If you are looking at the title then looking at the photo of the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and wondering what is going on, there is an explanation for that. Thanks to the W463 generation running from 1990 to 2018 and going through multiple, multiple facelifts, many parts from later models literally just bolt on to earlier years. That means with enough money, you can make a G500 that is old enough to buy cigarettes look like a 2018 G63 AMG. Wouldn’t you know, that is exactly what we have today. Sort of.
This 2002 G500 has been updated in order to try to look like a G63 AMG. It has the bigger bumpers and fender flares, bi-xenon lights, updated brush guard, LED tailights, 20″ wheels, and they even went as far as putting AMG badges on it. The thing is, they went this far, and forgot a few important bits that makes this thing look like a half-assed job. Even more disappointing, you open the doors and get a really quick reminder that this is still a 2002 with 128,000 miles on it.
A number of weeks ago I looked at a heavily armored 1995 Mercedes-Benz S600 that was built for none other than the Sultan of Brunei. It was an 8,700 pound tank of a car that probably is on par with some tanks as to how much combat fire it can withstand. Today, I came across another literally bulletproof Mercedes that can handle everything just short of armor piecing rounds. This 2011 G55 AMG that is built to a B6 level of armoring is originally a vehicle from the Middle East and somehow is now in California. Just like the S600 you would think that this is just another standard G55 that is hopping around Los Angeles. Then you open the doors to see that clearly isn’t the case.
As misunderstood and misused as they are, I love the G-Wagen. What started as a utilitarian military vehicle has now evolved into pieces of sheer opulence. One of those early examples of that decadence was the G55 AMG. Mercedes and AMG were throwing the supercharged M113 engine into anything with a Mercedes badge and, common sense be damned, they put it in the G-Wagen. At almost 470 hp and even crazier 516 ft·lb of torque, this G hits 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds. A mere 5.5 seconds in something that weighs over 5,500 pounds. Thank goodness for AMG brakes that come in the package, too!
Model: G55 AMG
Engine: 5.4 liter supercharged V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 95,775 mi
Price: $42,999 Buy It Now
Model: 2005 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Horsepower: 469 hp
Towing capacity: 7,000 lbs
Curb weight: 5,540 lbs
MPG: 12 city / 14 highway
Engine: 5.4 L V8
Torque: 516 lb-ft
Dimensions: 186″ L x 71-73″ W x 78″ H
First off, what a great use of the DVD function in the aftermarket headunit to show a scene with George Costanza in Seinfeld while shooting the photos for this G. I think the seller knew exactly what they were doing and had a little chuckle doing so. Speaking of the photos, these are outstanding. But they are basically all for naught when you write zero description in your listing. Seriously, this listing tells me nothing about what is going on with this G55. You spend the time and effort to go shoot all these photos and follow it up with nothing. This looks like a great W463, but I can’t assume that. I realize that if you are really serious you pick up the phone to call the seller to really dig into what this thing is all about, but it drives me nuts the lack of effort to sell something this expensive. The only thing a littler odd is the black rear tire cover, which isn’t factory. The correct matching cover is only a $200 part, so it is a little odd to keep the black.
How expensive? $42,995. To me, that is a really fair price for what looks like a real winner. The G55 is a rare beast and I generally prefer the M113K paired with the 722.6 5-speed automatic transmission as a proven combination over the later models. Like every G, the residuals are unmatched in the luxury SUV segment and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Yes, the market will soften over time as more and more of these make their way onto the used market, but I think demand for these will almost always be greater than the supply. Maybe it’s just my own terms of justification on this, but I feel like when you sink money into a G, it’s not like you are throwing it down the hole never to be seen again. I don’t mean putting 24 inch wheels on them, I mean spending the money on proper maintenance and repairs. You can buy one of these and drive it for a few years then turn around and sell it without losing five-figures in deprecation. And if you need one that has 470 horsepower, well go right ahead.