The G63 4×4² retains the traditional body-on-frame construction of the G500 4×4², but as with the latest G63 4Matic, everything else is new. Much of the ladder frame is now made of hot-formed high-strength steel and aluminium. Despite growing moderately in size, the kerb weight is actually 131kg less than its predecessor’s, at 2865kg. Torsional stiffness is also claimed to have improved by 55%.
Underneath, the former rigid-axle front suspension makes way for a new double-wishbone arrangement, providing greater levels of wheel articulation than before, as on the G63 4Matic. The rear retains a rigid axle located by four separate links on each side and a Panhard rod. The twin-tube dampers of the G500 4×4² make way for new single-tube dampers. They use magnetic actuation to constantly vary the damping characteristics.
A considerable 113mm increase in ground clearance over the G63 4Matic to 351mm is achieved through the adoption of portal axles, the idea for which originally came with the development of the even more extreme G63 6×6 launched in 2013. Developed specifically for the G63 4×4², they use sturdy-looking gearsets at each end to offset the axle centre line and raise the chassis and body. Also contributing to the greater clearance is the added rolling radius of the tyres.
The result is a 210mm increase in fording depth over the G63 4Matic, which appears rather tame when parked next to the G63 4×4². The approach, departure and ramp angles are also extended by a respective 14.3deg, 7.2deg and 20.3deg over the standard model, at 41.3deg, 36.8deg and 42.0deg.
Extreme? Yes. But not quite as extreme as the earlier G500 4×4², which had a further 99mm of ground clearance, at 450mm, because of the inherent design of its less advanced front axle.
Underneath the bonnet, the latest evolution of AMG’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine provides the G63 4×4² with 577bhp and 626lb ft –161bhp and 176lb ft more than the similarly specified but less advanced unit of the G500 4×4². It runs the same tune as the G63 4Matic and drives through a nine-speed automatic gearbox in combination with a four-wheel drive system that features three separate differentials, each of which can be automatically locked via prominently placed switches within the centre console. A Dynamic Select system provides five on-road driving modes (Individual, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Slippery) as well as three off-road modes (Trail, Rock and Sand).