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Geneva show: Mercedes-AMG uncovers 430kW G63

G-Unit: The G63 looks like a more intimidating version of the regular G-Class, complete with dual side-exit exhaust tips and Mercedes-AMG’s signature Panamericana front grille insert.

Potent Mercedes-AMG G63 off-roader to launch new-generation G-Class range in Q3


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13 Feb 2018

MERCEDES-AMG has taken the prowess of the new-generation G-Class off-roader a step further by shoehorning its familiar 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine under the bonnet to create the imposing G63.

Due on sale in Australia in the third quarter of this year, the G63 punches out 430kW of power at 6000rpm and 850Nm of torque from 2500 to 3500rpm, up 10kW and 90Nm over the old 5.5-litre unit it replaces.

Paired to a nine-speed AMG Speedshift automatic transmission with paddle shifters and a rear-biased AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel-drive system, the G-Class flagship can sprint from zero to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds – 0.9s quicker than before.

Top speed is electronically limited to 220km/h, up 10km/h, but can be lifted to 240km/h when the optional AMG Driver’s package is added.

Despite the performance figures, the G63 has a claimed fuel consumption figure of 13.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle test, while its carbon dioxide emissions have been tested at 299 grams per km, down 0.6L/100km and 105g/km respectively.

These claims are partly thanks to the V8’s cylinder deactivation technology that shuts down half of its cylinders when the engine is under partial load from 1000 to 3250rpm and the Comfort driving mode is selected.

The aforementioned automatic transmission features a double-declutching function in the Sport and Sport+ modes, while G63-specific software leads to quick shift times, according to Mercedes. Importantly, its manual mode holds onto the selected gear, even when the engine speed hits the redline.

The all-wheel-drive set-up has a front to rear torque split of 40 to 60 per cent, which Mercedes-AMG says “ensures greater agility on the road and improved traction during acceleration”.

As per the regular G-Class range, the G63 has three differential locks – front, centre and rear – and an off-road reduction gear, boosting the model’s credentials off the beaten track.

Riding on an independent double-wishbone suspension up front and and a solid-axle five-link set-up at the rear with coil springs at all corners, dubbed AMG Ride Control, the spiciest G-Class features adaptive dampers that can be adjusted via three settings – Comfort, Sport and Sport+.

There are five on-road and three off-road AMG Dynamic Select driving modes, with the former allowing the driver to adjust engine, transmission, suspension, steering differential lock settings on the move.

On-road modes extend to Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual, while their off-road counterparts include Sand, Trail and Rock.

With a kerb weight of 2485kg, the potent G-Class is no featherweight but benefits from an aluminium bonnet, wings and doors that help to reduce mass. Its ladder-frame chassis and other components are composed of various steel grades.

Unsurprisingly, the G63 looks like a more intimidating version of the regular G-Class, complete with Mercedes-AMG’s signature Panamericana grille insert, large bumper, side air intakes and matte Iridium Silver trim up front.

Around the side, flared wheelarches, running boards, alloy wheels up to 22 inches in diameter, red brake callipers and perforated brake discs enhance the G63’s sporting intent.

However, the most noticeable flourish is the dual chrome exhaust tips tucked beneath the rear door on either side of the vehicle. These are connected to the dual-flow exhaust system that features two-stage adjustment controlled by the aforementioned driving modes.

Inside, the G63 is a familiar proposition following the reveal of the regular G-Class at the Detroit motor show in January, save for the key addition of a flat-bottom AMG Performance Nappa leather steering wheel.

An optional AMG Night package adds a dark tint to the LED headlights, tail-lights and indicators rear window and rear side windows, as well as Obsidian Black paint to the side mirror caps, the spare wheel ring, and front and rear bumper trim, while the 21- or 22-inch alloy wheels pick up a matte-black finish.

A special Edition 1 version of the G63 will be also offered, incorporating the AMG Night package with unique red highlights inside and out.

According to Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers, the German car-maker was intent on ensuring the new G63 remained true to its forebear.

“The new AMG G63 brings driving performance to the segment of unadulterated off-road vehicles in unexpected form. It was important for us to tie in with the original character on account of the cult status the G63 enjoys with our customers and fans,” he said.

“The vehicle has nevertheless reached a completely new dimension in terms of technology with the 4.0-litre V8 bi-turbo engine as well as in combination with the off-road characteristics, the agility and the vehicle dynamics achieved.

“This applies to the entire G-Class model series. Mercedes-AMG is responsible for their suspension and chassis development as well as V8 competence.” The Mercedes-AMG G63 will make its international debut at the Geneva motor show on March 6, with Australian pricing and specification to be confirmed closer to its local launch.

As previously reported, a yet-to-be-revealed diesel-powered G-Class variant will follow the G63 to market later this year.

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