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Benz adds turbo V12 to revised G-class SUV

Beastly: The updated Mercedes G-class range will be available in twin-turbo V12-powered G65 AMG guise, with a massive 1000Nm of torque on tap.

Stonking Merc G-class V12 on agenda for Oz as part of upgrade due here in 2013

12 Apr 2012

AUSTRALIAN fans of the Mercedes-Benz G-class off-roader – if not environmentalists – will be celebrating the German luxury brand’s decision to offer a rip-snorting twin-turbo V12 version as part of a model revision that is set to arrive in Australia in the second quarter of next year.

Mercedes-Benz Australia corporate communications manager Jerry Stamoulis told GoAuto the company is awaiting confirmation that the V12-powered G65 AMG will be available to this market, with a view to offering it in Australia on a special order basis like other V12 models.

“We think it will be (available),” said Mr Stamoulis. “Most people who want that vehicle want something quite unique they don’t normally order something off the rack. There are not many cars out there with that type of torque.” Speaking of torque, the G65 sends a shattering 1000Nm to the road, along with a 450kW of peak power. No acceleration figures have yet been announced but it is guaranteed to be rapid, given the existing V8-powered G55 can hit 100km/h in a respectable 5.5 seconds.

4 center imageThe G65 AMG is priced at a whopping €264,180 ($A334,575) in Europe, similar to the asking price of a Ferrari FF – and as with the all-wheel drive Ferrari, which costs $625,000 here, the G65’s price is likely to almost double once Australian import duties and luxury car tax are added.

If the V12 (or its price) is too much, AMG’s latest twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 engine replaces the G55’s supercharged unit of the same capacity to create the G63 AMG, offering 400kW (up 27kW) and 760Nm (up 60Nm) while consuming about 13 per cent less fuel due in part to the addition of idle-stop.

The diesel-powered G350 Bluetec remains the same as introduced to Australia a year ago – when the G-class was reinstated after a 13-year hiatus – producing 155kW and 540Nm and using the urea-based AdBlue additive to reduce exhaust emissions.

While retaining traditional G-class design cues, a heavily revised dashboard brings a more modern feel and increased levels of technology, including new colour screens on the instrument panel and centre stack, providing access to infotainment and navigation systems, the latter including off-road information.

Voice recognition and Bluetooth connectivity are available alongside the traditional off-road controls for the differential locks while new safety technology including adaptive cruise control that also helps prevent accidents by automatically braking when it detects a potential collision, parking sensors, reversing camera and an upgraded electronic stability control system with trailer stability assist Externally, Mercedes had not tinkered with the formula, adding LED daytime running lights and updated door mirrors, while AMG models will get the new double-louvred radiator grille, redesigned bumpers with enlarged air intakes and, optionally, red-painted brake callipers behind 20-inch alloy wheels.

In Australia, Benz has averaged eight G-class sales per month since it was launched in the first quarter of last year. Year-to-date, sales for the brand as a whole are up 4.2 per cent, with 4591 units delivered so far.

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