The first image of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4² has been unveiled before the hardcore four-wheel-drive's debut at the Geneva motor show in March.

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The new show model - which we've seen before in spy photos, where our covert snappers referred to the car as the Hulk or the Green Monster - has been built under the credo: "Only a G-Class can better a G-Class".

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As such it is set to bring with it plenty of off-road nous when it makes it to market. That's when, not if, as CarAdvice has previously reported that the new G-Class variant is destined for production.

From the way it looks it could be considered a toned-down, more urban-friendly version of the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6, but with four wheels instead of a half-dozen.

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It adopts the higher-spec portal axles, which, as opposed to conventional axles, mean the "wheels are not at the height of the centre of the axle, instead they are situated much further below on the axle heads due to the portal transmission".

The G500 4x4² retains a trio of lockable differentials, and adds a new adjustable suspension system with ground clearance up from 205 millimetres to 450mm, while the wading (or "diving") depth is 1000mm.

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For urban duties, the detachable carbonfibre body parts can be removed, and the 22-inch wheels are wrapped in all-terrain rubber (325 aspect, 55 profile).

However, there are also optional 18-inch wheels with 37- x 12.5-inch MT tyres (below).

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Its name indicates it won't get the full high-performance AMG V8 under the bonnet: but it does get a new 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 powertrain with 310kW of power. That engine takes the place of the existing 5.5-litre unit in the regular G500 which has 285kW (and that's expected to be the case in the production car, too).

Inside, the G500 4x4² features black leather trim with white contrasting stitching on the seat bolsters and head restraints, as well as the dashboard, centre console and armrests in the doors, with diamond-quilted "Dinamica" suede-style fabric on seat surfaces and doors. Dinamica also lines the roof liner and pillars.

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It's not clear yet if Mercedes-Benz Australia will sell the new G500 4x4² or not, but the brand's manager of public relations and product communications, Jerry Stamoulis, has previously stated “we would be open to making another variant in the G-Class range if it worked for our market”.

Click the Photos tab above for more images of the Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4².