The 4x4² made a downright decent desert-race chaser at the 2016 Mint 400 (Image: Mark Victor Arnold)

The Mercedes G500 4x4², a rolling caricature of a car built as a monument to what’s possible when engineers develop a sense of humor, will soon be for sale in the United States. Finally, a few wealthy Americans will able to express their extroversion more acutely than they ever thought possible.

The G500 4x4² will be known as the G550 4x4² stateside, because reasons. Otherwise we’re getting the same ladder-frame truck nestling a 4.0 biturbo gasoline V8 that dumps 416 horsepower through Merc’s 7G-TRONIC PLUS seven-speed automatic through three locking differentials and onto to all four wheels through portal axles as the rest of the world.

Those axles are the G500/G550 4x4²’s primary differentiator. They allow the entire driveline to be lifted, thus increasing ground clearance more significantly than taller shocks would on their own.

(Image: Wikipedia Creative Commons)

They’re lifted straight off the AMG G63 6x6, which is not available in the United States but looks just like a regular G-Wagen with six wheels and a pickup truck bed. I’ve been told the truck was originally cooked up exclusively for military applications, and only offered up to the public after Mercedes realized they had more parts laying around than the warfighters needed. But that’s just what a German who claimed to be part of a G-Wagen fan magazine told me.

(Image: Andrew P. Collins)

At any rate, we’re now hearing the 4x4² is U.S.-bound straight from Mercedes-Benz after its availability here was a “definitely maybe” when we drove the truck earlier this year.

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Pricing and exact allocation numbers are being kept secret, but we are supposed to have the truck available through regular Mercedes dealers starting in early 2017.

(Image: Andrew Maness)

As it stands, the most money you can spend on a stock G-Wagen in America is $217,900, which gets you the 612 horsepower V12 AMG G65. The 4x4² actually only costs $219,000 in other markets it’s set to be available. Though don’t forget you’ll need another $20,000 for the “High-Gloss Electric Beam” (“Hochglanz-Elektrolichtstrahl”) highlighter yellow paint job.

(Image: Mark Victor Arnold)

As for how the 4x4² compares to the rest of the U.S. G-Wagen lineup, check out the convenient guide:

-G550AMG G63AMG G65G550 4x4²
MSRP$119,900 (MY16)$139,900 (MY16)$217,900 (MY16)TBA
Length187.56" (plus brush guard)187.56" (plus brush guard)187.56" (plus brush guard)187.56" (plus brush guard)
Width80.9"80.9"80.9"TBA
Height76.9"76.3"76.3"88.0"
Wheelbase112.2"112.2"112.2"112.2"
Curb Weight (lbs)5,724TBATBATBA
Fuel Economy13 / 14 / TBA (MY16)12 / 13 / TBA (MY16)11 / 13 / TBA (MY16)TBA (Bad)
Engine4.0L V8 Biturbo5.5L V8 Biturbo6.0L V12 Biturbo4.0L V8 Biturbo
Displacement3,982 cc5,461 cc5,980 cc3,982 cc
Drive Config.Permanent AWD (50:50)Permanent AWD (50:50)Permanent AWD (50:50)Permanent AWD (50:50)
Performance416 hp @ 5,250 – 5,500
450 lb-ft @ 2,250 – 4,750
563 hp @ 5,500
561 lb-ft @ 1,720 – 5,250
621 hp @ 5,000 – 5,300
738 lb-ft @ 2,300 – 4,300
416 hp @ 5,250 – 5,500
450 lb-ft @ 2,250 – 4,750
Transmission7G-TRONIC PLUSAMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONICAMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC7G-TRONIC PLUS
0-60 mph (sec)5.85.35.2TBA
Top speed (mph)130 MPH130 MPH143 MPHTBA

Mercedes’ press release says they’ve sold more than 250,000 G-Wagens, all handmade in Graz, Austria, since they introduced the vehicle in 1979. That’s around how many Wranglers Jeep sells in a year. For reference, I’ve thrown some of the Jeep’s off-road specs in this comparison chart:

-G550G550 4x4²Jeep Wrangler JK
Max approach angle30°51.6°42.2º
Max departure angle30°43.8°32.3º
Breakover angle24°47.4°25.8º
Maximum tilt angle28.4°28.4°N/A
Ground Clearance (max load)9.3"17.2"10"
Fording depth23.6"39.4"30"

If you’re planning on putting in an order, make sure you spec it with the real military-spec remotely-inflating wheels. You’re going to need more than all-season sport tires to get the most out of this monster drivetrain.

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