FOUR WHEELS GOOD, SIX WHEELS BETTER
We can’t understand why 6x6 SUVs aren’t more popular in the mainstream market
In this issue, we’ve talked a bit about mainstream SUV 4x4s. But it’s a truth universally acknowledged that the way to get the best out of your family SUV off-road is to make it a six-wheel drive.
There are great examples from recent years. Hennessey Performance turned a Ford F-150 into the Velociraptor 6x6 in 2017, California company Wild Boar revealed its Jeep Wrangler-based Hell Hog in 2016 and there’s the Land Rover Defender Kahn Flying Huntsman from 2015.
But our favourite is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6x6, for one very good reason: while all of the above are aftermarket conversions, the big Benz is a proper factory job (before “Mercedes-AMG” became a brand).
The AMG 6x6 was based on the standard (now-previous generation) G-wagen of course, but one developed into a sixwheeler for the Australian Defence Force.
Work on the Aussie army version started in 2007 and by the time it was in service, AMG decided why not build 100 superluxury versions for the road?
Why not, indeed. It boasted AMG’s 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 in 400kW trim and a seven-speed automatic transmission. The power split was 30:40:30 in normal driving (would any drive be “normal”?), but five differentials enabled complete lockup when needed and the tyres could be deflated for offroading and then reinflated from inside the cabin, thanks to a builtin compressor.
At the time, AMG said it was designed to “meet all the topographical and meteorological challenges which have stopped other vehicles in their tracks to date”.