Driven: Mercedes GL63 AMG
The boys at Affalterbach have fiddled with Merc's mammoth SUV, the GL-Class. But has it been turned into a driver's car?
557 horses and 760Nm of pulling power is a lot, isn't it? It's that sort of power that will spoil you rotten. And that's what we've been upto all day and that too right in the home ground of AMG, where Merc gives its half-finished cars in the hands of the AMG boys to turn them into monsters. Tarmac-tearing, earth-shattering monsters.
And the power that we're referring to here comes from Merc's biggest SUV - the GL63 AMG. Let us tell you something about this mammoth of an SUV. The first thing that you need to know is that Merc has decided to get this beast to India. And that too real soon. You'll be able to handover a cheque to a Merc dealer from April 15 to get yourself Merc's fastest-accelerating SUV. And if you ask about the figure that you must mention on the cheque, then we'll be able to tell you that only on April 15. For now, allow us to tell you more about the GL63.
So yes, as we mentioned earlier, it is Merc's fastest-accelerating SUV. How fast, you ask? A mere 4.9 seconds to hit 100kph. That's intruding into supercar territory, isn't it? Forget intruding, it'll put some supercars to shame, it's that quick. If you keep the throttle pushed to the metal even after hitting that ton, it'll hit a full 250kph before the computers restrict it from going any further.
All that power to get this heavyweight champ sprinting this quick comes from a 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 that puts its power to the tarmac through all four wheels via a 7-speed transmission. So, no wheel spin, no drama, just bang on action.
Hold on for a minute if you thought your search for a supercar in an SUV guise has ended. To be a supercar in SUV clothes, it needs to be a great handler apart from being just a drag-strip hero. And, to be honest, it isn't a great one at that. We would say, the Cayenne Turbo and GTS handle far better than this one. The GL63 is one heavy piece of machinery. And you feel that weight playing spoilsport when you show it a corner. Sure, Merc has brimmed it with tech that, on paper at least, makes it a much better handler. But out on the road, you realise that it's not an inherent corner-lover. The electronics try really hard to keep things tidy, but they don't do things with a charm. The steering that's short on feedback doesn't help either.
So, should the Cayenne be getting nightmares? Well, if you're talking about 0-100 figures and the GL's overall practicality with its seven seats and other creature comforts, yes, it should. But if you're talking about handling and being able to bring out that smile on your face after taking a really fast corner, then the Cayenne still will be your choice.
5,461cc, biturbo V8 petrol, 557bhp, 760Nm, 4WD, 0-100kph: 4.9sec, top speed: 250kph
Blisteringly fast and sounds like a supercar. But not the ideal choice if you're looking for a driver's SUV