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Mercedes G LAPV Erlkönig: Update for the armored car

Stefan Baldauf
Mercedes G-Class LAPV Erlkönig
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L ight Armored Patrol Vehicle - light, armored patrol -Vehicle, LAPV for short. This is the short code for the 'Panzer-G' from Mercedes. The Stuttgart-based company produces two versions in cooperation with the special equipment supplier ACS from Aichach for army customers around the world: the LAPV 5.4, called 'Enok' by the German armed forces, and the LAPV 6.1, which our Erlkönigjäger now went into the network during test drives at the Arctic Circle .

Panzer-G with portal axles

The LAPV 6.1 differs fundamentally from the 'Enok', which is based on the standard version of the military G461 model, primarily in terms of its chassis technology. The LAPV 6.1 uses portal axles (like the G63 AMG 6x6), which are fitted with huge 37-inch tires. This gives the LAPV 6.1 its characteristic brute look and also has the advantage of better protection against mines due to the higher ground clearance. The type designations 5.4 and 6.1 come from the total weight of the vehicles - 6.1 tons for the 6.1.

In 2015, the Bundeswehr ordered 49 units of the LAPV 6.1, which will be delivered by the end of 2017, and from the Special Forces Command be put into service. The Erlkönig of the LAPV 6.1 is particularly noticeable due to the unusual chassis with two struts per wheel, which is equipped with special dampers with external reservoirs, as used in rallying.

LAPV 6.1 on beadlock rims

Compared to the previously known model of the LAPV 6.1, the new bumper is also noticeable. The new, characteristically shaped steel bumper has an integrated cable winch equipped with a plastic cable and a modern quick-release adapter. A hitch coupling is located above the winch window.

The empty 4.8-ton LAPV 6.1-Erlkönig rolls on special so-called beadlock rims. These have a screwed, outer rim ring with which the tire is fixed on the wheel. In this way, you can drive with massively reduced air pressure without the tires 'wandering' or jumping off the rim. This is particularly advantageous when driving in deep sand or deep snow.

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