Mercedes-AMG has unveiled the 2019 G63, set to arrive in Australia during the third quarter of this year.
Like the 'regular' G-Class unveiled last year, the new G63 is longer (101mm), wider (121 mm) and taller (40mm) than its predecessor, with a design best described as evolutionary. Mercedes hasn't tried to reinvent the wheel, but there are enough small touches to differentiate between old and new.
The body-shell itself features a smarter mix of materials, including various types of steel and aluminium, for a structure 55 per cent stronger than before. That should make for fewer unpleasant noises and vibrations in the cabin, and a safer car in crash testing as well.
Along with side-pipes and bigger (up to 22-inches) wheels, the designers in Affalterbach have set the G63 apart from its more mundane brethren with bigger air intakes, more aggressive bumpers and a 'Panamericana' grille similar to that of the AMG GT R.
Power comes from a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine with 430kW and 850Nm, the latter available between 2500 and 3500rpm. When you aren't making use of all that grunt, cylinder deactivation allows the engine to run as a four-cylinder for better efficiency – although the claimed 13.2L/100km fuel consumption figure isn't exactly parsimonious.
It's put to a rear-biased (60:40) four-wheel drive system through a nine-speed automatic gearbox, complete with paddles and multiple-downshift capability for "more spontaneous bursts of speed".
The net result is a 4.5 second sprint from 0-100km/h, on the way to a 220km/h top speed. Adding the AMG Driver's package boosts that top speed to 240km/h.
When you're not blasting along the autobahn, the G63 should prove typically capable off-road – provided you're not afraid to scratch the paintwork, of course. A higher (2.93) reduction ratio in the transfer case should make it easier to get moving on steep inclines, and drivers can switch from low- to high-range at up to 70km/h.
All the differential locks can be engaged on the move, and Mercedes-AMG says the system is quicker to engage than before.
For the first time, the G63 rides on a fully-independent double-wishbone front suspension, with coil springs at all four corners. Off-road, it delivers 241mm of ground clearance, while adjustable damping will allow drivers to tailor the ride to their tastes. The electro-mechanical steering system is also variable, adjusting its weighting based on speed and drive mode.
Behind the wheel, AMG G63 drivers benefit from a more luxurious, modern interior than before. Although the classic G-Class grab handle and dash-mounted differential locks have carried over, the (optional) twin 12.3-inch widescreen infotainment displays and improved materials should help lift the ambience.
The bigger body also makes for more space inside: front (+38mm) and rear (+150mm) legroom, front (+38mm) and rear (+27mm) shoulder room and front (+68mm) and rear (+56mm) elbow room are all markedly better than before. Massaging, heated/cooled seats are optional, and add active side-bolstering to the mix.
As is becoming standard for Mercedes-AMG, the G63 will be launched in spiffy Edition 1 guise. Stripes along the sides of the car and mirror housings, matte black 22-inch wheels and gloss black detailing are all part of the package, along with red interior highlights.
The G63 will be here in Q3 this year, with pricing and specification to be confirmed. Stay tuned to CarAdvice for the latest.
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