Photo credit: Mercedes-Benz
Just a few years after the official presentation of the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6 × 6, the Kraxler has become a real legend and, in our opinion, still unrivaled. There is also a change Jeep Gladiator 6 × 6 nothing to it. But what makes the G 63 AMG 6 × 6 so special? What is special about the monster from Stuttgart? The key data already reveal that the off-road world for the G 63 AMG 6 × 6 begins where other movables surrender - with the exception of tracked vehicles. Six driven wheels, an off-road reduction in the transfer case, portal axles and five differentials that can be locked while driving are not found in conventional off-road vehicles. This results in merciless driving dynamics under all topographical conditions.
Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6 × 6
The show car even storms the highest sand dunes with ease, sand slopes lose their horror thanks to an unshakable directional stability. Rocky terrain is climbed in chamois-style, water crossings succeed without any problems given the considerable wading depth. And if you try the performance on-road, you will be amazed by the catapult-like acceleration of the 3,85 ton pickup. Despite this unique drive technology, the show car is not a technical new development in the true sense of the word. Thanks to the generously filled “G” modular system after 34 years of construction, almost exclusively standard parts are used under the body of the G 63 AMG 6 × 6.
countless components from the G63 AMG
Example drive train: AMG V8 engine, AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission, and the front drive train was taken over from the G 63 AMG, while the transfer case with reduction was married to the rear double drive train, which comes from a 6 × 6 version, the for example reliably performed its service in the Australian Army.
Technical highlight: the portal axes
The portal axles, newly developed for a wide range of applications, complement the Mercedes-Benz off-road portfolio and are the real technical highlight of the show car. In contrast to conventional rigid axles, here the wheels are not at the level of the center of the axle, but are much further down due to the portal gear on the axle heads. This increases the ground clearance of the G 63 AMG 6 × 6 to 460 millimeters (G-Class series 210 millimeters) and the fording depth - or rather the immersion depth - to 1000 millimeters (series 600 millimeters).
This construction has other decisive advantages that make complex adjustments superfluous: Due to the unchanged position of the rigid axles to the chassis, the pivot points of the suspension, the connection of the steering and the position of the cardan shafts remain identical. In addition, the reduction in the portal gears compensates for the huge rolling circumference of the 37-inch tires, while the gear ratios, speedometer drive and ABS sensors also remain unchanged. This reduction in the wheel gears also has the effect that the drive torque is only set at the wheel and thus the mechanical loads in the entire drive train, especially for the drive shafts, are reduced.
Smart: the middle differential
The through-drive required for the 6 × 6 drive through the differential between the first rear axle and its rear counterpart is technically complex. A very compact solution is used that hardly takes up any more installation space than a conventional differential housing. An additional shaft with an integrated lock transfers the drive torque to the rear axle above the differential. The necessary output to the differential of the first rear axle is provided by a chain.
Five locks obey a precisely coordinated logic
With a total of five mechanical 100 percent differential locks, one or the other driver would lose track of things if they could be switched individually. That is why the engineers have developed a special locking logic that guarantees the best possible assertiveness for all operations. The whole thing is operated electrically using the three switches in the center console with the lock symbols, familiar from all G models. Yellow and red indicator lights indicate the preselected or activated lock:
- Level 1: The two longitudinal locks in the transfer case and in the through drive through the middle differential are active.
- Level 2: In addition, the transverse locks are activated in the two rear axle differentials.
- Level 3: With the locking of the front axle differential, all five differential locks are now active.
All lock levels can be switched independently of the selected reduction in the transfer case. It is in the nature of things that the G 63 AMG 6 × 6 cannot be a cornering artist with a wheelbase of a good 4,20 meters. In order to still achieve convincing agility with the corresponding dynamics around the vehicle's vertical axis, the engineers varied the torque distribution. The drive torque is distributed 30 to 40 to 30 percent between the front axle and the two rear axles according to the key.
V8 biturbo from the power forge Mercedes-AMG
The AMG V63 engine and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 6G-TRONIC automatic transmission play a large part in the superior performance of the G 6 AMG 8 × 7. The AMG 5,5-liter V8 biturbo engine achieves a maximum output of 400 kW (544 hp) and a torque of 760 Newton meters. The unit, known internally as the M 157, impresses with its technological highlights. The combination of biturbo charging, direct petrol injection and jet-guided combustion enables better fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions thanks to its higher thermodynamic efficiency. Fast and precisely working piezo injectors inject the fuel into the combustion chambers and ensure a particularly fine distribution of the air in the combustion chamber.
An electric low-pressure pump delivers the fuel at 6 bar pressure from the tank to a high-pressure pump in the engine compartment. The fuel pressure in the high-pressure rail is fully variable and regulated between 100 and 200 bar as required, thus guaranteeing agile responsiveness in all driving conditions. Further highlights of the innovative, independent eight-cylinder engine from the AMG headquarters in Affalterbach: all-aluminum crankcase, four-valve technology with camshaft adjustment, air-to-water charge air cooling and generator management. A look at the AMG sports exhaust system proves that the acoustic fascination is not neglected: two twin tailpipes placed in front of the rear wheels on each side of the vehicle are responsible for the emotional, AMG-typical eight-cylinder sound.
Shift faster with AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic has three drive programs and an automatic double-declutching function when downshifting and supplies the power to the transfer case with reduction via a cardan shaft. In the “Controlled Efficiency” (C) mode, the most economical driving style possible is the focus of the control strategies for the engine and drive. In the Sport (S) and Manual (M) drive programs, the engine-transmission combination is much more agile. Now the short-term and precisely defined reduction in ignition and injection when upshifting under full load ensures shorter shift times. In addition, in the “M” program, the G 63 AMG 6 × 6 maintains the gear selected by the driver within the engine speed limits, which is a helpful control, especially for tricky climbing.
As measures to increase efficiency, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G ‑ TRONIC automatic transmission has a new fuel economy converter with centrifugal pendulum, bearings with reduced friction and transmission oil heat management. A large amount of fuel makes sense, especially for vehicles that are intended for use in remote areas of the world. This is why the standard tank with a capacity of 96 liters has been supplemented with a 63-liter additional tank. The tank capacity is thus 159 liters in total.
- Innovative 6 × 6 drive with a central through-drive axis
- Enormous ground clearance and fording depth thanks to portal axles
- A total of five 100 percent differential locks
- Powerful propulsion from AMG 5,5-liter V8 biturbo engine
- Short shift times thanks to AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC
As already described, the chassis is mainly based on the standard version, only the coil springs and dampers have been adapted to the changed framework conditions of the three-axle vehicle. For the springs, too, the engineers were able to use the extensive “G” construction kit, which has 15 different spring codes. Both the front axle and the first rear axle received significantly harder springs from the special protection variant, the second rear axle was prescribed a softer spring rate.
In terms of movement, all three rigid axles work independently, i.e. no single-wheel suspension, but a single-axle suspension. The axes interleave independently of one another on the ground and thus always ensure the best possible frictional connection to the ground. In particular, the two rear axles, with a total wheelbase of 4220 millimeters only 1100 millimeters apart, can cross each other in adventurous angles and effectively utilize every possible traction of the ground even on highly contoured terrain.
Only a “G” can be better than a “G”
The adjustable and rally-tested gas pressure shock absorbers are supplied by an external partner. In combination with the voluminous tires, the harmonious chassis set-up impresses with excellent driving comfort with high driving dynamics and driving safety under all conditions on and off the road. If, despite the driver's foresight and the excellent ground and abdominal clearance, the chassis should come into rough contact with the ground, the developers have shown far-sightedness and integrated a robust, three-part underride guard made of stainless steel. The most important units in the front and rear areas as well as on the body belly between the front and rear axles are well protected from impacts and violent bumps.
"... there are strong air pressure changes in a very short time ..."
The design of the tire pressure control system adapts to the high technical level of the G 63 AMG 6 × 6. For the first time, such a system, known from the truck sector, is being used in a car. From the interior, the driver can vary the tire pressure for the front and the two rear axles separately at any time using switches in a special overhead console and check it using a pressure gauge. Thus, the desert travelers are spared the otherwise usual and cumbersome procedure with the manual adjustment outboard. Thanks to a powerful compressor and four 20-liter pressure tanks on the side of the rear wheel arches, the tire pressure is regulated in what is likely to be a world record. For example, the system needs less than 20 seconds to increase the sand-friendly air pressure from 0,5 bar to roadworthy 1,8 bar in the six bulky tires with a diameter of one meter. With conventional systems, it takes around 10 minutes for such a change in air pressure.
The design of the portal axles also has a positive effect on the tire pressure control system. Since the inner sides of the wheel hubs are exposed and the installation space is not blocked by the drive shaft as is the case with conventional rigid axles, the tire pressure can be set directly via a central channel in the wheel hub. The wheels also have an air duct and are connected to the hub with a compressed air hose with a quick-release fastener for possible wheel changes. A stable, screwed hub cover protects the hose connection from possible damage in the field.
Despite 3850 kilos of curb weight: low ground pressure distribution like a human footprint
Normally, the usual wheel / tire combinations do not allow the air pressure to be reduced to 0,5 bar when driving in sand. Here 1,0 bar is the lowest limit, because below this low pressure the tires can jump off during steering maneuvers or penetrating sand infiltrates the sealing surface between the tire and the rim and thus leads to a creeping flat tire. Not so with the G 63 AMG 6 × 6. Special, two-part 45,7 cm (18 inch) beadlock rims are used here. With this design, the tire is clamped so tightly between the two rim halves and an inner beadlock ring during assembly that it cannot slip off the rim or sand penetrate even if there is a complete loss of air.
The extremely low tire pressures increase the contact area of the all-terrain tires with dimensions of 37 x 12,5 x 18 inches and significantly support the forward thrust, especially on loose surfaces. Two effects are responsible for this. On the one hand, the enlarged contact areas, called "Laces" in technical jargon, reduce the ground pressure and thus the tendency of the tires to sink or dig into the ground. To clarify: when the tire pressure is reduced to 0,5 bar, the contact surface triples. Then the ground pressure of the G 63 AMG 6 × 6 with a ready-to-drive curb weight of 3850 kilograms is the same as the footprint of a normal-weight person.
And on more sociable surfaces such as mud or mud, the necessary self-cleaning is supported by the low air pressure so that the tread does not clog and the best possible traction is always available.
Visually, the G 63 AMG 6 × 6 leaves no doubt about its passion. The voluminous tires of the three axles, the enormous distance to the ground, the clear height of almost 2,30 meters with a width of a good 2,10 meters and the clear, linear design of the pickup inspire respect at first glance. As with the G 63 AMG and G 65 AMG models, the super off-roader with the 5,87 meter long body also bears the typical AMG brand face: the “twin blade” radiator grille with chrome-plated double louvre and chrome-plated grille makes the G 63 AMG 6 × 6, like its serial brothers, can be recognized immediately as AMG. The design of the grill takes the classic shape of the car into account and, thanks to its interpretation with off-road character, fits perfectly into the overall appearance of the vehicle. The front AMG bumper with the typical three large air openings supply the cooling modules with airflow. Vertical stainless steel inserts in high-gloss chrome underline the masculine appearance.
A look at the sidelines reveals that the body up to the two rear doors corresponds to the series status of the four-wheel model. This is where the common externalities end, however, because the differences also become apparent in the side view - from the significantly raised body position to the carbon fiber panel with the integrated LED light strips above the windshield to the flared fenders, also made of carbon fiber, with the stainless steel side steps . A third side window and the pickup body with the stainless steel roll bar and the rear, double exposed carbon fiber extensions are harmoniously integrated into the standard part of the body. The loading area is lined with particularly hard and durable bamboo wood and is accessible via a loading flap.
Off-road comfort on four individual seats
In addition to the model upgrade measures of the series, such as the new instrument panel with the central color screen, the G 63 AMG 6 × 6 also offers an AMG instrument cluster with a color TFT screen, AMG main menu and separate gear indicator, as well as white illuminated AMG door sills on all doors. The high-quality E-SELECT lever with the embossed AMG coat of arms is known from the SLS AMG, among others. The appointments in designo leather - in classic red or light brown - on the four individual seats and all of the front and rear door panels create an exclusive ambience. Individual contrasting topstitching and an attractive diamond quilting perfect the interior design. In addition, the entire dashboard is leather-covered and also has the exclusive contrasting topstitching. AMG carbon-fiber trim and Alcantara® panels for the headlining and body pillars round off the luxurious feel-good atmosphere in the interior. The rear wall is again covered with leather.
In addition to the complete comfort equipment of the G 63 AMG 6 × 6 that is typical of AMG and the extensive designo leather interior with four individual seats, an extensive exclusive package complements the scope of equipment. These include the interior rear with the electrically adjustable, heated and ventilated individual seats, an individual center console that also has designo leather with contrasting seams, and the Rear Seat Entertainment with two color screens behind the front headrests. Floor mats in a diamond design round off the range.
2013 still a near-series show car
Superior 6 × 6 all-wheel technology, AMG V8 biturbo power and an appearance that leaves no doubt: With the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6 × 6 show car, which is close to series production, an off-roader rushes to the fore, which is off the beaten track Represented the ultimate in urge to move forward. 400 kW (544 hp), 6 × 6 drive, off-road reduction, five differential locks, portal axles, tire pressure control system and special chassis allow this pickup to penetrate into areas where individual mobility normally sucks. Anyone who thinks of a Dakar Rally car in the light of these key data is on the wrong track. Thanks to the ingredients from the sumptuous AMG cornucopia in terms of interior finishing, the occupants enjoy the best possible comfort even with the greatest topographical and meteorological faults. Speaking of the wooden path: there is a desert fun car. On the loading area - it is covered with solid bamboo.
The near-series show car Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6 × 6 combines the best of three worlds. The recently revised series models of the G-Class give the superior off-road vehicle the sovereignty and balance of a vehicle that has dominated the off-road scene for 34 years. This also includes the fresh interior concept with the modern dashboard, which impresses with new instruments and a spacious, central color display. The unconditional robustness as well as the functionality and assertiveness off the beaten track come from the military and commercial models of the G-Class. The renowned luxury and performance division Mercedes-AMG ultimately contributes the superior engine technology and the luxurious and comfortable interior.
6 × 6 technology: To the end of this world - and beyond
The key data already reveal that the off-road world for the G 63 AMG 6 × 6 begins where other movables surrender - with the exception of tracked vehicles. Six driven wheels, an off-road reduction in the transfer case, portal axles, five differentials that can be locked while driving and an active tire pressure control system that can be operated while driving and that varies the pressure in the huge 37-inch tires in record time are all found in vain in conventional off-road vehicles. This results in merciless driving dynamics under all topographical conditions. The show car even storms the highest sand dunes with ease and sand slopes lose their horror thanks to its unshakable directional stability. Rocky terrain is climbed in chamois-style, water crossings succeed without any problems given the considerable wading depth of one meter. And if you try the performance on-road, you will be amazed by the catapult-like acceleration of the 3,85 ton pickup.
Despite this unique drive technology, the show car is not a technical new development in the true sense of the word. Thanks to the lavishly filled “G” modular system after 34 years of construction, almost exclusively standard parts are used under the body of the G 63 AMG 6 × 6. Example drive train: AMG V8 biturbo engine with 400 kW (544 hp) and a torque of 760 Newton meters, AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission, paired with a front drive train from the G 63 AMG and a rear double drive train from the 6 × 6 Version of how he reliably performed his service in the Australian Army, for example. In addition, the ingenious portal axles, which also have their origins in the military sector and are used here for the first time in a civilian vehicle.
Independent and neutral: the chassis
The chassis is mainly based on the standard version, only the coil springs and dampers have been adapted to the changed framework conditions of the three-axle vehicle. For the springs, too, the engineers were able to use the extensive “G” construction kit, which has 15 different spring codes. While the front axle takes on the reinforced springs of an armored special protection variant, the first rear axle is given a significantly harder spring rate, while the second rear axle has a softer spring rate. Together with the rally-proven, adjustable gas pressure shock absorbers, this creates a perfect symbiosis of sporty dynamism and relaxed comfort on and off the road.
Macho outside - S-Class inside
Visually, the G 63 AMG 6 × 6 pickup leaves no doubt about its passion. The voluminous tires on the three axles, the enormous distance to the ground, the clear height of almost 2,30 meters with a width of a good 2,10 meters and the clear, linear design of the pickup inspire respect at first glance. Like the G 63 AMG and G 65 AMG models, the super off-roader with its 5,87 meter long body also bears the typical AMG brand face with the “twin blade” radiator grille. Further visual highlights: the cover with the integrated LED light strips above the windshield and the lush fender flares are made of fine visible carbon, the rear loading area module has a distinctive stainless steel roll bar. The loading area is lined with particularly hard and durable bamboo wood and is accessible via a rear loading flap.
Typical AMG sporty and luxurious is the interior fittings. The G 63 AMG 6 × 6 offers an exclusive ambience in designo leather, either in classic red or light brown with individual contrasting topstitching and attractive diamond quilting. There are also four electrically adjustable, heated and ventilated individual seats, a special center console in the rear and Alcantara® panels for the roof lining and the body pillars. The back wall to the loading area is in turn covered with leather.
The center of the “G” world is in Graz
To date, two vehicles from the G 63 AMG 6 × 6 have been developed under the leadership of Mercedes-Benz. The Graz-based Mercedes-Benz G-Class development department is the center of competence in matters of "G" and is responsible for the development and series support of the legendary off-road vehicle. In addition, Graz in Austria has been the production site for all civil and commercial G-Class vehicles since 1979. Whether and when the decision to produce the Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6 × 6 in small series will be made depends on the response to the near-series show car.
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Already a legend: Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6 × 6 (W 463)!
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