The Good Oil: Four wheels are good, six wheels are better on your Mercedes-Benz AMG G 63
Search Driven for Mercedes-Benz for sale
We talk a lot about mainstream SUV 4x4s. But it’s a truth universally acknowledged that the way to get the best out of your family SUV off-road is to make it six-wheel drive.
There are great examples from recent years. Hennessey Performance turned a Ford F-150 into the Velociraptor 6x6 in 2017, California company Wild Boar revealed its Jeep Wrangler-based Hell Hog in 2016 and there’s the Land Rover Defender Kahn Flying Huntsman from 2015.
But our favourite is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6x6, for one very good reason: while all of the above are aftermarket conversions, the big Benz is a proper factory job (and before the “Mercedes-AMG” brand became a thing).
The AMG 6x6 was based on the standard (now-previous generation) G-wagen of course, but one developed into a six-wheeler for the Australian Defence Force.
Work on the Aussie army version started in 2007 and by the time it was in service, AMG decided why not build 100 super-luxury versions for the road? Why not indeed.
It boasted AMG’s 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 in 400kW trim and a seven-speed automatic transmission. The power split was 30:40:30 in normal driving (would any drive be “normal”?), but five differentials enabled lockup of all six wheels when needed and the tyres could be deflated for off-roading and then reinflated from inside the cabin, thanks to a built-in compressor.
At the time, AMG said it was designed to “meet all the topographical and meteorological challenges which have stopped other vehicles in their tracks to date”.