Mercedes has just unveiled the long-awaited 2019 AMG G63 – the go-fast version of its all-new 2019 G-Class, which is still hot off the auto show stage. Its official name is the Mercedes-AMG G63, and it’s better in every measurable way over the outgoing model. Not only does the G63 benefit from the G-Class’ new appearance, swanky interior, wider stance, and updated suspension system, it also boasts a slew of AMG parts that push this SUV into sports car territory.
Continue reading for more on the 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63.
A New G-Wagen For a New Age
The previous G-Wagen was extremely impressive, but its 40-year old bones were holding it back. Mercedes finally decided to ditch the G’s military-spec underpinnings and revamp its halo SUV.
Not surprisingly, the G is so much better for it.
Of course, with this being the AMG model, the headlining feature is the engine. Mercedes didn’t disappoint thanks to a hand-built 4.0-liter, biturbo, V-8 making an impressive 577 horsepower and a stump-pulling 627 pound-feet of torque.
Like other AMG engines, the 4.0-liter uses a hot-V design, mounting its twin turbos in the valley between the cylinder heads. The engine uses a reverse-flow intake and exhaust system with clean air coming from the outside of the cylinder heads and exiting into the twin-scroll turbos perched atop the engine. The result is nearly instant boost.
Power is sent through AMG’s SpeedShift nine-speed automatic transmission and through the G-Class’ new full-time 4WD system with its rear-biased 40/60 torque split. Despite its weight, the burly SUV will hit 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds and reach 137 mph. Pay extra for the AMG Driver’s Package and the top speed is adjusted to 149 mph.
Naturally, the AMG G63 will sound amazing during its acceleration run thanks to AMG-tuned dual exhaust with the variable exhaust flap. Simply press a button on the center console and flaps inside the pipes open to allow more V-8 rumble, blats, and crackles past the mufflers. And in traditional AMG G-Class style, the G63 has dual exhaust tips under the rear doors on each side.
Mercedes made sure to retain the AMG G-Class’ duality, too. Not only is it a horsepower monster, but it will settle down into a relaxing family hauler. Five on-road drive modes change the G63’s character at the push of a button. The modes include Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual. That last mode is customizable by the driver to suit his or her wants. They can choose a sporty throttle response with a soft ride and firm steering.
Mercedes didn’t abandon the G-Wagon’s off-road capabilities, either. The body-on-frame SUV boasts 9.5 inches of ground clearance and four-wheel independent suspension with adaptive dampers. And in addition to the five on-road driving modes, Mercedes includes three off-road modes – Sand, Trail, and Rock.
Much of the G-Wagen’s off-road prowess comes from its full-time 4WD system and locking differentials. While the outgoing G-Wagen had a 50/50 torque split, the updated transfer case provides that 40/60 torque split for a rear-drive bias during on-road driving. When it comes to off-roading, the transfer case uses a multi-plate clutch to enter a 50/50 torque split with a 100-percent lockup.
Impressively, Mercedes designed the transfer case to enter its low-range gearing at speeds up to 25 mph. Most 4WD systems require the vehicle be fully stopped with the transmission in neutral. What’s more, the switch from low range back to high range can happen at speeds up to 44 mph. That’s made all the more impressive considering Mercedes lowered the crawl ratio from 2.1:1 to 2.93:1.
With the center transfer case locked in a 50/50 split, the electromechanically controlled rear differential can be locked. Doing so provides equal torque distribution between the two rear wheels. In extreme off-road situations where traction is at a minimum, the front differential can be locked. Using the same electromechanically connection, the driver simply presses a button on the dash. At this point, all four wheels spin at the same speed – both front to back and side to side. That means if one wheel loses traction, it will continue to spin at the same speed rather than power being diverted toward the path of least resistance. That’s what happens without differential locks. Unfortunately for those lesser vehicles, it means getting stuck.
Of course, Mercedes-AMG wasn’t about to let the G63’s visual appeal go unchanged. AMG added a new, more aggressive front grille and bumper, along with flared wheel arches. The protective side strips are high-gloss black with a silver AMG emblem. The spare tire gets a stainless steel cover with a 3D Mercedes star. Other badging includes a “V8 BITURBO” emblem on the front fenders and an AMG G63 logo on the rear door.
The trim work around the front air inlets are painted in matte iridium silver and the massive brake calipers are painted red. The G63 comes standard with 21-inch wheels, but 22s can be ordered.
There’s also an optional appearance package called the AMG Night Package. It adds smoked glass over the exterior lighting and deeply tented windows. Furthermore, the side mirrors are painted in Obsidian Black to contrast the body color. The ring around the spare tire cover and the trim on the bumpers get the same blacked-out look.
Mercedes-AMG will bring the 2019 G63 to the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show on March 6. It will arrive in showrooms closer toward 2019. Pricing has not been announced, and we don’t expect to hear anything until closer to its on-sale date.
As for what the future holds, we also expect Mercedes-AMG to launch an even more powerful AMG G-Class model. We reported on Mercedes trademarking the G73 nameplate, so that’s what we’re expecting. As for the powertrain, we’ve heard rumors of the same 4.0-liter, Biturbo, V-8 but paired with a powerful hybrid electric system for a combined horsepower close to 800.
We’ll keep you up to date here at TopSpeed.com, so stay tuned to more.
Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63.
Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-AMG G63.
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