By on June 10, 2016

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 4x4² (European model shown)

A new status symbol will soon arrive in the U.S., and its ride height promises to be as jacked as its price.

After tempting Americans buyers from overseas since last year, the Michael Bay-worthy Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4² should begin arriving stateside next spring, the automaker announced.

The G550 4×4² is the ultimate version of the body-on-frame SUV line that started out as a military vehicle in the early 1970s. Keeping the host G550’s body and frame intact, the 4×4² version makes massive gains in ground clearance and track thanks to portal axles.

The setup allows the wheel hub and axle input to be in totally different rooms, with the power transferred to the vehicle’s 22-inch rims via a set of gears. With the hubs riding far below the level of the fixed axles, the G550 4×4² boasts a ground clearance of more than 17 inches, with a track widened by nine inches in the front and 10 inches in the rear.

That swaggering stance is borrowed from the insane G62 AMG 6×6.

Expect to be able ford 39.4 inches of water when a flash flood hits that gully you were tearing up. Permanent all-wheel drive, three locking differentials and an off-road low range setting should help the brute get back up to the Interstate.

Ensuring drivers have the proper motivation to handle the rigors of L.A. traffic — erm, offroading — the 416-horsepower 4.0-liter Biturbo V8 and seven-speed automatic carries over from the plain-jane G550.

Prices haven’t been announced, but expect the 4×4² to comfortably top the $119,900 entry price of the stock G550.

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29 Comments on “Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4²: Hummer Holdouts, Your New Vehicle is Here...”

  • avatar

    I think they’d do better sales by just adding $10,000 in audio equipment and 26″ wheels to the thing. That’s the only G-wagen spec I ever see rolling around here in this desert.

  • avatar

    So it’s 64-wheel drive? These Germans aren’t as good at maths as I’d thought previously.

    A more appropriate name is the G550 UAE.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      I do accept many are sold in the UAE, but here they are not common, but yet not uncommon. I have to see the 6×6 “civilian” G Wagen pickup here.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    4×16, eh? Spider gears in the axle hubs?

    “Expect to be able ford 39.4 inches of water…”

    Green River Crossing, here I come!

  • avatar

    22″ wheels will be just about worthless off road unless this thing comes with 40″ tires.

    • 0 avatar

      Rim size is irrelevant… You can have a 24″ tire on a 22″ rim.. Or a 38″ tire on a 15″ rim. Plus, in offroading the smaller the rim and bigger the sidewall is generally what’s best.

      • 0 avatar

        That’s the point. You need a deep cross section. 24 inch tires on 20 inch wheels is useless (2″ sidewall depth). Deep sidewalls let you air down and get real traction

        • 0 avatar


          No numbers on the wheels, but if you look at the CNET side-view picture, there’s what looks like 8″ or so of sidewall.

      • 0 avatar

        “Rim size is irrelevant… You can have a 24″ tire on a 22″ rim.. Or a 38″ tire on a 15″ rim. Plus, in offroading the smaller the rim and bigger the sidewall is generally what’s best.”

        LOL, it’s VERY relevant in offloading. Running a low profile tire in deep ruts or rocky terrain will fo sho leave you on the side of the trail wondering why you brought pimpin’ wheels to an off-road party.

        Al, yes I’ve absolutely off roaded. Extensively. The last rig I built was a shortened Chevy half ton frame with a 4 link. Dana 60 front/80 rear. HO 305 out of an IROC Z with a 400 turbo trans. 37″-13.5″ Nitto Mudgrapplers on guess what sized rims? 17″ OEM wheels from a 3rd gen Dodge (same bolt pattern as the 2nd gen Dodge that the axles came from).

        I would NOT have wanted 22″ wheels on that rig. But then again, it was a real off road truck.

        I’m sure with enough time, you’ll be able to one up me. I have no doubts given the $h!t you post.

    • 0 avatar

      The tires look like they’re not too far from 40′.

      To the extent that this thing is designed for actual off-roading at all, it’s for sand. The biggest market is the Middle East.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Rolling diameter is very important off road. Do you off road??

      • 0 avatar

        The owner of an ugly rebadged Ford Ranger is going to offer up his alleged expertise whether you want it or not.

        • 0 avatar

          LOL, im just waiting to hear back from him about how his real truck with real “tyres” are superior to my old rig.

          Not to mention he seemed to disagree with me when I posted about 22″ wheels being worthless off-road.

          As if wheel size really effects “rolling diameter”.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Um ………….. ???

            A wheel is the assy. of a tyre and rim.

            So what is a bicycle wheel, a wagon wheel or even an aircraft wheel? A wheel is the final assy.

            The “rim” in some situations can also support tapered bearings that fit to an axle. This type of rim is called a “wheel hub assy”.

            A tyre and rim is called a “wheel assy” or in a shortened version a “wheel”.

            If you are describing rims, then the combination of aspect ratio of the tyre and rim diameter will give you rolling diameter.

            I most any situation larger wheels offer a better ride and handling on improved and tracks. Look at sports cars and performance vehicles they all have “largish” wheels in relation to the vehicle size.

            When funcking around with wheels you must also be aware of your drivetrain ratios, especially this day and age with very high final drive ratios.

            Even off road in low, 1st you can feel a noticeable difference in engine speed, ie crawling.

            A wheel is a wheel, a tyre (tire) is a tyre and a rim is a rim.

          • 0 avatar

            Hmmm, per Merriam-Webster’s first example:

            “one of the round parts underneath a car, wagon, etc., that rolls and allows something to move”


            Sorry Al, I didn’t realize we were this far back in the conversation. Let me know when your ready to talk on the current topic.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Again ummm ….. ????????? and WTF?? I not nit picking here, but the definition you provided is that of what I described as a wheel.

            1. According to Merriam-Websters definition; “that rolls and allows something to move”

            a. How will a “something” ie, motor vehicle be allowed to move with just a rim??

            b. How will a “something” ie, motor vehicle be allowedd to move with just a tyre/tire??

            So, as you see using your evidence to validate your argument I do believe that a wheel is a rim and tyre/tire.

            This would most definitely allow a “something” ie, a motor vehicle to move.

            Try again.

    • 0 avatar

      This comes with 2 sets of wheels & tires. One for on road usage that are big 22″ or so rims and one with bead lock off-road rims & tires.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        I’m currently looking at setting up two or even three different rim/tyre combos for my pickup.

        I’ll keep the pretty 17″ alloys for on road and light off road/beach/sand and have two sets of 16s with a larger offset and much larger side wall with two different tyres to suit the off roading I’m doing.

        I find the 17s with 265/75s are not large enough with too little sidewall. The additional offset I want is to push the vehicle away from the wall of ruts and trenches when you drop into one. This tends to do damage to the doors.

        I’ve added a sort of half/half slider/side step as well to protect the sill.

        I’ve mentioned this before. I’d bet sliders will go the way of the dodo with more stringent crash testing and sliders don’t offer enough protection I find, but side steps greatly limit capability.

        So, if you own a new pickup and want to off road in it, I’d research a little and find out if sliders will have a negative impact on your side airbags etc.

  • avatar

    One hard landing on a sharp rock and it’s time to see if the can of Fix-A-Flat in the back is effective at what it’s designed for.

  • avatar

    Not that I’m buying either one, but I’d rather see the G350d Professional come here.

    The portal axles are really cool though.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    What a beautiful off road vehicle. This G550’s bigger brother the AMG 6×6 G Wagen pickup would be the worlds best pickup. It would make ground beef of a Raptor in wide open situation.

    Where I work we have what appears to be hundreds of 6×6 G Wagens (not AMG) and 4×4 G Wagens in most any configuration you want.

    From dual cab with an 8′ flat bed. Single cabs with a 10′ flat bed, ambulances, 4×4 single cab flat beds, vans, etc. They are all powered by the MB 3 litre V6 diesel.

    They look great and are supposed to do quite well off road. They are also expensive.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m guessing that they don’t have the portal axles though. IIRC those were specifically developed for the AMG model and then also applied to this G500/G550 (USA) model.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        No, only our Mogs have the portal axles.

        I do like the portal axles, but I would not like to pay for servicings or repairs on one of these.

        I’d also suspect not many will use the vehicle anywhere near it’s limits. They will be a fashion accessory to those who can afford it.

        Our ones actually do work and some hard work at that.

  • avatar

    This vehicle might be just perfect for recent problems with flooding in Miami Beach … and Miami Beach residents generally will buy any vehicle as long as it’s rare and expensive.

  • avatar

    Wonder if we’ll see it in Jurassic World 2?

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