If you're looking to take a whole group of friends off-road while making sure they're very comfortable, then check out German tuner Hofele's three-row, six-seat conversion for the Mercedes-AMG G63. While the interior and exterior receive some changes, the model retains the stock 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbo engine that makes 577 bhp (430 kilowatts) and 627 pound-feet (850 Newton-metres).
On the outside, Hofele installs a new front bumper that has dark shadow chrome around the inlets and carbon fibre trim. The wing/fender flares are also carbon. The company incorporates a light bar above the windscreen, and it's available in chrome, carbon, and body-colour finishes. At the back, there's a carbon fibre spare wheel cover. The SUV rides on 24-inch wheels with a design that uses sets of double spokes.
Gallery: Six-seat Mercedes-Benz G-Class by Hofele
Hofele also offers patented, electrically deployable side steps. The pieces retain the G63 side-exit exhausts, and the pipes move with the steps because otherwise, they'd be in the way. The tuner also offers extra-wide opening rear doors for an even easier time entering the vehicle.
Inside, the company replaces the standard two-row layout with a total of six seats in three rows. Hofele admits that the ones in the very back are a bit cramped and "more suitable for children or smaller adults." The rearmost chairs are removable if owners ever want to sacrifice the occupancy for extra cargo room.
Hofele covers the cabin in Berry Red leather with a complicated stitch pattern on the seats. Anthracite Alcantara upholsters the headlining, pillars, and seatbacks. Carbon fibre trim also adorns the interior.
Interested customers can either send their G-Class to Hofele to have this work done. The company is also a Mercedes-Benz partner, so in some European countries a person can buy this vehicle directly from Hofele, and it would come with a factory warranty.
HOFELE HG Sport – based on the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG
HOFELE enhances the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG - Over the past 40 years the G-Wagon has evolved from a utility & military 4x4 vehicle to what it is today. The latest and greatest version is the iconic G63 AMG. The G-Wagon has long been a favourite for those who like to be different and stand out from the crowd. Unlike some of the companies modifying and enhancing the G-Wagon, HOFELE does not change the mechanical specifications or increase the power output, this means the original performance and emissions for the G63 AMG remain as the factory intended.
HOFELE-Design is an authorised contractual partner for Mercedes-Benz AG. and their work follows the guidelines set by Mercedes-Benz, this means that the factory warranty for the base vehicles remain unaffected for the countries that HOFELE is authorised by Mercedes-Benz to supply new vehicles to. Base vehicles for enhancement by HOFELE are supplied direct to HOFELE by Mercedes-Benz AG in the correct country specific specification.
HOFELE has a design enhancement language based on the phrase “Elegant, Sophisticated with a touch of Sportiness”.
HOFELE have completely re-designed the front bumper of the G-Wagon and includes elements in carbon fibre and dark shadow chrome, the HOFELE front bumper wraps around to the extended multi-contoured wheel arches manufactured in carbon fibre. On the vehicle shown the real carbon fibre is partly exposed and contrasts with the exterior paint finish.
A low-profile roof shield above the front windscreen integrates LED beam lights and the original front grille and the Mercedes-Benz Star have been replaced by the HOFELE signature grille design that can be supplied in a choice of chrome, carbon or body colour finishes. The HOFELE HG Sport is fitted with the HOFELE designed exclusive 24” Cross Spoke forged alloy wheels.
What we think is a world’s first for the G63 are the “full length” HOFELE Electrically Deployable Side Steps. The original G63 has side exit exhausts which would normally interfere with the use of electric side steps. HOFELE has solved this issue with a unique and patented solution – the side exit exhausts move with the side steps as they lower into place. A clever engineering solution that solves a problem with the standard G63 in that rear passengers have a difficult and less than dignified step-up into the vehicle and an even more difficult exit. The full length electrically deployable Side Steps and HOFELE’s optional extra-wide opening rear doors are a very practical improvement.
Other HOFELE design features to the exterior include carbon-fibre components such as the unique cover for the rear door mounted spare wheel.
We now have a look at the interior, this is very interesting – HOFELE have replaced the standard five seat arrangement and designed, manufactured and installed six seats in three rows, the rear most two seats are certainly more suitable for children or smaller adults and there is obviously a compromise of luggage space but these two last row seats can be quite easily removed when required. It is not only the number of seats that have received the attention of HOFELE, the whole interior benefits from a complete enhancement.
The standard Mercedes-Benz leather has been replaced with fully BESPOKE special, in this case a “Berry Red” leather with a very unique and modern stitching pattern. The very detailed perforation and stitching design can only be achieved with the use of the latest computer-controlled machines. Exquisite attention to detail can be seen everywhere. Contrast anthracite alcantara covers most surfaces that are not finished in the striking Berry Red Leather, this includes the complete headlining, A, B and C pillars and seat backs. Carbon fibre trim and finish is also featured inside and continues the “Sport” styling concept.
Overall, the enhancements by HOFELE really do drive the G-Wagon to an even higher level of prestige in this luxury segment, the combination of colours and the textures of the materials used compliment each other in a way rarely seen in this market.
Stuart Whitmore - CEO at HOFELE told us that this first vehicle is sold and that the owner did have design input and choice of the specification, and that the next two orders of the HOFELE HS Sport are already in build. For those who already own a current model G350d, G500 or G63 they can send their vehicles to HOFELE to be upgraded to the HOFELE HG Sport specification, or even to only have the patented full-length Electric Side Steps installed.
HOFELE-Design GmbH has been in the automotive design & engineering business for over 30 years, brothers Michael and Martin Hofele have been involved in projects for many of Europe’s premium automotive brands. In 2018 HOFELE-Design GmbH was appointed by Mercedes-Benz AG as an authorised contractual partner for the enhancement and supply of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. Today HOFELE work exclusively with the Mercedes-Benz brand.
Interestingly Stuart Whitmore also told us that the HG Sport is not the only new model from HOFELE based on the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon, a second model with a completely different design concept will be launched very soon. A remarkable feat considering that HOFELE have already this year released new models based on the Mercedes-Benz EQC and only last week showed details of its BESPOKE version of the Mercedes-Benz E 53 AMG Cabriolet.
All of these models were scheduled to be launched at the Geneva Motor Show which was cancelled due to the Coronavirus. When asked about the current situation, Stuart Whitmore said - “Now is obviously a very challenging time for our industry, for many of our clients and everyone globally, however interest in our vehicles and in the HOFELE brand has never been stronger. At this time HOFELE is investing heavily in our product range and in our design and engineering capabilities”.