Remember when Mercedes promised to take the formidable ¨Gëländäwägën¨ and make it much, much meaner? Well “meaner” hath arrived and sweet merciful highlighter hello– it’s pretty freaking cool.

I was actually shocked when Mercedes offered to let me borrow the G500 4x4². After I had so aggressive pissed on the over-compromisingly hermaphroditic G63 AMG, I figured the company would wash its hands of me.

But you don’t look a four-ton neon yellow gift truck in the grille. Not when it’s quite literally the most extreme street-legal off-road luxury vehicle in the country. Okay, second most, if there are any 6WD versions creeping around.

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This particular G500 4x4² is fresh off the boat from the mutterland; the GPS is so heartbroken it refuses to admit it’s not in Germany anymore, and the speedometer is displayed in kilometers. I didn’t figure that out until people started blowing my big yellow doors off on the way to Santa Monica for last night’s test ride.

Late Friday night we ran hard from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, today we’ll play around in the dirt to check out the Mint 400 and see if all that suspension travel is good for anything besides bobbing back and fourth at stop lights.

What’s it really like to roll through LA with?

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Well, it stands out. An almost impossible task in a place where people regularly spend way too much money on cars. And if a regular G-Class can make you feel better that most, the G500 4x4² is pretty much like getting carried through town on a human-powered throne.

Hope that power doesn’t go to our heads this weekend.

If you happen to be anywhere near Vegas and the Mint 400 race, you can see where racers are on the map in real time this year and track the race clocks as well. We’ll be hard to miss, so flag us down and say hello!


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.