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Cars Worth Noting – 2003 Mercedes Benz G55 AMG

The G-Series holds lineage to an actual military vehicle, the Unimog. So it wasn’t that surprising when the G500 I was driving crushed the off-road course laid out before it with tank-like fervor. If the G500 is the tank for the soldiers, the G55 is the tank for the brass. The first difference you detect before ignition is AMG styling. Chrome cages cover the raised turn signals on the hood, five spoke AMG rims, an integrated brushguard and most notably beneath the sidestep were chrome sidepipes.

I had permagrin driving the G500 the day before, now I’m Jack Nicholson in Batman. A turn of the key rumbles the V-8 to a start which echoes deeply underneath the sidestep. Under power the sidepipes really start to growl at which point I start thinking of ways to get lost or come up with 90-some thousand dollars. The G55’s 349 horses (57 more than the G500) give a very brisk launch from a dead stop (0-60 in 7.2 seconds), especially for a vehicle that weighs 5,540 lbs.

On highways and on snowy side streets, the G55 is a surefooted drive. Steering is a bit heavy but by no means unpredictable. And three locking differentials (front/center/ rear) let you know you can conquer whatever may lie ahead.

The G-series is also outfitted with an electronic stability program designed to intervene in moments of vehicle yaw or wheelspin. But don’t let that trick you into thinking that donuts in snowy parking lots are unattainable!

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Thu. July 16th, 2020

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AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRIES

Founded in 1895, the world's first trade magazine covering the automotive industry.
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