When you’re looking for a tough off-roading SUV, you might not expect to pay over $200,000. But if you’re checking out the 2016 Mercedes-AMG G65 and the 1973 Icon FJ44, well, that’s exactly how much you’ll pay. To find out how these wild machines stack up, Head 2 Head hosts Jason Cammisa and Jonny Lieberman put the pair to the test.
Given the immense capabilities of the SUVs, Cammisa and Lieberman start off in some really wild terrain: Beverly Hills. On these moneyed streets, the hosts see a variety of luxury SUVs (Range Rover, etc) and reflect on just how much they like the AMG G65. Not that any buyer needs the G65, Cammisa notes; buyers might only want it because it’s the most powerful, most expensive version of the G-Class in a ‘Benz showroom. “This is literally the definition of gluttonous excess,” agrees Lieberman.
Things are a little different in the back-to-basics Icon FJ44. A restomodded classic Toyota, the prototype model is far less luxurious than the Mercedes. There’s no roof, for instance, although there are heated seats to keep occupants toasty. “This is rad, this is so cool,” says Cammisa, even though the hosts need to wear hats, gloves, and coats to keep warm enough while driving without a roof.
Technically, the differences between the two models are pretty significant. The Icon packs a 6.2-liter V-8 good for 540 hp, with power sent through a four-speed automatic, whereas the AMG has 621 hp from a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12 channeling through a seven-speed transmission. But the AMG is also a whopping 1,168 lb heavier than the Icon, counterbalancing some of its extra muscle.
Later, the hosts take the brutish SUVs to the test track and the dyno, and even take the pair off-roading. To find out how the 1973 Icon FJ44 and 2016 Mercedes-AMG G65 stack up in other respects, watch the entire episode of Head 2 Head below.