And you thought a Hummer was as big an SUV anyone could want. Behold the mighty new Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6, the goliath of go-anywhere vehicles.
To create this automotive blunt instrument, Mercedes has stretched the regular four-wheel drive, box-on-wheels G-Class by a whopping 43.5 inches. That gives enough space to add another axle to turn it into a six-wheel drive.
Throw in a 5.5-liter, 536-hp AMG-built V8 delivering a I-beam-twisting 560 lb-ft of torque and what you have is the craziest, most-extreme road-legal Mercedes ever offered, and the second only in price to the SLS Electric Drive supercar.
And how much will this mega Merc cost when it goes on sale in October? There’s no official sticker just yet, but the company has hinted at a price of 350,000 Euros, which translates to around $457,000.
What that buys you is true exclusivity - only 20 to 30 G63 6x6s a year will be built by Mercedes’ Magna Steyr operations in Graz, Austria.
While this colossus of roads is actually based on a 6x6 pick-up built for the Austria army, there’s nothing militaristic about the interior of this ultimate off-roader. The cabin has more leather than a Coach handbag store and even the pick-up bed is lined in stunning bamboo wood. And gone is the army version’s utilitarian rear three-across bench seat - in its place are twin, power-reclining AMG sports seats.
Just like its 4x4 G-Class sibling, the 6x6 rules supreme offroad. Rolling on massive 37-inch wheels shod with tires the size of balloons, the Merc comes with four air tanks that allow the driver to adjust tire pressures at speed from behind the wheel to conquer every surface, from sand dunes to muddy tracks.
And with a remarkable 18.1 inches of ground clearance and a fording depth of 39.3 inches, this G63 6x6 in pretty much invincible across all terrains.
Who’s going to buy this behemoth Benz? There’s probably a line stretching half way around Mercedes-Benz HQ as we speak. Which pro-athlete on a five-year contract wouldn’t want to add it to his or her automotive stable? Or Saudi prince, or Russian oligarch. And don’t forget all those guys who lament the loss of the Hummer H1.
No, Mercedes’ problem will likely be limiting production to just 30 a year. Everyone knows that when it comes to toys, the bigger the better.