After more than 40 years of use, Mercedes-Benz will be retiring the current G-Wagon platform to make room for a replacement later on this year. Over the course of four decades the G-Wagon been used for many different applications; it’s been used as a rescue vehicle, military vehicle, as well as the source of unlimited entertainment for offroad enthusiasts all over the world. In celebration, Mercedes built what might be the ultimate G-Wagon with the help of Maybach, and the end result is the Mercedes-Maybach G650.
It should be mentioned that at the time of writing exact details are somewhat wishy-washy because the official release isn’t scheduled until the Geneva Motor Show on March 9th. However, one lucky journalist who has seen it, managed to upload an early walk around video and some of the claimed specs. From the video, a keen eye can distinguish quite a few key details that seem to corroborate what was released by the reporter. To call the new G650 the “ultimate G-Wagon” is really saying something considering the previous special editions, such as the G63 AMG 6×6 and G500 4×4². But there are a few claimed features of the new G650 that, in my opinion, land it above all the rest that have come before it (at least tied with the 6×6 because let’s be honest, that thing is incredible).
First and foremost is the powertrain said to be lurking under the hood and that’s a twin turbo V12 claimed to produce 630hp and 737lb-ft of torque. Nothing indicates whether or not it’s an AMG V12, but the specs are similar to the G65 AMG with the 6.0L TT V12 that produces 621hp and 738lb-ft.
What we do know for sure about the G650 is that all signs indicate that it’ll have the trim level of a Maybach so it won’t be short on luxury. It’ll also maintain all the ruggedness of a G-Wagon thanks a stretched version of the 4×4² chassis and its portal axles. This should make the G650 quite the formidable offroad beast despite its extended wheelbase.
By stretching the wheelbase they’ve moved the second-row seating back to where a potential third row would sit, which adds a significant amount of leg room. However, they didn’t stretch the roof to go that far back, instead they turned it into what’s called a Landaulet. I had no idea what that was, at least by that name, but after a quick search I learned that it dates back to the old school limousines where the passengers in the rear had access to a convertible top. That way if they were riding along and had the desire for some fresh air they could have the driver pull over and open the roof. Maybach released a Type 62 Landaulet in 2012 so it has been revived a few times here and there.
If it turns out that the G650 is everything it’s claimed to be, I do think it will be the ultimate G-Wagon simply because it will essentially be the best of all worlds. You’ve got the best of the offroading chassis, best of the power and performance, and all of it wrapped in the top of the line luxury trim available. Pricing wasn’t released but it’s safe to say the G650 won’t be cheap, especially with it being a Mercedes-Maybach. According to reports, there will only be a total of 99 examples made so I wouldn’t expect on seeing one at your local dealer.
We might have to wait until Geneva to confirm all of these speculations, however well informed and educated as they may be. But then again, with all of this leaked information, it wouldn’t surprise me if Mercedes stepped up and made it official before then.