Have you ever felt that some vehicles try just too hard to be awesome. The Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6 might just fall into that category. But don’t let it find out you think that, or it’ll grind you into the desert sands like a tyrannical dung beetle.
Everything about the G 63 AMG 6×6 screams excess. But that should go down well with its intended clients, and judging by the official AMG photos – which show the vehicle tearing up the sand dunes of Dubai while camels look on with indifference – it’s pretty obvious who those clients are.
Powering the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6 is a 5.5 litre twin-turbocharged engine which puts out 544 horsepower and 560 lb-ft (760 Nm) of torque. The power is channeled through an AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission to all six wheels. The drive system is derived from a 6×6 version which was developed by Mercedes-Benz for the Australian army.
Clearly, with such a armagedon-ready drivetrain the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6 has pretty impressive off-road performance. It’s ludicrously high ride height allows it to traverse water over 40 inches (1 metre) deep without any problems, while its 37-inch tires allow it to comfortably crawl over rocks which would cripple your average 4×4.
The Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6 isn’t just about rough-and-tough off-roading though. Climb inside and you’ll find soft leather upholstery, four electrically-adjustable heated and ventilated thrones, and a comprehensive infotainment system with large multimedia displays. Even the load bay is built to impress. It’s lined with bamboo and protected by a four-point chrome-plated roll bar.
In the words of Stewie Griffin; “It’s good to have land”.
Below is the official Mercedes AMG press release for the G 63 AMG 6×6:
A look at the key data of the G 63 AMG 6×6 makes it clear that this model’s off-road world begins at a point where anything less than a vehicle with caterpillar tracks would have to give up the fight. Six driven wheels, an off-road low-range ratio in the transfer case, portal axles, five differential locks which can be engaged on the move and a tyre-pressure control system which allows the pressure in the huge 37-inch tyres to be adjusted in record time while the vehicle is running – all these are features which one seeks in vain in conventional cross-country vehicles. Together, they ensure that the G 63 AMG 6×6 has driving dynamics which are more than a match for the toughest terrain. As a result, the show vehicle is able to storm up the highest sand dunes with ease while sand tracks hold no fears thanks to its unshakable directional stability. Rocky terrain is negotiated with all the agility of a mountain goat; traversing a river becomes almost child’s play thanks to the impressive fording capability of one metre. And anyone exploring the on-road performance is certain to be impressed by the catapult-like acceleration of this 3.85-tonne pick-up.
Despite its unique drive technology, the show vehicle does not actually represent a new development in terms of technology. After 34 years of G-Class production, there is such a large array of “G” parts to draw on that the G 63 AMG 6×6 uses almost exclusively series-production components under the skin. A case in point is the drive train: the AMG V8 biturbo engine with 400 kW (544 hp) and 760 newton metres of torque, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission paired with the front drive system from the G 63 AMG and a rear twin drive train from the 6×6 version which has already proven its reliability in service with users such as the Australian army. Plus the ingenious portal axles, which also have military origins, here making their debut in a civilian vehicle.
V8 biturbo from power specialists Mercedes AMG
Much of the credit for the superior performance of the G 63 AMG 6×6 is due to the AMG V8 engine and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission. The AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine develops a peak output of 400 kW (544 hp) and 760 newton metres of torque. Known in-house by the designation M 157, the engine impresses with its technological highlights. The greater thermodynamic efficiency which results from the combination of twin turbochargers, direct petrol injection and spray-guided combustion allows better fuel economy and leads to lower exhaust emissions. Fast and precise piezo-electric injectors spray the fuel into the combustion chambers, ensuring a particularly fine distribution throughout the air in the combustion chamber. An electric low-pressure pump delivers the fuel from the tank to a high-pressure pump in the engine compartment at a pressure of six bar. The fuel pressure in the high-pressure rail is controlled between 100 and 200 bar on a fully variable and demand-related basis, ensuring an agile response in any driving situation. Further highlights of the innovative and unique eight-cylinder powerplant from AMG in Affalterbach include an all-aluminium crankcase, four valves per cylinder with camshaft adjustment, air/water intercooling and alternator management.
Faster shifting with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC
Featuring three drive modes and an automatic double-declutching function for downshifting, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission delivers the drive to the transfer case with low-range ratio by means of a propshaft. “Controlled Efficiency” (C) mode calls up engine and drive control strategies designed to deliver a driving style which is as economical as possible. In the Sport (S) and Manual (M) driving modes, the engine-transmission combination displays considerably greater agility. Here, a brief and exactly defined retardation of ignition and injection during upshifting at full load provides for shorter shift times. Furthermore, in “M” mode, the G 63 AMG 6×6 maintains the gear selected by the driver to the extent that this is permitted by the engine rev limits – a particularly useful feature when negotiating challenging climbs.
The efficiency of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission system is further enhanced with a new fuel economy converter with centrifugal pendulum, friction-reducing bearings and transmission oil thermal management.
Independent and neutral: the chassis
The chassis is largely based on the current production configuration, the only difference being that the helical springs and dampers have been adjusted to take account of the changed characteristics of the three-axle model. For the springs, too, the engineers were able to draw on the comprehensive array of “G” parts, which includes no fewer than 15 different spring rates. While the front axle takes over the reinforced springs from an armoured special-protection variant, the first rear axle has been given a significantly harder spring rate and the second rear axle a softer one. This set-up, together with the rally-proven, adjustable gas-pressure shock absorbers, results in a perfect symbiosis of sporty dynamism and composed comfort, on or off the road.
Macho outside – S-Class inside
Visually, the G 63 AMG 6×6 pickup leaves no room for any doubt as to its true calling. The large tyres on the three axles, the huge ground clearance, the height of almost 2.30 metres and the width of some 2.10 metres as well as the clean-cut lines of the pick-up immediately inspire respect. Like the G 63 AMG and G 65 AMG models before it, the super off-roader with its 5.87-metre-long body has the characteristic AMG brand face with the “twin blade” radiator grille. Other visual highlights include the use of elegant carbon fibre for the integrated LED light strips above the windscreen as well as for the large flared wheel arches while the rear load area section has a distinctive stainless-steel roll-over bar. The load area, which is lined with particularly tough and durable bamboo, can be accessed by means of a tailboard.
Sporty luxury, the hallmark of AMG, is the defining characteristic of the interior. The G 63 AMG 6×6 welcomes its occupants aboard with an exclusive ambience of classic red or light brown designo leather with contrasting topstitching and attractive diamond-pattern quilting. The four electrically adjustable individual seats are heated and ventilated. The rear compartment is equipped with a special centre console while the roof liner and pillars are finished in an Alcantara® covering. The rear panel is trimmed in leather.