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Mercedes-Benz G-Class is mountain royalty

Take a look at the G500 in its natural element: the dirt.

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Emme Hall
I love two-seater, RWD convertibles and own a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata for pavement fun and a lifted 2001 Miata for pre-running. I race air-cooled Volkswagens in desert races like the Mint 400 and the Baja 1000. I have won the Rebelle Rally, seven-day navigational challenge, twice and I am the only driver to compete in an EV, the Rivian R1T.
Emme Hall
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1 of 17 Emme Hall/Roadshow

Mercedes-Benz treated me to a trip to Schöckl Mountain, the proving grounds for the G-Class SUV outside of Graz, Austria.

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2 of 17 Emme Hall/Roadshow

The body style hasn't changed much since its introduction in 1979. It's still a big, boxy SUV.

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Under the hood is a 4-liter twin-turbo V8, knocking out 416 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque.

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The G500 has solid front and rear axles, making a path like this a piece of cake.

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The 8 inches of wheel travel is not quite enough to keep all four tires on the ground here, but the G500 didn't seem to mind.

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My crazy Austrian driver, Gunter, showed me just how fast the G500 can go on the dirt...and it's faster than you think.

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7 of 17 Daimler AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler AG

The inside is filled with plenty of luxe touches. It is, after all, a Mercedes-Benz.

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8 of 17 AG, Daimler AG

The handcrafted interior features a multifunctional steering wheel, the Comand infotainment system and heated 10-way power front seats.

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9 of 17 Daimler AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler AG

Part of the G500 prowess off road lies here in the three lockable differentials.

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10 of 17 Emme Hall/Roadshow

Well, not everything can be a winner. May I present to you the cupholder on the $119,000 (starting price) Mercedes-Benz G500.

Click through for some more photos of the G-Class on Schöckl Mountain.

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