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by Tim Beissmann

Mercedes-Benz has completed its high-performance SUV line-up with the unveiling of the Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG.

The GL63 AMG is based on the second-generation Mercedes-Benz GL-Class full-size SUV. The new Mercedes GL made its world premiere at the 2012 New York motor show in April and is destined for release in Australia late in the first quarter of 2013.

Mercedes-Benz Australia’s Jerry Stamoulis told CarAdvice the GL63 AMG was not yet signed off for our market, but admitted it was a “very good chance” to join the local line-up as a low-volume flagship option.

“Obviously we want it because the ML63 AMG does so well in our market,” Stamoulis said.

The GL63 AMG model is new to Mercedes’ line-up, as the AMG engineering team at Affalterbach in Germany did not spin a high-performance variant off the first-generation GL, which has been produced since 2006.

Producing 410kW of power (between 5250-5750rpm) and 760Nm of torque (between 2000-5000rpm), the GL63 AMG’s 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine is the most powerful V8 ever in an AMG-tuned SUV.

Sending power to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission, the GL63 AMG storms from 0-100km/h in 4.9 seconds on the way to its electronically limited 250km/h top speed.

Combined cycle fuel consumption is a respectable 12.3 litres per 100km, which, remarkably, makes it nine per cent more fuel efficient than the first-generation GL500, which had 125kW and 230Nm less grunt.

The GL63 AMG employs Mercedes’ Active Curve System roll stabilisation program and AMG’s Ride Control sports suspension, which comprises air suspension, special damper struts, automatic level control and the brand’s Active Damping System.

Drivers can select between three settings – Comfort, Sport, and Sport plus – to optimise ride comfort, and also adjust the responsiveness of the electromechanical sports steering system.

Ventilated and perforated brake discs (390mm at the front, 345mm at the rear) sit behind five-spoke titanium grey 21-inch alloy wheels.

Sporting the usual AMG styling enhancements, the GL63 AMG features an upright radiator grille with a large three-point star badge, gaping front air intakes, matt chrome lower border and a strip of LED daytime running lights.

The theme continues at the rear with shadowy tail-lights, large black openings and two chrome-plated AMG sports exhaust system tailpipes.

The classy interior is finished with white-stitched black leather, piano black panels and metallic inserts, and features three-zone climate control, massaging front seats, and USB and Bluetooth audio connectivity.

The Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG goes on sale in Europe in November and should join Mercedes Australia’s line-up sometime after the standard second-generation range in 2013.




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