Power from the biturbocharged 4.0-liter V8 is unchanged but still tremendous, with 450 pound-feet of torque delivered from as little as 2,250 rpm and a bountiful 416 horsepower. Now with nine gears to choose from, the automatic transmission makes great use of all that power without really ever getting in the way: it slinks through cities with ease, while snap-snapping through gears when you dial the Dynamic Select switch from Comfort to Sport or Sport+. Couple that to the lower overall weight, and the G550 leaps and scurries, always able to find more oomph in reserve (it should easily beat its predecessor’s 5.8-second 0-60 time). You’ll even get some burbles and crackles from the exhaust in brisk driving – and that’s before upgrading to the AMG G63 version.
The G550 — which will be known as the G500 outside the US — uses Mercedes’ now-ubiquitous 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, tuned here to deliver 416 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. That’s more than enough hustle to get this big, four-wheel-drive brute up and moving with a quickness. Mercedes estimates the 0-60 miles per hour time at under 6 seconds, and considering the Benz’s shape, that’s damned impressive.
The key numbers for gravel grinding have improved: Ground clearance is up 0.2 inch to 9.5 inches, the breakover angle climbs by one degree to 26, and the departure angle improves from 30 to 31 degrees.