Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4² conceptEnlarge Photo
In an effort to curb the emissions on its G-Class, Mercedes-Benz will replace the current 5.5-liter V-8 in the G550 variant (a G500 in other markets) with a smaller yet more powerful 4.0-liter mill. The information was confirmed to Dutch website Autovisie by Wolf-Dieter Kurz, who is in charge of SUVs at the German automaker.
Kurz said the switch to the new engine will be made by the end of the year, suggesting we could see it offered on the 2016 G550 here in the U.S. The move is crucial in ensuring the G-Class range meets planned Euro 6 emission standards coming into effect next year.
The 4.0-liter mill in question is none other than the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 built by the Mercedes-AMG performance division, something the automaker alluded to when it rolled out the G500 4x4² concept at last month’s 2015 Geneva Motor Show.
The concept was powered by the same engine, where it was tuned to deliver 422 horsepower, and it’s safe to assume this will be the output when it’s added to the production model. By comparison, the current G550 only musters 382 hp from its 5.5-liter V-8.
The 2016 model year will also see the introduction of the V-12-powered G65. This model has been enhanced by Mercedes-AMG and features a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12 good for 621 hp. It’s not clear what’s in store for Mercedes-AMG’s G63, though we should see the vehicle’s twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8 eventually replaced by a more powerful version of the 4.0-liter mill at some point as well.