Originally built as a military vehicle, the G-Class (or G-wagen), is a large luxury SUV that has become a favorite among those seeking amazing off-road performance, brutal torque, and the most imposing road presence around.For the 2017 model year, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class is available in four variants: the standard G550, the AMG G63, the AMG G65, and the G550 4x42. Both G550 models use the same engine, a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V- 8 engine rated at 416 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels via 50:50 permanent four-wheel drive. For the high-output AMG models, the G63 gets a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 engine good for 563 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque. The G65, meanwhile, gets a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 engine rated for 621 hp and an outrageous 738 lb-ft of torque. Both AMG models use an upgraded AMG Speedshift Plus seven-speed automatic transmission.
The news for 2017, however, is not under the hood, but rather under the chassis: the portal axles of the G550 4x42. We've called the new G550 4x42 "hilarious" to drive, and the SUV is full of big: big tires (325/55 R22 Pirelli Scorpion ATR on all four corners); big steps up into the cabin (seven-foot, four-inch overall height); and big ground clearance (17.2 inches total). Basically a two-axle version of the 6x6 introduced for the 2014 model year, but without the AMG badge (or the hand-built engine from Affalterbach), the G550 4x42 is destined for legendary status among bonkers super-SUV aficionados. Two springs and two dampers per wheel help control body motion. One of each pair of dampers is adjustable, offering Comfort and Sport modes as alternatives to the default tune.