One of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class’s unique models is coming to the end of its road — the G500 4x42 will cease taking orders at the end of October 2017, and run out of production by the end of the year, after two years since if first made its way to showrooms.
The full-sized sport utility vehicle was designed for extreme off-road use, thanks to its portal axles. In contrast to the chassis design with traditional rigid axles, the wheels of the G500 4x42 are not centred at the height of the axle, but are located much lower, thus granting a ground clearance of 450 mm and water-fording depth of a metre.
It also widens the track by 300 mm over the standard G500, and allows the vehicle to be fitted with 22-inch tires, shod with 325/55R22 tires. That combination, and the addition of adjustable suspension damping (with a Sport mode for on-pavement performance), also makes it handle pretty good on the road.
And because it gets power from the Mercedes-Benz acclaimed 422-hp 4.0-litre biturbo V-8, it won’t be left behind less-off-roadish vehicles.
The other unique G-Class was the equally-limited run G63 AMG 6x6 — a stretched G-Class platform that added a second powered rear axle, and a pickup bed behind the 4-door cabin. The predecessor to the G500 4x42, it also featured portal axles and had a production run of just two years and 100-plus vehicles.