at Detroit Motor Show last month. It came 39 years after the first-gen G-class was launched back in 1979. Over the period of time, the German manufacturer did update its flagship SUV several times, but due to ever-changing safety and emission norms, the first-gen G-class had to bid farewell last year.
Now, Mercedes-Benz has given the new G-Class the AMG treatment. That means the big and boxy SUV is now faster and madder than ever before. The new G 63 AMG is powered by a 4.0-litre, V8 petrol engine that generates 585PS of power and 850Nm of torque and is mated to a 9-speed gearbox tuned specifically for the G 63 to offer shorter shift times. Power is sent to all four corners of the SUV by a 4-MATIC all-wheel drive system which is rear biased with a power distribution ratio of 40 to 60 per cent. Mercedes claims the new G 63 AMG can go from 0-100kmph in 4.5 seconds and has maximum speed limited to 220 kmph, or 240 kmph with the optional AMG Driver’s package.
For better fuel efficiency, the new G 63 is equipped with AMG cylinder management system. This system deactivates the cylinders 2,3,5 and 8 under partial load conditions thus improving the fuel economy.
Designwise, the G 63, based on the new G-Class, builds on the design of its predecessor. It is 101mm longer, 121mm wider and 40mm taller than its predecessor. This should result in a more spacious cabin than before. While the design has been altered to accommodate the increased dimensions, elements like the boxy-silhouette, pull-type door handles, external door hinges, the spare wheel on the rear door and the top fender-mounted turn indicators have been retained. Other new additions to the G 63’s design are the new LED headlamps (incorporating turn indicators) flanking the AMG-specific front grille and a new bumper with larger side air vents.
Further differentiating the G 63 from the standard model are the flared front and rear wheel arches which create space for bigger wheels. You also get large running boards, trim elements on the front and rear bumpers and metallic paintwork as standard. The G 63 also gets the ‘V8 BITURBO’ lettering on the front wings and the Mercedes-AMG G 63 badge at the rear, red brake callipers, perforated brake discs and 22-inch wheels.
On the inside, the new G 63 gets a completely reworked cabin with a design that apes certain elements seen on the exterior. The circular AC vents are inspired by round LED headlamps while the dashboard-mounted speakers mimic the top-mounted turn indicators. It continues to get the passenger grab handle finished in leather and the iconic three differential lock buttons that find a place between the centre AC vents. Keeping hardcore G-Class fans in mind, Mercedes has retained the two circular analogue dials in the instrument cluster. However, the carmaker will also offer also the digital widescreen cockpit as optional. This includes two 12.3-inch displays (placed behind a single glass panel) for the instrument cluster and the infotainment system. Other standard features on offer include electrically-adjustable driver’s seat with memory function, heated front and rear seats and luxury front head restraints. Shell out a bit more and you can have the G 63 with ‘Active Multi-contour’ front seats that have massage functionality, climate control, adjustable lumbar support and active bolsters.
The G 63 gets AMG’s speed-sensitive steering as standard. This means the steering will remain light at low speeds and will start getting heavier as the speed increases. The steering power assistance is only available in two modes- Comfort and Sport.
The G 63 also gets AMG Dynamic Select which is capable of modifying parameters such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering to offer better driving dynamics depending on the mode. It has a total of eight modes- five on-road modes (Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual) and three off-road modes (Sand, Trail and Rock). Apart from the drive modes, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode letting him/her shift gears using the paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
Adding to its off-road and on-road capability is the AMG Ride Control suspension with adjustable damping. This system automatically adjusts the damping at each wheel according to the road conditions to improve ride comfort and control. For example, when driving on smooth roads, the suspension gets former to reduce body roll and offer more feedback. On the rougher stuff, the damping is softened to offer better ride quality. The damping is adjusted based on the driving style, road surface and the suspension setting selected. Three sets of damping settings are available to choose from – Comfort, Sport and Sport+. The G 63 AMG gets an independent, double wishbone suspension at the front while a rigid axle with a five-link suspension is used at the rear.
Mercedes-Benz has not yet revealed prices the new Mercedes-AMG G 63 as it is set for a world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6, 2018. The company will commence sales in international markets from March 18, 2018 with deliveries set for June this year. Although Mercedes-Benz has not revealed much about the G 63’s introduction in India, we hope to see the 585PS beast to appear at the German carmaker’s showroom within this year. After all, it is one of the most popular AMG model to be sold in the country.