It’s barely been a month since we were introduced to the first all-new Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV in many years. Now, we’re ready to embrace the amped-up version from AMG, and as you probably expect, it’s no slouch. Say hello to the 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63, and we’ll just cut right to the good part. This boxy SUV will rip to 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds, which is nearly a full second better than its high-performance predecessor.
How does the G63 accomplish such a feat? You’re probably thinking the ample AMG-supplied power boost deserves all the credit, but that’s only part of the story. The familiar 4.0-liter biturbo V8 is retained for the G63, but it’s massaged to belt out 577 horsepower (430 kilowatts). That’s certainly plenty of oomph, but compared to the previous G63 it’s only a 14-hp (10 kW) improvement. Therefore, credit must also be given to the significant weight loss between new and old models – 375 pounds (174 kilograms) to be specific.
You might also notice that the G63’s 577 hp matches that of the AMG GT R. You’re not wrong, but in the SUV this engine generates a monumental 627 pound-feet (850 newton-meters) of twist, which is over 100 more than you’ll find in the GT R and 60 more compared to the previous AMG G63. Add all these factoids up and suddenly you have a boxy G-Class that can outrun many hardcore sport sedans in daily stoplight-to-stoplight battles.
Of course, the new G63 is more than just its engine. Handling the power is an AMG Speedshift TCT nice-speed automatic with a full-manual mode available, shifted via paddle shifters on the AMG-specific sport steering wheel. AMG-tuned 4MATIC all-wheel drive is set up to send 60 percent of the power rearward, while AMG suspension tweaks offer standard-issue adaptive adjustable damping, which can be optimized for on- or off-road performance. Most settings, of course, can be adjusted through the AMG Dynamic Selection functions, which can provide four present options or a fifth option which can be customized by the driver.
Visually, the Mercedes-AMG G63 is easily distinguished by its unique vertical-bar grille. The front fascia is AMG-specific as well with slightly larger intakes, and the wheel arches have a bit more flare to accommodate larger wheel options up to 22 inches in diameter. A revamped active exhaust system sends the V8’s song exiting through cool side-exit pipes, with two noise settings available for either a mellow rumble or something a bit louder. Special badging, AMG door sills, and red brake calipers with perforated disc brakes are part of the AMG upgrade as well.
When the G63 launches later this year, Mercedes will offer an exclusive “Edition 1” mode that will serve as the G-Class flagship. Exclusively an appearance package, the Edition 1 will get a coat of black paint with matte gray stripes on the sides and red stripes on the mirrors. There will also be an AMG Night package available to help turn the G63 to the dark side with tinted headlights, taillights, and black 22-inch wheels.
The 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 will debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show in March. Pricing will be revealed later, with models going on sale by the end of the year.