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Mercedes shows off six-wheeled AMG

Six of the best: The outlandish six-wheeled Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 is unlikely to make it to production, but could be built to order for a few.

Six-wheel-drive Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG for show only, as G-Class gets update


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18 Mar 2013

MERCEDES-BENZ revealed a six-wheeled G63 AMG ute over the weekend, which promises to be almost as rare as it is outlandish.

The twin-turbocharged desert stormer is said to combine continent-crossing capability with limousine luxury, wrapped up in a styling package unlike anything else.

While the hulking giant is unlikely to be mass-produced, Mercedes-Benz Australia senior manager of corporate communications David McCarthy told us it could be made to order – for a price.

“There’s nothing like it,” he said. “There is no plan for a series production but I think if people want one, they will make them one.” “(But) whoever wants to by it, I suspect, would need a lot of money.” The German beast is something of a Frankenstein, with the car-maker using parts from different versions of the G-Class to build the show car.

The powertrain is a thumping 400kW/760Nm biturbo V8 with a seven-speed G-Tronic automatic transmission paired to the regular G63 AMG’s front axle and the rear-twin drivetrain from the military 6x6 version.

While the AMG is not entirely based on the military G-Wagon that is used by the Australian Army, it does have significant off-road capability.

Mercedes-Benz says the vehicle has five differential locks that can be engaged while driving, plus a tyre-pressure control system that allows the driver to adjust the pressure of the massive 37-inch hoops while the vehicle is running.

Using the chassis from the production version as a base, Mercedes-Benz has adjusted the springs and dampers to reflect the three axles of the show vehicle, with the springs including 15 different rates.

The front axle uses reinforced springs from an armoured special-protection vehicle while the first rear axle has been stiffened and the second softened.

Proving that size matters, the six-wheeler is 2300mm high, 2100mm wide and 5870mm long, and weighs in at 3.85-tonnes.

Although it looks unmistakably like a G-Class, it has a few styling flourishes that set it apart.

Carbon fibre has been used for the integrated LED light strips above the windscreen, while huge flared wheel arches and a stainless steel roll-over bar in the load area give it an even more aggressive look.

In keeping with its luxury heritage, Mercedes-Benz has fitted out the interior with either red or light brown designo leather with contrasting stitching, four electric seats with heating and ventilation, while the roof liners and pillars in the rear of the cabin are covered in Alacantra.

Meantime, the regular G-Class (of the four-wheeled variety) received an update earlier this year, and now comes with a completely new dashboard, some external upgrades including a new grille and front fascia and an upgraded 5.5-litre V8 twin-turbo for the G63 AMG that now pumps out 400kW, up from 373kW.

If that isn’t enough, a V12 biturbo that produces 450kw and 1000Nm is also available Down Under.

For buyers that are looking for something slightly more sedate, Mercedes-Benz has added a diesel-powered G350 Bluetec that, like all G-Class vehicles in Australia, will be available on order.

Mr McCarthy said that the changes made to the updated G-Class would see the vehicle continue to be produced for at least the next 10 years.

While there are currently no plans to display the vehicle at any upcoming motor shows, Mr McCarthy said that it could potentially end up on the stand at a commercial vehicles show at some point in the future.

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