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Kanye West once rapped that the Mercedes G550 was “his favorite toy”, but West, along with other rappers and oil shieks, will be sorely disappointed to learn that the new AMG versions expected to debut will make their lowly G550 look dated.
The G55 will get an updated twin-turbo 525-horsepower 5.5L V8, similar to other Mercedes AMG cars, to replace its supercharged V8. A mild facelift will also follow. But what’s really making news is the rumored G65, which should come with a twin-turbocharged V12 engine and a pricetag of $327,000. The V12 will put out 612 horsepower and roughly 738 lb-ft of torque. The excessive price tag and power figures are in play thanks to an ultra-exclusive run of only 250 cars.
Gallery: Mercedes-Benz G55 and G65 AMG
Kanye West is a prolific consumer of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, having been spotted in everything from Maybachs to SLR Stirling Moss Editions and all points in between.
While West is now famous for taking a blowtorch and an angle grinder to a Maybach in the video for his new single “Otis” (in collaboration with fellow aficionado Jay-Z), videos of West buying his first G550 SUV recently surfaced via hip-hop music video production house Creative Control.
The clip appears to date back to 2002 when West, having just rapped on Jay-Z’s landmark album “The Blueprint 2″, went out and purchased the G-Wagen to replace his ML430. The video is interlaced with samples from “Otis”, suggesting that the footage has been kicking around for some time. Kanye even bragged about his G500 being his “favorite toy” on a mixtape released in 2003 – but the clip is still a cool retrospective at Kanye just as he was on the cusp of fame. Furthermore, the salesman even suggests that Kanye check out “the next car we’re getting – the Maybach”.
And not the steakhouse either, where suburban G-Wagens are usually sighted. No, Mercedes-Benz is launching a rescue mission deep into the heart of Australia’s outback, where six of its off-roaders have been stranded.
Five standard G-Class models and one “military-spec” example are stuck somewhere along the Canning Stock Route, where they blew their shock absorbers while crossing some rough terrain. Fourteen people have been stranded and are now waiting for Mercedes-Benz to fly in replacement parts to a remote airfield near their base camp.
Luckily for the team, they have ample provisions and are in little immediate danger (as long as they watch over their babies for dingoes). But the 14-day crossing of the Outback still has 800 kilometers to go, across the aptly-named Great Sandy Desert.
“When we undertook this journey we were well aware of the punishment that the vehicles would endure,” said Horst von Sanden, a managing director of Mercedes-Benz Australia. “We put in place a group of very experienced Outback operators who have the expertise and logistical knowledge to cover off any eventuality. “I have complete faith in the team out on the Canning and the thorough logistics and preparation the team have put in place.”
The military G-Class is the only vehicle to not break, rather unsurprisingly: it is similar to ones used by the Australian Defence Force, and in civilian markets is known as the GProfessional. It will meet the rescue flight at the airport and deliver parts to the stranded team.
This is Benz’s attempt to complete the first crossing of the Outback by car, 1,900 kilometers total across the desert: if there ever was a car to have faith in for completing dangerous off-road expeditions, it is the mighty G-Class. Now that the even mightier Outback has claimed another victim, though, we’re not so sure.
[Source: The Land]