Car news

02 June 2012

Mercedes reveals GL63 AMG

When a diesel hatchback just won’t do… meet the 557bhp V8 seven-seat über-SUV

Vijay Pattni
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The new GL63 AMG completes Mercedes. No, scratch that, Mercedes had the GL63 AMG at hello. Says Ola Källenius, Mercedes AMG chairman: "The new GL63 AMG completes our performance-oriented all-wheel-drive offering."

Confused? It was only recently that we got wind of - and drove - the G63 AMG. That's the G-Wagen, that archaic, somewhat absurdly powerful old school off-roader. This is the Big Daddy, the lynchpin of the socially delinquent super SUVs, and it's a big ‘un.

Sadly for us, the new seven-seat Mercedes GL63 AMG doesn't get the 6.2-litre V8 of old, which is a shame because that unit is a popping, farting, burbling masterpiece. Have you heard what it sounds like in an SLS Roadster?

Instead, it gets the new 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine Mercedes is blanketing its AMG range with, and that's no bad thing at all. 557bhp and 760Nm of torque equates to a 0-100kph time of just 4.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250kph. If you're careful - and hopeful - Mercedes reckons it'll achieve around 10kpl, and it emits 288g/km of CO2.

Naturally, it's a four-wheel-drive affair underneath (40:60 split front to rear), and those 557 horses are saddled via a seven-speed AMG gearbox with three modes. It even gets start/stop for goodness sake.

Mercedes is keen to promote the GL63's sporting bent, and as such, this AMG gets an ‘active curve system' that minimises body roll during cornering, and provides greater handling stability. The steering precision and feel is said to have been bettered thanks to a more robustly designed rear axle stabiliser bar, which is handy. Literally. Do though, bear in mind its rather prodigious kerb weight of around two and half tonnes.

The brakes are simply huge - 390mm discs up front, and 345mm discs at the back - hiding behind 21in light-alloy wheels, and elsewhere on the Leviathan, you'll find AMG cues like air intakes, silver trim inserts, flared arches and the classic twin exhaust pipes.

Being a high-riding S-Class, the GL63 gets the full complement of goodies: electrically adjustable seats, colour TFT screen, lots of leather, lots of things with the ‘Easy' prefix (easy entry, easy pack tailgate) and even an AMG performance steering wheel.

Prices to be confirmed. The ML63 AMG is quite a lot of money. This will be more.

Tags: mercedes benz, gl class, gl 63 amg, amg