We’ve written about quite a few Mercedes giveaways from Omaze, our favorite so far being either the Sprinter camper van or the Airstream Atlas (camping is definitely a theme). This giveaway may take the top spot, as it is one of the most recognizable, luxurious and capable vehicles that Mercedes makes, the G-Wagen.
The G 63 seats five, is powered by a twin-turbo four-liter V8 and makes 577 horsepower, not to mention 627 lb-ft torque. Not to mention it is gorgeous. We recently had a G 63 and took it off-road, where it is meant to be driven. Here’s what we said:
“Loose surfaces and steep hills proved no match for the G, and we never once rubbed its belly or those precariously positioned pipes on anything of consequence. We became concerned that we weren’t pushing the G hard enough to learn anything, meaning we were going to have to take some risks lest the outing prove uninformative. But then we remembered one key detail: This isn’t just a G-Wagen; it’s an AMG. Slow and steady? Technical rock crawling? Pfft. And that brought us to Holly Glen.
“The Glen is near the entrance to the park, and put simply, it’s a dirt race track. It’s not a fancy one. There’s no start/finish line labeled, nor any accommodation for spectators or officials or anything of that nature. Rather, it’s simply a one-way loop wide enough for a half-dozen dirt bikes or a couple of 4x4s, long enough to be “high-speed” relative to the technical obstacles and hill-climbs elsewhere in the park, but neither straight nor flat enough to allow you to build up a ton of speed that you may not be able to bleed off before the next jump or blind corner. There are a couple of posted rules (no ATVs, no going against the flow of traffic, that sort of thing) but nothing that said “take your rich-boy toy and turn around.” In other words, perfect.
“With everything in the G 63’s dynamic select set to “Stupid,” we bombed around the course while onlookers in Wranglers held up phones, likely hoping to capture a stupid rich person doing a stupid rich thing in their stupid-expensive SUV. Sorry to disappoint, blue Wrangler guy. Catching air and just generally having an absolute blast, the G 63 got to do exactly what it’s good at: converting gasoline to noise in the most exuberant, entertaining fashion possible.
“And when we say it’s good, man, is it. The G 63 may look barebones for its price tag, but underneath its simplistic, boxy shape and clackity-clack door latches lies a tech-forward powertrain that can translate a few millimeters of steering input and pedal travel into a spectacle of sound and flying sand. “Trail” mode dials most of the nannies back considerably, and the remaining safeties lie dormant in the G’s electronic periphery until you do something particularly ham-fisted.
“What that might be exactly, we can’t say. Despite taking off-camber hills at near-full lock with all four corners sending massive rooster tails 20 feet in the air, getting all four wheels off the ground, and churning so deep into loose sand that we felt it brush along the big G’s belly, we were never scolded by any of its numerous and heavily intertwined systems. And when we were done, we put 10 PSI back in each tire, flipped Dynamic Select back over to its Comfort setting, and set off for home with nary a new rattle, squeak or shimmy. It was as if none of it ever happened.”