Mercedes-Benz 6x6

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 drive 

Storm the desert or the mall in this six-wheeler

The largest and arguably most extreme SUV to ever hail from Mercedes-Benz's passenger car operations -- the lunatic 536-hp, six-wheel G63 AMG 6x6.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6
The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 will go into low volume production later this year.

Set to be produced on a limited basis at Magna Steyr's operations in Graz, Austria, this fall, the colossal pickup started life as a six-wheeled military version of the G320 CDI created for the Australian army and is use since 2011.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6

The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 has five differential locks.

The plush, leather-lined civilian version is designed to appeal to some of Mercedes-Benz's most affluent clientele. It comes with a four-seat cabin, six driven wheels, low range gearing, five differential locks and a tire-control system for its standard 37-inch wheels, providing what the German car maker bills as "the last word in forward thrusting power for the beaten track."

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6

The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 includes a truck bed for hauling cargo.

Pricing hasn't been announced, but the head of G-class development, Axel Harries, suggests the G63 AMG 6x6 will be Mercedes-Benz's second most-expensive model behind the new $457,000 (350,000 euros) SLS Electric Drive. Sales officially begin in October.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6

The instrument panel in the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6.

Unlike the military version, which is fitted with Mercedes-Benz's 3.0-liter V6 diesel, the G63 AMG 6x6 gets a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 with 536 hp. Torque is a solid 560 lb-ft and is crucial in providing the shove required to haul the truck's 8,322-pound curb weight.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6

Rear passengers in the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 get comfy seats and a center console.

Another significant change is the adoption of Mercedes-Benz's 7G-tronic seven-speed automatic transmission in place of the old NAG1 five-speed automatic used on the military version.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6

The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 packs some beefy suspension gear

The truck has a transfer case capable of channeling drive between a 0.87:1 high-range ratio for on-road driving and 2.16:1 low-range ratio for off-road conditions to all six wheels in a nominal 30:40:30 split. The power take-off for the rear-most axle is by way of an extra drive shaft. There are five electronic differential locks offering 100 percent lockup of all six wheels, operated by three switches on the dashboard.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6

The driver of the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 can adjust pressure in the tires from switches in the cockpit

At the ends of each axle are the massive 37-inch wheels featuring a bead-plate design. They are shod with 12.5-inch-wide wheels.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6

Large storage tanks hold air to reinflate the tires on the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6.

At 231.3 inches long, 83.1 inches wide and 87.0 inches tall, the G63 AMG 6x6 is 43.5 inches longer, 8.9 inches wider and 10.7 inches taller than the G63 AMG SUV.

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6

The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 and its standard-issue SUV counterpart.

Ground clearance is a whopping 18.1 inches while the fording depth is 39.3 inches -- some 9.8 inches and 15.7 inches more than its standard sibling. At the same time, the approach and departure angles have been increased by 16 degrees and 27 degrees at 52 degrees and 54 degrees, respectively, while the breakover angle has increased by 1 degree at 22 degrees.

The truck's cargo bed continues the luxury theme, trimmed in polished bamboo. But beware, the maximum payload capacity is put at a somewhat disappointing 1,433 pounds. Structural strengthening comes via a stainless-steel roll cage.


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