We’ve known Maybach’s next project would be a super-lux SUV, and that Mercedes is planning on revealing a new variant of the mighty G-Wagon at this year’s Geneva Auto Show. It all makes sense now: it’s the same vehicle, and it’s a beautiful chariot of brash eminence.
On Saturday, Mercedes tweeted this picture of the back end of what’s clearly a G500 4x42 without at least part of its roof. But today, Kinja user Wobbles the Mind went ahead and found a whole walk around video! Looks like the truck was being shown off at the Madikwe Safari Lodge in South Africa, and somebody seeing it was too important to be told to put their phone away.
The G in the clip is undoubtedly the same design as what’s being teased in the tweet. It’s a Maybach, it’s a V12, and the back half is basically a pair of first-class seats below a removable roof. We call this pseudo-convertible but not-exactly-a-targa setup a “landaulet.”
A site called Fly-Wheel has a nice little gallery of the interior which looks comfy enough to absorb all kinds of off-road bumps.
Interestingly, the suspension does not look nearly as robust as what we’ve seen on the 6x6 or Squared, suggesting that this Maybach isn’t meant to be used quite as roughly. Not much of a shocker, there. Wouldn’t want to get too much dust on that glorious leather.
For those of you struggling to keep all these G variants straight: Surely you remember the G63 AMG 6x6: the $500,000 544-horsepower, six-wheel-drive G-Wagon with portal axles and a pickup truck bed. After that came the G500 4x42, which has the same axles and ground clearance as the 6x6 but with two fewer wheels and a 4.0-liter, twin turbo V8 with 416 horsepower.
Soon, apparently, we’re going to get this new stretched ragtop version with the 6.0-liter, 612 horsepower V12 from the G65 and rear seats designed for actual kings.
The G in the video clearly retains the G500 4x42x’s portal axles, but seems to lack the Squared’s double-coilover suspension. It’s also interesting to note that this truck has a rear-mounted tire carrier.
When we borrowed the G500 4x42 about a year ago, I was told mounting a spare on the back was impossible because the wheel would simply be too big, too heavy and too high to be of any use on the back bumper. As an alternative for fixing flats, the truck came with a compressor and a tire slime designed to temporarily patch leaks.
Apparently, these aren’t quite as hard to hang. Or the owner of the Maybach is supposed to have a person on staff burly enough to heave that big wheel off the back in case of a flat.
I can’t zoom in on that tire quite close enough to make out the size definitively, but we can see the type, Pirelli Scorpion ATR, pretty clearly in the rubber. That’s an all-terrain tire that can fit on a decent range of common SUVs and crossovers, not nearly as aggressive as the 37-inch military tires that can be optioned on the 6x6 or Squared.
Also interesting is the fact that at the Detroit Auto Show just a few months ago, a representative from Mercedes confirmed a Maybach SUV would be based on the GLS. Whether or not that will come out in addition to this G remains to be seen, but we’re supposed to get the full scoop on this thing officially at the 2017 Geneva Auto Show going down in March.
Hat tip to Bob and Wobbles the Mind!