2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 First Drive: Go fast everywhere

    Because the attractive French countryside flies by, all I can do is snort. A Three-ton SUV with the aerodynamic drag coefficient of a industrial fridge has simply hit 60 miles per hour in a scant Four.Four seconds, and the pace continues to climb with relentless ambition. This expertise is equal elements pleasant and absurd.

    That is the Mercedes-AMG G63 in a nutshell. It’s an unimaginable show of automotive extra; an SUV that’s as succesful on-road as it’s within the filth, with one among Mercedes’ most luxurious interiors and an look that simply oozes cool.

    Sturdy bones

    The 2019 AMG G63 advantages from the identical slew of updates as the new G550. Meaning there is a stronger chassis and physique construction, and the doorways, fenders and hood at the moment are constructed from light-weight aluminum.

    You will discover the G63 at first by its AMG-specific schnoz. I am not fully offered on Mercedes’ vertically oriented Panamericana grille right here on the large, boxy G-Wagen, however every part else seems nice. The flared wheel arches home normal 20-inch rollers wrapped in 275/50-series rubber, although you may extra probably see this stuff using on the non-obligatory 22s. Meaty 15.7-inch entrance and 14.6-inch rear brake rotors sit behind these upsized wheels, and the G63 sits a tenth of an inch decrease to the bottom than its G550 counterpart.

    The G63 will get an AMG-specific steering wheel and a few distinctive coloration choices, however in any other case, it has the identical great inside as the brand new G550.


    No scarcity of luxurious or tech

    Every little thing I like in regards to the G550’s inside applies to the AMG G63. It is much more spacious and way more comfy than earlier than, with trendy design and very good execution. The G63 will get a couple of distinctive materials colours and a thick-rimmed, flat-bottomed, AMG-specific steering wheel, however in any other case, what you you noticed within the G550 carries over unchanged.

    That features the 12.Three-inch middle show for Mercedes’ largely good COMAND infotainment system. Should you spec the non-obligatory dual-screen setup, which replaces the standard gauges with a second 12.Three-inch display screen, you may discover some AMG-specific readouts inside the suite of driving information, together with the all-important lap timer and g-force meter.

    It is definitely not a sports activities automobile, however because of its new entrance suspension and electromechanical steering setup, the AMG G63 is way simpler to regulate whereas driving quick.


    Unbelievable energy, now with extra poise

    Whereas the AMG G63 makes use of the identical Four.Zero-liter twin-turbo V8 engine because the G550, it is tuned to ship a powerful wealth of energy. There’s now a staggering 577 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque on provide. Not solely is that 14 horsepower and 66 pound-feet greater than the outgoing G63, it is a full 161 horsepower and 177 pound-feet greater than the brand new G550, which is already loads strong by way of out there oomph. Mix that with a quick-shifting nine-speed computerized transmission and rear-biased four-wheel-drive, and that is how the completely nutso Four.Four-second Zero-60 dash is feasible. It is a full second faster to 60 mph than the earlier G63, and loud as hell. My God.

    The place the previous G63 was an absolute terror to drive shortly on winding roads, the brand new mannequin is considerably extra composed. Credit score the absolutely unbiased entrance suspension and (particularly) the brand new electromechanical steering setup, each of that are barely massaged for AMG obligation. Just like the G550, the G63’s steering is way extra direct and responsive in its motion, although nonetheless missing in tactile suggestions. Fast transitions will end in noticeable physique roll, however it’s nowhere close to as topsy-turvy because the previous G63. This brutish SUV is a merely so much simpler to regulate, and the large, AMG-specific brakes can scrub off pace with a quickness ought to issues begin to get out of hand.

    The G63 will get 5 completely different driving modes in its Dynamic Choose toggle, with the default Consolation mode offering an awesome steadiness of unimaginable energy and manageable aggression. An Eco mode relaxes the throttle response within the hopes of bettering gas economic system (hahaha), and on the opposite finish, Sport and Sport+ modes sharpen the steering response and accelerator response, in addition to stiffen the adaptive AMG dampers. A closing Slippery mode adjustments the four-wheel-drive torque distribution from its default 40/60 entrance/rear break up to an equal 50/50 setup, and stiffens the dampers for higher management in dicey situations.

    Although not fairly as succesful as a G550, you may nonetheless lock all three of the G63’s differentials, and there are Path, Rock and Sand modes constructed into the off-road Dynamic Choose toggle.


    Oh yeah, it will off-road

    Identical to the G550, the AMG G63 means that you can lock all three differentials on the full-time 4WD system by way of giant buttons within the middle stack. Locking the middle diff places the G63 into its off-road setting, the place the Dynamic Choose toggle permits you to swap between Path, Rock and Sand modes, altering the steering weight and throttle mapping to permit for smoother inputs higher suited to every sort of terrain.

    The G550’s G Mode adaptive off-road settings aren’t out there on the G63, however that does not imply it might probably’t deal with the robust stuff. The G63’s strategy and departure angles are solely a few levels extra acute than the G550’s, although its breakover angle is lowered by a full Four.Three levels. Nonetheless, it will ford as much as 27.6 inches of mucky water, and with a lot energy on provide, it is arduous to think about a situation through which the G63 would really get caught. The place the G63 will probably be most at house off-road is on sand dunes, or drifting round lengthy sweepers on dusty trails. Simply be sure to match the correct tires. I would not dream of leaving pavement in one among these rolling on 22s with summer time rubber.

    Should you’re holding out for a V12-powered AMG G65, you are out of luck. Good factor the brand new G63 is all of the automotive overkill you may ever want.


    The final word G

    Simply because the G550 is a greater G-Class in all the appropriate methods, so, too, is the G63. It ups the luxurious and tech issue by an enormous margin, and enhancements in drivability imply you may really use that massive reserve of energy.

    The G63 is predicted to start out round $140,000 to $150,000, or about $20,000 greater than an equal G550. You would possibly increase an eyebrow at that, however keep in mind that the present G63 really outsells the G550 in locations just like the Center East and Los Angeles. In these markets, the G-Wagen is at first a standing image. And in the event you’re holding out for a brand new V12-powered G65, effectively, don’t hold your breath. Apart from, the beautiful overkill of the brand new G63 will swimsuit you simply high-quality.

    Houston, now we have liftoff.


    Editors’ word: Roadshow accepts multiday automobile loans from producers to be able to present scored editorial critiques. All scored automobile critiques are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases. Nevertheless, for this function, the producer lined journey prices. That is frequent within the auto business, as it’s miles extra economical to ship journalists to vehicles than to ship vehicles to journalists.

    The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial group are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.

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