Despite its resemblance to the 6X6 G-wagon used by the Australian Army, the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6X6 isn't coming here.
Mercedes-Benz Australia spokesman Jerry Stamoulis says the G63 -- with an overseas price equivalent to $550,000 -- a left-hand drive vehicle only and is being produced in "very, very limited numbers".
And it shares almost no drivetrain components with any of the other G-Class vehicles. "It has a very complicated drivetrain and chassis," Stamoulis says. "It has absolutely no relation to the other G-Class vehicles including the 6X6 G-wagon used by the Australian Army. The G63 is a complex, super-articulated machine designed for extreme off-road conditions."
However the G63 is built alongside the other G-Class vehicles in Austria by Magna-Steyr. Like the other G models, the G63 is hand built. The less complex G models, such as the G350 and G500, take 11 days each to hand assemble. Stamoulis says the G63 6X6 started life as a concept but drew demand from some countries. Mercedes recently started making limited numbers to satisfy demand.
The G63 AMG model gets a 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 with 400kW and 760Nm that's enough to haul the 3.8-tonne monster to 100km/h from rest in 5.9 seconds. It's even farm-friendly with its 650kg payload. But if that's too lame for you, specialist fabricator Brabus has its own interpretation.
The Brabus 700, launched at the recent Frankfurt motor show, boosts the AMG's output to 515kW/965Nm using the same engine but with some clever tweaking. For example, the intake and turbo pipes are lined with gold leaf - that's real gold - to keep air temperatures as low as possible. It also gets two new, high-pressure turbochargers.
The extra kit adds weight to Brabus has added a carbon-fibre bonnet and wheel arches. But it works - the 700 will rocket to 100km/h from standstill in only 7.4 seconds. Because of the off-road tyres, the machine is limited to only 160km/h.
The price is about $700,000 and it too is made only as a left-hand drive. Though if you offered a bit more money they may consider moving the steering wheel.
This reporter is on Twitter: @cg_dowling