Let's say you're a wealthy Swiss agronomist with a chalet at 9,843 feet (3,000 meters) in the Alps, and you want to reach the cabin in style even in the worst weather conditions. What do you do? This person commissioned Delta 4x4 to mount tracks to a Mercedes-Benz G 500.
To create the necessary space for the treads, Delta 4x4 gives this G-Class a 7.874-inch (20-centimeter) suspension lift. Extended fenders cover the rig's broader width.
Gallery: Mercedes G500 On Caterpillar Tracks By Delta 4x4
Even in the Swiss Alps, this level of off-road capability is unnecessary during portions of the year. The tracks are removable, and the SUV can wear conventional wheels during the summer months.
Doing this conversion was a pricey undertaking. With parts and installation, the track setup alone was €50,000 ($52,442 at current exchange rates). Plus, the pieces had to be homologated In Switzerland including testing and inspections, and that process added roughly an additional €50,000 to the cost.
Then, the suspension upgrades and the necessary approvals added around €19,000 ($19,929) to this vehicle. There's another €20,000 ($20,994) in the various extras like the modified front bumper with a brush bar, the roof rack, and the extra set of wheels.
Tallying all of these figures gives this conversion a cost of around €139,000 ($145,778). To put this into perspective, a new G 500 in Germany currently has a starting price of €130,203.85, meaning the work was more than the vehicle.
Delta 4x4 specializes in doing extreme conversions like the one on this G-Class. For example, it created a Suzuki Jimny with portal axles for extreme off-roading. The company also built a Rolls-Royce Cullinan overlander with a lifted suspension and rooftop tent.
The future of the G-Class is electric. Motor1.com recently got the chance to drive an EQG prototype. Mercedes engineered it to have every bit of the off-road capability as the combustion-powered version. The team even made the EV capable of tank turns.
Mercedes isn't providing full technical details about the EQG yet. It has four electric motors – one powering each wheel. There's speculation that the battery might be the 108-kilowatt-hour pack from the EQS SUV.