 325/55 R22 rubber, according to Mercedes.
As impressive as those look, itâ€™s whatâ€™s in between them thatâ€™s even more remarkable. The G550 4Ã—4 Squared rides on eight shock absorbers â€“ two for each wheel.
Like the G 63 AMG 6Ã—6, the G550 4Ã—4 Squared has portal axles that keep its differentials nice and high and further away from rocks. They also contribute to its towering stature. Yuri says, â€œSo the ground clearance numbers for this is 18 inches.â€ Jakub adds, â€œWhich is actually approximately double my (first-generation) Ford Raptorâ€™s ground clearance.â€
Unfortunately, since the G550 4Ã—4 Squared is on loan from a dealership, Jakub and Yuri canâ€™t take it off-road. The good news is they have plenty of paved road ahead of them that they can unleash the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 on. Output is 416 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque. After flooring it from a dead stop, Jakub tells Yuri, â€œThat pulls pretty hard for the size of this thing,â€ which is 6,694 pounds of steel, glass and right angles.
Given that itâ€™s a 2017 model, the G550 4Ã—4 Squaredâ€™s cabin is largely the same as it is in other Mercedes-Benz vehicles of the time â€“ excluding the switches for locking the front, center and rear differentials. An abundance of quilted microfiber and gleaming carbon fiber trim dress it up, but donâ€™t distract Jakub from the fact that the rear seat doesnâ€™t provide enough legroom for someone his height.
We love the way the new G-Wagen looks inside and out. We canâ€™t to drive one on- and off-road. As of right now, the 577-horsepower G 63 model is as nuts as the modern G gets. Thatâ€™s OK, though. The last generation of the G-Class ran for nearly 30 years. The newest model has plenty of time to get bigger and bolder.