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Friday, 1 March 2013

Mercedes-Benz's G63 AMG 6x6 Will End You


It's increasingly apparent that German car companies have gone mad. Porsche appear to have made a Cayman that's better than the 911, BMW are just renaming established models and filling every niche in the world (as well as planning to make a big Mini-branded MPV), Audi are using their legendary RS moniker on a small crossover and want your car to be an HD light show that runs on carbon dioxide in the next 5-10 years, and now Mercedes-Benz is releasing an electric all-wheel-drive SLS AMG and the dystopia-ready machine you see in the hollywood trailer-style promo video above: the G63 AMG 6x6.

Yup, that's six wheels and six-wheel-drive. It also has just over 18 inches of ground clearance, five up-to-100% locking differentials - for three axles, which must mean two "centre diffs" - and military credentials thanks to being based on the stuff-carrying 6x6 used by the Australian army to carry up to 3000kg of guns and guys. This is after fitting the regular 4x4 G-Wagen with a 6.0-litre V12 BiTurbo making 603bhp and 737lb/ft (or 1000Nm) of torque to make the G65 AMG, which they call "the most powerful series-produced cross-country vehicle in the world". Jeremy Clarkson should get one of those.

But I'd rather have this 6x6 version, which while it doesn't have a 600 horsepower V12 does at least have the 5.5-litre V8 BiTurbo from the G63 AMG, which makes a healthy 536bhp and 560lb/ft. Seeing as it otherwise has the same running gear as the military one (which uses a 3.0-litre diesel V6), it can probably also haul 3000kg of kids and drum kits, which is impressive. Also impressive is its own 3775kg kerbweight, which is hefty enough to reassure any Range Rovers that were feeling fat this morning. According to development head Axel Harries during visiting hours at a mental institute, it can hit 62mph in just under six seconds, has an electronically-limited top speed of 100mph and can even manage 15.2mpg. That 0-62 time is impressive considering that the admittedly punchy engine has to push 3.8 tonnes of 5.9 metre-long four-door pickup to that speed while putting the torque (through a 7-speed auto) to six 37" tyres.

The styling effectively carries over from the normal G63, except that it's a six-wheeled dual-cab pickup with rails for mounting guns on or holding onto for dear life knowing that if you're on top of it, it can't murder you in the middle of your face. Its own face, weirdly, looks almost as upset as the trembling fool who stands in its way, until you turn the LEDs off, at which point its facial expression is strangely empty and emotionless, like a terminator or something. It also uses two strips of LEDs instead of big round spotlights atop the windscreen. Presumably that's where the extra 0.2mpg came from.

Prices start somewhere far above your annual income; Mercedes say this is the second most-expensive car they make, cheaper only than the SLS Electric Drive, although they said that without actually mentioning the price. Perhaps then the Dubai registration in the above picture is appropriate, and with approach and departure angles of 52° and 54° - much higher angles than the 36° and 27° of the lower 4x4 - Sheik Someoneorother can even take it into the dunes without much trouble. Or drive up a mountain as if it's no big deal. Perfect for the zombie apocalypse or resisting the inevitable Chinese takeover of planet Earth.

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