It looks like one of the biggest, baddest SUVs in production, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, is about to get a whole lot tougher with the arrival of a new 4×4 Squared variant.
Offered on the previous-generation G-Class in G550 guise, the 4×4 Squared option saw the iconic SUV fitted with some serious off-road gear, including portal axles that lent it its now-famous stance. The setup was derived from a 6×6 version of the G-Class originally developed for military use and offered in civilian guise for a limited time.
Our spy shots show a current-generation G550 with the same fender flares and portal axles as the previous G550 4×4 Squared. There’s also a custom roof rack that’s likely fitted with ballast to raise the vehicle’s center of gravity, which engineers often use during testing of stability systems designed to prevent rollovers.
2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4² (European spec)
In the case of the previous G550 4×4 Squared, the ride height was over 17 inches and it looks like the same will be true for the new generation. The previous G550 4×4 Squared also came with permanent all-wheel drive, a reduction transfer case, three differential locks, and of course the portal axles. The latter is what contributed to the raised height: unlike conventional axles, portal axles don’t have the wheels mounted at the axle but lower via individual portal transmissions.
Mercedes hasn’t even said it’s working on a new G550 4×4 Squared. Should production happen, there’s a good chance Mercedes-AMG will offer its own version based on the G63 this time around.
You’d best start saving if you’re interested in parking a new G550 4×4 Squared on your driveway. The last one cost a steep $225,925 and we suspect any new one will cost even more.