Recently tested the new Mercedes-AMG G 63 and having driven it a few years ago, was mightily impressed at the improvements it had. This was mainly in the drive quality, which has been made smoother, more quiet in the cabin, and just generally more comfortable. This comes courtesy of the newly developed AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension, the AMG-specific transmission modes and the new interior with optimal widescreen cockpit.
The G63 AMG is made for off-roading, and it does this very well. It looks like a military vehicle in a lot of aspects, and due to it’s insane 430 kW 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine, it literally scares cars off the road. So many times during my 7-day test, I was given the dirty look when I passed, it is loud, and in Sport mode, infinitely more so, so it scares people.
Built like a panzer truck, it is a solid machine for sure. When you close the doors, you need to give them a full push, to be rewarded with a solid thwack. The unmistakable boxy silhouette, the proud bonnet, external door hinges, round headlamps, mounted direction indicators, robust door handles, muscular protective strips with inserts in high-gloss black with a silver AMG emblem, the exposed spare wheel on the rear door with a stainless steel cover and three-dimensional Mercedes star, all encompass the iconic design cues of the G63.
The front section of the G 63 is characterised by the AMG-specific radiator grille and the AMG bumper with large side air inlets and trim in matt iridium silver. The headlamps, indicators and tail lights are in LED High Performance technology as standard. This lighting consumes less energy and has a particularly long service life.
MULTIBEAM LED headlamps including Adaptive Highbeam Assist plus, come standard. These each use 84 individually controlled high-performance LED modules to illuminate the road surface automatically with an extremely bright and precisely directed beam of light, without dazzling other road users. That is because this individual control allows the light distribution of the left and right headlamps to be adapted separately, quickly and dynamically to suit the changing situation on the road. This improves safety for all road users.
With the enhanced fog light function, the MULTIBEAM LED technology also allows the headlamp on the driver’s side to illuminate that side more actively, while masking any rise in the light beam. As a result, the outer half of the road surface is more brightly illuminated and back-glare from the light reflected from the fog is reduced. Other characteristics of the G 63 include the flared front and rear wheel arches, which create space for the larger, wider wheels. Running boards as standard, distinctive trim elements on the front and rear bumpers and metallic paintwork as standard round off the exclusive exterior. Other distinguishing features include the “V8 BITURBO” lettering on the front wings and the Mercedes-AMG G 63 model badge on the rear door. Red brake callipers, perforated brake discs and up to 22-inch wheel upgrades available for the first time, round off the exterior design.
Into the Cabin.
The comfort level is increased as well, with a wider interior and more comfy seats. The new G 63 has been given a completely newly designed, modern interior. A new fully digital 12.3 inch Widescreen Cockpit comes as standard for the first time in the new G-Class allowing the driver to have three different display styles. These styles are “Classic”, “Sporty” and “Progressive”.
The new dimensional concept in the interior benefits all the occupants. The increase in length (+101 millimetres), width (+121 millimetres) and height (+40 millimetres) provides the basis for a significantly more airy and spacious impression than in the previous model.
High class touch materials have been used throughout the interior. With its unmistakable character and high-quality appointments, the G-Class has always managed to combine off-road capability and luxury in a particularly harmonious way. Even in its standard specification, the G-Class’s timeless and authentic open-pore wood trim gives it an air of classical elegance. Its stylish details include the generous use of high-quality metal or carbon fibre trim, and its leather seats. The doors are very solid, clear evidence of that hallmark “G” functionality. A well-conceived stowage space concept with numerous stowage compartments (e.g. in the armrest or in the rear doors) ensures that everything has its place. There is now an illuminated compartment under the armrest for items such as a penknife or sunglasses. The adjustable backrest of the rear bench seat is free-standing for maximum variability. Ten adjustment stages allow for maximum flexibility. Connectivity and digitisation using the latest technology is provided by the infotainment system COMAND Online with NTG 5.5, which is standard. This begins with effortless integration of a smartphone into the onboard infotainment system. Phone calls can then be conveniently made via the Bluetooth® hands-free system.
Apple’s smartphone-based infotainment system CarPlay® and Google’s Android Auto™ can also be used with COMAND Online.
The Powerful Engine.
The AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine now also replaces the previous 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine in the Mercedes-AMG G 63. It generates 430 kW in this model, and delivers a maximum torque of 850 Nm. This goes into making you feel like the King of the Road. The power delivery is effortless, and there is very little turbo lag. A very fast 0 to 100km/h of 44.5 secs in such a big and bulky car is quite disconcerting for the uninitiated.
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission is used in the Mercedes-AMG G 63. This has a model-specific software application to achieve very short shift times. The multiple downshift function allows more spontaneous bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in “Sport” and “Sport+” transmission modes makes for an even more emotional driving experience. Defined engine manipulation makes for even faster gear changes.
With the five DYNAMIC SELECT on-road modes “Slippery”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport+” and “Individual”, the characteristics range from efficient and comfortable to very sporty. Key parameters such as the response of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering are modified in the process. Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs, the driver has the option of pressing the “M” button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. If required, the stages of the adaptive adjustable suspension can be selected as well.
Three off-road modes “Sand”, “Trail” and “Rock”, are available when driving off the beaten track. These are accessed using the switch in the centre console for activation of the central differential lock, and can then be selected with the DYNAMIC SELECT rocker switch. The dual-flow exhaust system features side pipes below the rear doors. The twin tailpipes in high-gloss chrome emit the typical AMG V8 sound. This is what really sets it apart, when this behemoth comes past you, you know about.
|Engine||4.0-litre V8 with two turbochargers|
|Output||430 kW at 6.000 rpm|
|Peak torque||850 Nm at 2.500-3.500 rpm|
|Drive system||AMG Performance|
|Pricing.||R2 700 000.00|
In summing up this iconic vehicle, it certainly is pleasurable to drive, whether I would want to drive it every day is debateble however, as it is so extra in every aspect. But an icon it certainly is, and so improved that it was a pleasure driving it again.