When the Germans decide to humour you, better be ready for their version of that term. The Mercedes-Benz 6×6 is one such joke by the Stuttgart-based carmaker. Such was the case with their biggest and maddest creation, till date – the G63 AMG 6×6. Or as it’s often called, the 6×6 (pronounced “six by six”). The similarity of appearance with the standard Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, isn’t a coincidence. This 6-wheeled Goliath is, if you want to put it that way, a G-Wagen on steroids. The Mercedes-Benz 6×6, stands well over 7 feet tall and spans over 19 feet in length. It’s almost 7 feet across and tips the scales at nearly 4-tonnes! This thing makes a Range Rover or a Hummer, look like scale-model toys.
The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6 cost over 370,000 pounds (over 3.5 crore INR) and Mercedes-Benz made it clear very soon, that the 6×6 will spawn only a limited number of units. That number, as it turned out, was 100 units. But, as we reported in one of our earlier articles, this impressive modern dinosaur, is no longer in production and all the 100 examples have been sold. If you really wanted one and had been saving up, break the piggy bank and go buy a house, instead. However, before it went out of production, this lunatic of an SUV, made many eye-balls pop and dropped several jaws. This is courtesy, to not only its gigantic proportions, but also its performance and immense off-roading capabilities.
Power for the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6, comes from a 5.5-litre Biturbo V8, which is specially made by the AMG division of Mercedes-Benz. Pumping out 536bhp and 760 Nm of torque, the 6×6 can sprint to 100 km/h in about 6 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 160 km/h. This power is channelled to all six wheels via Mercedes’ 7G-TRONIC automatic gearbox. Locking differentials aren’t unheard of, in the world of 4x4s. The G63 AMG for example, has three of them. However, the 6×6 takes it to a new level, altogether. This six-wheeled Mercedes-Benz, comes equipped with not three, but five locking differentials! Though they don’t look too big in the photos, those are 37-inch tyres and they are 12.5-inches wide. Ground clearance is a mammoth 460mm and that means you can go over a small hatchback without crushing it, unless of course, you want to crush it. Also, if there’s a meddling river or stream along your path, you can go straight through it, as the 6×6 is certified to wade through 1000mm of water. But enough with the boring AMG version of the 6×6, let’s take a look at some of it’s Godzilla cousins. If you thought the AMG one was ludicrous, wait till you take a look at the following ones.
Most of you, by now, have heard of Brabus. Just for your reference, they are even more crazy than the AMG department. What Brabus has done with the original Mercedes-Benz developed 6×6, in essence, is gifted it with a heart that could power a medium sized Yacht. The Brabus B63S 700, gets much bigger turbochargers, an updated ECU, beefier exhaust system and for some good cooling measure, Brabus has thrown in some gold around the air-intakes. The end result is 700bhp and 960 Nm of torque. But, don’t think you’ll go any faster, as the tyres are the same and thus, the top speed is still limited to 160 km/h. Shame, as the 0-100 km/h time, is now dealt in just 4.4 seconds!
Just so you realise how impressive that is, this 4 and a bit tonne SUV, is quicker to 100 km/h, than pure-blooded sports cars such as the Porsche 911 Carrera and the Jaguar F-Type. Even more impressive when you consider the fact that the Brabus B63S 700, is shod with chunky off-road tyres and not sticky Pirellis or Bridgestones. The kind of tyres that can be inflated or deflated by the driver, with the push of a button. The Brabus B63S 700 not impressive and powerful enough for you? Well then, there is one final and even more silly contender.
If you thought you were the only one who found the Brabus B63S 700, to be a bit underpowered, you’d be wrong. There’s another German tuning house, this one goes by the name of Mansory. And they are not at all apologetic about their creation. What the tuning house does first, is rip-apart most of the 5.5-litre AMG engine. They then start by adding more heavy-duty parts such as new cylinder heads, pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft. If you remember, Brabus managed to push out almost 700bhp and 960 Nm of torque with their modifications. Compared to that, the “standard” Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6 makes do with just 536bhp and 760 Nm of torque, pathetic, isn’t it? Mansory, meanwhile, take this to a stratospheric and positively insane 829bhp and 1000 Nm of torque! That much power and torque, could easily power an 18-wheeler semi-trailer truck, let alone a 4-tonne SUV.
Okay, so what does all this extra power and torque give you? Well, for starters, you hit the tonne mark a wee-bit quicker than the standard car and the top speed is now limited to under 250 km/h. Well, thank god for that! And for the extra money you pay for this Mansory (appx. $750,000), you also get loads of exclusive leather, several carbon-trims, some wooden bits and quite a lot of Alcantara strewn throughout the vast cabin. Of course, Mansory also works on the exterior of the standard Mercedes-Benz 6×6. The posh treatments include a new set of headlights, a redesigned carbon-fibre Mansory front grille and bonnet. Oh, well. Taking all the extras into consideration, is the asking price for the Mansory, justified? Well, when you consider the fact that the original Mercedes-Benz AMG version, is no longer in production, you really don’t have many options left. You can either buy the Brabus B63S 700 (very few examples left), by selling off your villa or, donate your wife and kids for weird medical experiments, plus give away any other asset you might own and pray you can get the Mansory G63 6×6.
However, what’s the point of this massive SUV? Obviously, you couldn’t drive one in a crowded city, unless you want to crushing other road-users. And despite the generous lashings of power and torque, you can not take this big brute onto a racing track. That’s beacuse the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6, was never meant to lap the Nürburgring in under 10 minutes. Also, as you’re about to see in a video that we have posted below, the body roll of this Mercedes, just hilarious. You don’t want to be throwing this thing around any corner at any speed in excess of 60 or 80 km/h. And that means, this ‘go anywhere’ SUV, can’t really venture into a race track. Yes, a race track isn’t the kind of place the designers of the G63 AMG 6×6 thought of when they conceived the car.
A car such as this, is justified only if you have access to really wide roads and oodles of money, possibly in a Swiss bank. Also, since there is a thirsty V8 under the bonnet, fuel mileage isn’t this car’s forte, either. So it helps if you live in Dubai or some place where petrol is cheap (owning an oil refinery helps, too). Not to mention, if you plan on taking your family in one of these, you will have to hire a strongman or a ladder. Why? You see, the passenger cabin is so high up, that most couldn’t get on-board without some external help. And even they manage clamber into the car, the jump from the cabin, back to terra firma, could injure their knees.
So, coming back to our original questions; does the Mercedes-Benz 6×6 make any sense and justify its existence? The answer is a yes and a no. If you are mega-rich and live in a place full of wide open roads and an empty desert or something, then Yes, this car will make sense. However, if you live somewhere like India, which doesn’t really have room for even a Range Rover, then No, the 6×6 isn’t for you. As it is, only 100 were made by Mercedes-Benz, and the Brabus and Mansory examples are rare and ridiculously expensive. And, to all the existing 6×6 owners out there, we shall forever be jealous of you lot. And before we leave, here’s the video we had promised you, earlier. Enjoy and kindly leave us your opinions and thoughts on this amazing piece of automotive technology.