Meet Merc's new G-Class Squared, now with a bump in AMG power.
Mercedes-AMG has finally introduced the successor to the famous G-Class 4x4 Squared, and we're happy to report that it retained the portal axle setup and added more power.
Thanks to Mercedes' recent EV efforts, the boffins at AMG likely felt that the new Squared could be slightly more ridiculous. The previous model was based on the G550, while the new car is based on the delightfully bonkers G63.
The new model uses the same 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, but it has been tweaked to provide more power. Instead of 416 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, the upgraded AMG-spec motor produces 585 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. That's a slight eight-horsepower increase over the standard G63.
That's all well and fine, but, to be blunt, we're more interested in this off-roader's undercarriage. Unlike the previous Squared, the current G-Class has an independent front suspension as opposed to the last car's solid beam. That solid beam made the previous car terrifying to drive fast. It was fine in a straight line, but your elbows nearly scraped on the tarmac if you asked it to corner enthusiastically.
The coolest part of the undercarriage are the portal axles. If you put the Squared next to the standard model, you'll see the standard car's differential showing. On the Squared, it doesn't appear to be there. It is, but it sits much higher, resulting in much higher ground clearance.
Since the half-shafts are out of alignment with the wheel, they connect via a housing at the axle end. This housing contains a set of gears, so it's basically a tiny gearbox.
A portal axle setup is extremely useful off-road because it increases the ground clearance by moving the differential up high. Since the portal gearbox is located so close to the wheel, there's a smaller chance of it getting cracked by a sharp rock. Also, this looks hella sick.
The rest of the car is nearly as fantastic. It's not as tall as the previous model, but you still get a full 13.8 inches of ground clearance. That's a 4.3 inch improvement over the standard car. Oddly, the side exhaust pipes remain. We guess the risk of crushing them is less. Mercedes-AMG says the new beast can wade through 35.8 inches of water and climb grades up to 45 degrees.
To make it look more robust on the outside, the Squared has wider fender flares, an all-new rear metal bumper bolted beneath the existing bumper, and LED light bars at the front, housed in a carbon fiber case. A set of 22-inch wheels are standard.
On the inside, Mercedes gives customers access to the Mercedes G Manufaktur program. This means customers will have access to a wide variety of exterior and interior colors.
Mercedes says the Squared will be the last of its kind, but details are scarce. The previous version wasn't manufactured in limited numbers but was only on sale for a year. Mercedes-AMG will likely take the same approach this time, and the expected price tag of $250,000 will ensure exclusivity.
It's the perfect way for Mercedes-AMG to wave goodbye to its most ridiculous product before the introduction of the all-electric EQG in 2024.