A classic, the Mercedes G-Wagen has been a perennial favourite of the jetset, disposed dictators, wealthy soccer moms and the Shah of Iran since the Shah first suggested to Mercedes Benz it be developed as a military vehicle in the 1970’s. Its first civilian iteration was launched in 1979, however it was never offered for sale in North America until 2002, although many grey market vehicles entered the USA during the 1990’s, when they commanded very steep prices despite their basic specifications.
In 2005, Mercedes introduced an AMG powered derivative of the G500 to the North American market, known as the G55. It was continually improved over the course next decade and the 2011 model year was equipped with a stiffer suspension and high output 500HP supercharged V8 engine. The G55 was the creme de la creme of the Mercedes SUV line-up, and represented the pinnacle of excess that only a vehicle with a dismal 11mpg city and 13mpg highway could command.
While not exactly a “drivers car” by any stretch of the imagination, the AMG tuning specifications to the basic G-Wagen’s suspension and engine make it a riot to drive. With gobs of torque, a fiery rumble, and heavy steering, this box on wheels has a certain driving experience that’s difficult to put to words. It will however leave a giant grin on your face, whether you’re sprinting to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds or simply cruising the mall parking lot with a trove of jealous onlookers wishing they too, could drive a G-Wagen.
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