MERCEDES-BENZ has sold out of the most expensive SUV it currently sells, as the wait list for the $247,700 (before on-road costs) AMG-fettled G63 stretches out to 2020.
Speaking to journalists at the launch of the new model, Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific (MBAP) head of media relations and product communications Jerry Stamoulis said the popularity of the new-generation G63 was due to its heritage and wide-ranging appeal.
“When you’ve had a vehicle in production since 1979, you are going to get everyone buying this type of vehicle,” he said.
“It’s a very popular vehicle, and we’re actually sold out until 2020 in Australia.
“It is still a hand-built vehicle; the factory only builds a limited supply, so there’s only so many that we have access to.”
Sitting atop the Benz SUV tree, the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8-powered Mercedes-AMG G63 is nearly $30,000 more expensive than the $219,290 GLS63 that is propelled by a 5.5-litre force-fed bent eight.
Stacked up against some perceived rivals, however, the Mercedes-AMG G63 is one of the cheaper $100,00-plus upper-large SUVs, against the likes of the $334,700 Bentley Bentayga V8 and $268,900 Range Rover Autobiography.
However, it’s the new-look interior that is expected to draw more buyers to the G-Class family as the old, utilitarian cabin has been swapped for the modern widescreen infotainment system and all-digital instrumentation of the E-Class.
Mr Stamoulis said MBAP is seeing an increase in female buyers in the new-generation G-Class, while the G63 is expected to account for around 80 per cent of the model’s sales, even after the expectedly more attainable, diesel-powered G350d lands sometime next year.
“Without a doubt, it (G63) was (the best-selling variant) in the previous car and it will be with this one as well,” he said.
“We’ll definitely be selling more. It won’t be high numbers, but it will come down to how many we can get next year, because the demand is so high.
“It has so much road presence that there isn’t an exact demographic we can pin it on.”
Though Mr Stamoulis would not be drawn on exact allocation numbers for Australia, last year Mercedes-Benz sold just 139 examples of its G-Class model.
For the first 11 months of this year, only 99 new G-Class vehicles have been registered, a 25.6 per cent decrease over the same period last year.
Sharing the ubiquitous 4.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 found in the likes of the AMG-tuned C63, GLC63 and GT two-seater, the Mercedes-AMG G63 develops 430kW of peak power at 6000rpm and 850Nm of maximum torque between 2500-3500rpm.
Compared with its AMG siblings, the G63 is only bested in power and torque by the 450kW/900Nm S63 limousine that costs $374,640.
Sending drive to the road via a nine-speed automatic transmission and Mercedes’ 4Matic four-wheel-drive system, the G63 can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds, despite its 2560kg kerb weight.
With a gross vehicle mass of 3200kg, the G63 features a maximum payload capacity of just 640kg, while the roof is rated to handle a 150kg haul.
While local fuel consumption figures are yet to be divulged, overseas numbers peg the G63 at 13.2 litres per 100km on the combined cycle test, with carbon dioxide emissions recorded at 299 grams per kilometre.
Measuring 4873mm long, 2013mm wide and 1966mm tall with a 2890mm wheelbase, the new-generation G-Class has grown in every dimension to afford occupants increased head-, leg- and shoulder-room.
However, boot volume has actually decreased from 480 litres to 454L.
The solid axle front of the outgoing G-Class has now been replaced with a multi-link set-up, but Mercedes has ensured off-road capability thanks to a low-range transfer case, ladder-frame chassis, live rear axle and locking differentials (front, centre and rear).
Adding to the G63’s off-road prowess is a 3mm increase in ground clearance, to 238mm, and a 700mm wading depth.
Conversely, the adaptive suspension can also be toggled between Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes that progressively reduces body roll and stiffens the ride.
As previously mentioned, the new G63’s boxy, old-school exterior styling is updated with an AMG Panamericana front grille, larger air intakes and LED lighting signature, as well as carryover elements including red brake callipers, dual-tipped side-exit exhaust outlets on each side and 21-inch wheels wrapped in 285/45 rubber as standard.
However, the exterior is juxtaposed with a fresh and contemporary interior that sports two 12.3-inch displays for the infotainment system and all-digital instrumentation.
Standard equipment extends to a 15-speaker Burmester sound system, 64-colour ambient lighting, heated pews, three-zone climate control, a sliding glass sunroof, push-button start and an AMG steering wheel finished in Nappa leather.
The Comand infotainment system also houses a digital radio, TV tuner, satellite navigation and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility.
Safety gear includes nine airbags, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition, a surround-view monitor and reversing camera.
Buyers can also option a $5900 Night Package that includes tinted indicator lenses, black door mirror housing and exterior highlights and 22-inch wheels.
An Edition 1 option is also available for $19,500, which bundles the Night Package with interior upgrades such as black and red Nappa leather seats with multi-contour adjustment, silver shadow air vents, red-pepper carbon-fibre interior trim, as well as exterior side decals.