FrontRunners: Inside the Box

  • Patrick C. Paternie

To celebrate the 25th birthday of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class (www.mbusa.com), AMG fitted the upcoming G55 with the ultimate noisemaker: a bellowing 469 hp, 5.5-liter, supercharged V-8. Producing one-third more horsepower than the 349 hp block housed in the current G55, the engine gives the 5,610-pound tank a 5.6-second time in the zero-to-62 mph dash—the same time posted by the Porsche Cayenne Turbo.

The boxy G55 turns a crawl in Vienna’s morning traffic into a hoot, transforming its occupants into a pair of giggling bobbleheads as it lunges from one stoplight to the next. On open roads, the deep-throated bray of the V-8 rumbles from the dual exhausts, which are positioned for maximum acoustic effect on the side of the vehicle ahead of the rear wheels.
 
Only 300 to 500 G55s will be available in the United States this fall. As of July, Mercedes had not announced the price of the vehicle, but expect to pay more than $90,000.

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