Mercedes-Benz to Unleash Beastly G 550 4×4 Squared Variant

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

Early next year, Mercedes-Benz will begin selling its “most capable” G-Class ever when the G 550 4×4 Squared reaches North American dealerships.

If the regular versions of the G-Class — which include two already intimidating AMG-powered versions — are not for the faint of heart, then this latest addition to the line will be a force to be reckoned with when the going gets rough.

Mercedes-Benz G 550 4x4 squared 3

Key among what makes this G-Class different are its “portal” axles, which place the axles well above the wheel hub to create extra ground clearance. This is the same design that made the original, military-spec Hummer so special off-road. Mercedes seems proud of the fact that the G-Class’ ladder-type frame required no modifications in the transformation into uber off-roader.

You may need a ladder to get in, however: Benz says the new axle design gives this Deutsch doorstop more than 43 cm (that’s more than 17 inches) of ground clearance, creating quite a stretch from terra firma to floorboard.

Mercedes-Benz G 550 4x4 squared 2

Other tricks up the Squared’s sleeves are locking front, rear and centre differentials and a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 that makes the same 416 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque as it does more pedestrian versions of the G 550. Also common with the standard G 550 is a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Mercedes-Benz Canada says the G 500 4×4 Squared will be available in Canada around the same time as it goes on the sale in the U.S. — in early 2017 — but pricing won’t be announced until much closer to that time. Considering the G 550’s starting price of $127,200, we suspect your budget might need a hand up, too.

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Chris Chase

Chris Chase

As a child, Chris spent much of his time playing with toy cars in his parents’ basement; when his mother would tell him to go play outside, he made car sounds while riding his bicycle or dug roads for his toys in the flower garden. Now he gets to indulge his obsession playing with real cars that make their own cool noises, and gets paid for it.