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Mercedes G63 AMG 6x6

By raccars Published

Mercedes has taken the idea of its famous G-Wagon and run with it, coming up with something, well, a little special...

The limited edition result harks back to 1930s Nazi Germany but, thankfully, without the political complications. The G63 6x6 is in fact pure fun, conceived to be all things to all men – a rugged, tank-like off-roader, a hot-hatch style speed demon and a luxe-mobile fit for royalty.

This six-wheeled beast boasts a 5.5 litre twin turbo V8, as opposed to the original G-Wagon's 3 litre engine, for 536bhp and a 0-60mph speed of less than six seconds. Its 37 inch wheels should carry it over the most challenging terrains with ease, including rivers. However, interested buyers may find its price tag just as challenging – a wince-inducing £350,000. This is three times as much as the G-Wagon and the most expensive Mercedes in the brand's range. Understandable, then, that sales are to be limited to 30 units per annum and expected to be highest in the Middle East.

This latest Mercedes pick-up might have its roots in the G-Wagon but is by no means the brand's first foray into six-wheelers. In the 1930s, the G4 was produced for the German army, with Hitler said to have owned eight of them. Fifty seven G4s were built as a prestigious vehicle and rugged workhorse for top Nazi statesmen. Unlike the G63 6x6, however, the G4 was not six-wheel drive but powered to the four rear wheels only. Only three original G4s remain in existence, with others having been restored. Hitler gave one of these as a gift to Spain's General Franco and it remains the property of the Spanish royal family.

While Mercedes hopes buyers will be impressed by the G63 6x6's cat-like agility and robustness while mud-plugging, they are also pushing the vehicle's hot-hatch style performance and high-end luxury. It's all slightly over the top but enormously entertaining. Those six wheels are driven by a 7 G-Tronic gearbox with five electronic diff locks to the three axles. The whole comes to nearly four tonnes and is HUGE. It won't be much fun to manoeuvre around a multi-storey.

Realistically, while the G63 6x6 is designed for road use, it's not particularly practical. There's not an awful lot of room inside and it's desperately environmentally unfriendly. Two 159 litre fuel tanks will just about get you 15mpg, but given its target market, most buyers are unlikely to be too worried about that. Should you come across one prowling around the urban jungle, it's probably best to stay out of its way...

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