‘Value for money’ isn’t usually applied to the Mercedes G-Wagen. Although it depreciates less than most, the luxury SUV can come across as a toy. But the G-Wagon’s military roots make it a legitimate off-roader. It’s also a popular platform for tuners like Brabus and Lumma Design. But it’s also been modified by Mercedes itself, into one of the most insane pickups ever. The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon 6×6—officially G 63 AMG 6×6—was never sold in the US. But YouTuber Doug Demuro has managed to find a US-legal one. And now, we can finally take a look at how bonkers this machine really is.
The G-Wagon 6×6 is ludicrously big
If the G-Wagon 6×6 debuted today, there would be at least one Internet comment labeling it a Chunky BoiTM. It’s not often that a new Mercedes-Benz GLK looks tiny, but in comparison to the G 6×6, it does. As does Doug himself standing next to the 6×6.
The pickup is 19’ long, almost 4’ longer than the GLK SUV. The G-Wagon 6×6 is also 7’8” tall, almost 2’ taller than the GLK. Part of that is from the 6×6’s 20” of ground clearance. That’s roughly twice the Jeep Wrangler’s. It’s so far off the ground, the pickup’s running boards are above Doug’s knees. And he’s 6’4”. Mercedes had to fit a special metal bar to serve as a bumper because the standard bumper is too high to be of any use. It’s an extreme example of the IIHS’ justification for an improved crash test.
But that level of ground clearance is just the first sign that the G-Wagon 6×6 isn’t all for show.
The G-Wagen pickup does have some serious off-road cred
The G-Wagon 6×6 still retains the G-Class’ trademark 3 locking differentials. However, with the extra axle, the standard four-wheel drive becomes six-wheel drive. The off-road tires help put the engine’s torque down even in sand and dirt. They’re also mounted to bead-lock wheels, which as Doug explains, help keep each tire’s bead firmly locked in place. Which is very helpful given the G-Wagon 6×6’s other key feature.
Bead-lock wheels are a necessity when off-roaders deflate their tires to increase traction. Normally, that means getting out of the truck, manually releasing the air, then getting back out and re-inflating the tires. Not in the 6×6. It has an on-board tire inflation/deflation system controlled from the cabin. It’s as easy as pressing a button and watching the air pressure dial move. Doug claims the system can bring all 6 tires from 0 to road-going pressure in 20 seconds.
Next to the tire pressure controls is the switch for the second fuel tank. In addition to the standard 27-gallon tank, Mercedes fitted the G-Wagon 6×6 with a spare 13-gallon one. Also, unlike the standard G-Wagen, the G-Wagon 6×6’s roof lights are actually functional.
The 6-wheeled pickup’s other off-road features are underneath. Firstly, the exhaust system doesn’t actually extend all the way behind the pickup. Instead, it ends roughly in the middle of the 6×6. If it was longer, drivers could risk damaging it scrambling over tall rocks. And speaking of tall rocks, one of the features which lets the G-Wagon 6×6 achieve its 20” ground clearance is its portal axles. These allow a vehicle’s axle to sit above the centers of its wheels, and are a properly extreme off-road mod.
The G-Wagon 6×6 is still a luxury vehicle, though
But for all that, this is still a G-Class. That means balancing the off-road capability with daily-driving luxurious touches.
For example, the bed. It does add utility over the normal G-Wagon, but the 6×6’s bed isn’t the same as you’d find in a Silverado or F-150. It’s lined with bamboo, for one. The bed’s space is also slightly compromised by the full spare wheel-and-tire mounted there. In addition, the bed’s sides are the typical 90-degree corners. That’s because the air canisters for the tire-inflation system are mounted underneath, and their space intrudes into the bed.
There’s also the bed-mounted metal bar. It doesn’t seem to have any practical purpose, although Doug mentions that lights could be mounted on it. Adding to the impracticality—besides the length and height—are the carbon-fiber wheel arches. As with Lumma’s G-Wagen kit, the carbon-fiber bits aren’t exactly helpful when off-roading.
It’s the interior, though, where the G-Wagon 6×6 shows off the majority of its luxury. Instead of a bench, the rear seats have been replaced with two “captain’s chairs.” They’re heated and ventilated and power-operated. They even have child-seat anchors. The rear seats are also moved rearwards compared to the standard G-Class seats. Mercedes wanted to give the rear passengers more legroom. And, to keep their view from being boring, the engineers added extra windows.
The rear armrest also holds a small refrigerator, as well as a space to put two drinking glasses. Ironically, because the G-Wagon 6×6 is based on the pre-2018 G-Class, the front passengers have no proper cupholders.
However, this particular 6×6 has a few upgrades. In addition to being fully-federalized, it was modified by Brabus. On the inside, that meant more Alcantara everywhere, as well as some leather upgrades. Even the flooring has been replaced by Brabus leather pads.
It’s also remarkably fast and fun to drive
Brabus didn’t stop with the interior, though. Under the hood, the stock twin-turbo V8 has been upgraded from 540 hp to 700 hp. When Doug finally drives the G-Wagon 6×6, he estimates the Brabus tune has dropped the 0-60 time from 7-8 seconds to about 6 seconds.
And driving the G-Wagon 6×6 appears to be quite an occasion. Despite its sheer size, Doug comments that it doesn’t feel quite as massive as it would seem. He finds it rather similar to heavy- or medium-duty pickups, like Ford’s F-Series Super-Duty. But driving something so large, so high off the ground just makes the driver feel invincible. It’s absurd, but hilarious in its absurdity.
The off-road modifications do have their drawbacks, though. The portal axles give the ride a slight shake and some slight unsettlement. And the off-road tires are somewhat harsh at low speeds, which isn’t unusual. But driving around, Doug doesn’t seem too perturbed.
That’s the draw of something like the G-Wagon 6×6. Does anyone really need a 6-wheeled pickup that costs $1.5 million? No. It’s utterly over-the-top ridiculous. But those who buy this truck buy it not because they need it, but because they want it. It’s insane, but admirable for it.