2016 Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4-2 Doubles Ground Clearance, Breakover Angle
Portal-Axle Equipped G-Wagen Offers Awesome Off-Road Ability
We’ve seen spy shots of it, and last week, Daimler tweeted out an official photo of the G500 4x4-2. Today, we have more details on the new Über-G. As expected, it is equipped with portal axles, made famous by Mercedes’ other off-road legend, the Unimog, and more recently, the wild G63 6x6. The capability added by the portal axles is formidable, with the axles more than doubling the ground clearance from 8.3 to a massive 17.7 inches and the breakover angle going from 21 degrees to an incredible 47 degrees. Water fording depth also gets a substantial increase from 23 to 39.3 inches. To accommodate the in-hub gearset of the portal axles, track width has increased from 58 to 69.8 inches.
The G500 4x42 also marks the first appearance of Mercedes’ new 4.0L twin-turbocharged V-8 in the G-Class, rated at 422 hp in this application. The engine features direct fuel injection and a “Hot-V” configuration, with the intakes on the outboard side of the head and the exhaust manifold on the inside, where it feeds exhaust gases directly to the turbos for maximum throttle response.
However, the laundry list of tasty off-road hardware doesn’t end with the portal axles and engine. Dual springs and shocks are used at each wheel. Interestingly, one shock is a conventional unit and the other is adjustable, with Sport and Comfort settings driver-selectable via a switch on the center console. Mercedes recommends 37x12.5x18-inch tires for off-roading and offers 18-inch beadlock wheels to ensure the rubber doesn’t come off the rim, even in a total loss of air. Conventional street running stock consists of 325/55R-22 tires and wheels.
There’s no official word on whether or not the G500 4x42 will be offered in the U.S., or anywhere else, for that matter, but we sincerely hope the answer is in the affirmative, and we can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one to explore its awesome off-road capabilities.