Mercedes-AMG G63 retains its famous shape and V8, adds tech
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Mercedes-Benz New Zealand has announced the pricing of the all-new G-Class after its global launch in France.
The new Mercedes-AMG G63 is priced from $263,900 and goes on sale late 2018, subject to the model’s expected popularity.
Production begins in June with Driven at the launch in southern France.
The G63 was revealed at this year’s Geneva motor show, with Mercedes-AMG sticking to the formula that has made the ‘G-wagon’ famous and highly sought after in New Zealand.
The distinctive shape and stance has changed little in almost 40 years while mechanical, safety, technology and equipment updates are impressive.
The latest models has several features never-before-seen on the G-Class, including two 12.3-inch widescreen displays, multibeam LED headlights, and AMG ride control adaptive damping.
Other key improvements include a new Burmester surround sound system with 15 speakers, ambient lighting with 64 colours and eight colour schemes; standard Parking Package with Active Parking Assist and 360° camera; a sliding glass sunroof with tilt function; a selectable AMG sports exhaust system; keyless go; an AMG Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather; and 21in AMG 5-Twin spoke alloy wheels.
Further standard equipment includes three 100 per cent differential locks plus an off-road information centre; digital radio and TV tuner; online infotainment system with Internet connectivity and fast hard-disc navigation featuring 3D map display and dynamic route guidance.
Safety and security is taken care of by the addition for the first time of nine airbags, including rear seat airbags and a knee airbag, plus the distronic Active Distance Assist system with Active Lane Keeping Assist. Other key measures include Blind Spot Assist, Active Brake Assist, Traffic Sign Assist, and the pre-safe system.
The G63 gets the 4-litre, V8 bi-turbo engine with 430kW of power and 850Nm of torque, up from the 420kW/760Nm produced by the previous model’s 5.5-litre V8.
It gets AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-Speed automatic transmission to a permanent all-wheel-drive system, including a low-range ratio with shift-on-the-move.
The new Mercedes-AMG G 63 will officially accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds.
We drove the G63 in southern France at the recent global launch, where we took on local country roads then the famous rally team testing ground of the Château de Lastours estate.
While the narrow public roads focussed on the width and height of the box-shaped G63, the power from the V8 engine was highlighted when overtaking – easily punting from 50km/h behind a local to 100km/h to overtake on a straight.
But the highlight had to be taking on the rally test track around the wind turbine farm at top of the Château de Lastours estate, where there is the Sebastien Loeb corner – which he infamously missed.
The test was to drive the G63 as fast as you could – safely of course – with an instructor beside you. The way that the G63 ate the rock surface and tempted me to drift through a few tight corners was exhilarating. It wasn’t the fasted time – as the instructor kept asking me to slow down – but it showed why this G-wagon is so popular that there is waiting list and even lottery in UAE.
Due to the G63’s twin exhausts being impractically situated under the rear left passenger’s door it couldn’t be used to climb up some of the incredibly steep rocky testing tracks used by rally teams as they prepared for such events as Paris to Dakar. Instead the new Mercedes-Benz G500 was called into the duty – and it ate the tracks that a mountain goat would hesitate to leap up.
- Our full review of the G-Class launch in France will be running in an upcoming issue of Driven then online at Driven.co.nz