Caught! 2017 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG with Portal Axles!
Heavy-Duty Hardware Gives G-Wagen Awesome Ground Clearance
The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen is one of those rare vehicles that have legit credibility with both rich snobs and hard-core off-roaders. Its styling is defiantly retro, barely changed in the more than 35 years of its existence, and it remains a status symbol from the Hamptons to Holmby Hills. Recently, Mercedes has let its engineers come up with some pretty wild variations, the most recent and memorable being the 6x6 model sold in some markets that was reportedly especially popular in the insanely wealthy United Arab Emirates. These spy shots show a G-Wagen with a higher-than-normal ride height, as well as the conspicuous absence of the proverbial transaxle “pumpkin.”
This is a clear indication to us that this prototype is utilizing the portal axle design used on the 6x6 G-Wagen and also made famous by Mercedes’ other off-road icon, the Unimog. We know that the G-Wagen is poised for a redesign that will make it incrementally wider to increase passenger comfort and allow the fitment of standardized seats interchangeable with the rest of the Mercedes-Benz lineup. However, Mercedes is aware of the appeal of the G-Wagen’s block, square-jawed styling, and the exterior is expected to be just a mild evolutionary change from the original. As far as price, you can count on it being well into the six figures, as even the “base” G550 goes for more than $115,000, with the G63 ringing the register north of $137,000. Count on the portal-axle model, if it’s offered in the U.S. market, to fetch $150,000 or more.