Luxury Off-Road

2011 Mercedes G55 AMG Wagon: Bad-Ass, Old-School German Engineering

LOCATION SPOTTED: Elie Tahari (East Hampton Village)
LOCATION SPOTTED: Elie Tahari (East Hampton Village)


  • Acceleration 0 to 60: 5.3 sec
  • Braking 70 to 0: 183 ft
  • Quarter Mile: 14.0 sec
  • Slalom: TBD
  • Skidpad: 0.65 g

Most of the postings thus far on Drivehamptons have primarily focused on dealing with the car’s qualities and features, and not so much on their connection to the Hamptons car scene. This posting shall elaborate on the G55 and why it’s so popular in the Hamptons.

It doesn’t matter that the G55 has an extremely outdated infotainment system, or that the interior is so compact that only the smallest and skinniest of pretty Hamptons girls can squeeze themselves into it’s backseat. The G55 has the traditional, rugged, “tough-guy” looks that are continuously fading away in modern SUV design. That is it’s main selling point for the wealthy Hampton’s aristocrat.

For those of you who don’t know, the Hamptons is a resort community that receives a heavy influx of wealth during the summer season. The wealthy people who come out to the Hamptons often pretend to be weekend warriors (a very select few actually are, but those people wouldn’t ever buy a G55, they’d go for a REAL pick-up truck or something). These pretenders feel that they would look the part if they drove in a tough pseudo military-looking vehicle, enter the G55.

Underneath it has a ladder chassis with two solid axles front and rear, with a 5.5 liter supercharged V8 producing about 500 horsepower. This truck is really too powerful and fast for it’s own good. It also has the dynamic properties of an antiquated American muscle car to boot, which is to say it can’t go around corners with any sense of high speed. However, the G55 is tremendously rugged and good off-road. It’s wide tires, relatively high ground clearance, and locking front, mid, and rear differentials make it very good at traversing rugged terrain. But then again, there aren’t any off-roading trails in the Hamptons that I know of, rendering all of the truck’s off-road cred useless, unless taken on the beach.

If anything, the G55 is all show and go, but the go part is never relevant in the Hamptons, because whoever the owner is probably doesn’t even know what a locking differential is. The only thing that “pretend weekend warriors” care about is looking like a weekend warrior, and the G55 facilitates that image in spades.

Personally, I just think it looks bad-ass, but it’s way too impractical. Oh, I forgot to mention that it costs $124,000 new. Fortunately, an all-new 2013 model is just arriving for sale in the States, but that one costs even more, at $135,000. Madness.


Highly Modified Land Rover Defender: Classic British Off-Roading

LOCATION SPOTTED: Brown Harris Stevens (Amagansett)
LOCATION SPOTTED: Brown Harris Stevens (Amagansett)


  • (Not really what this car is about)

The Land Rover Defender; a car that needs no introduction to Land Rover enthusiasts and many others in the off road community. This entry is kind of a departure from the usual fast and luxurious cars you see on DRIVEHAMPTONS, whereas it is somewhat rare to find a tricked out car that (as far as i know) isn’t even sold in America any longer. Whoever owns this particular rig means business.

It’s very possible that in the Hamptons, this particular car’s owner has absolutely no interest in cars and simply owns this car just for the way it looks and nothing else. Perhaps that is one thing that I haven’t been stressing about on as editor. There are two types of people who own these expensive and highly exotic cars in the Hamptons. The first kind (Type 1) are the most commonly found; people who have such an obscene amount of money that they really don’t care what things cost or what it is that they even buy in the first place, just whatever is the most convenient to buy. The second kind are the type of people who aren’t always as financially successful, but are easily 20 times more passionate about their cars, therefore each of their cars is likely to have aftermarket upgrades and therefore are more interesting and significant. In the case of this Defender, it most certainly belongs to the second party.

The Defender is a very rare car in the United States. However, that isn’t because it’s a bad car. It’s really the last true, rugged off roader produced by Land Rover. They stopped North American sales in 1997 in pursuit of more cushy luxurious models like the Range Rover or Discovery. Too bad, because it means that there is going to be only more and more of the Type 1 car buyers, people who just couldn’t be bothered, because all they want is to be coddled in supreme comfort, and couldn’t care less if their SUV can actually go off road. There’s nothing wrong with not being enthusiastic about your car, everyone is built differently, but don’t walk around saying “oh I like cars” when you drive a bone stock Audi Q5, because you’ll sound ridiculous to any enthusiast.