At the heart of every AMG is a big, meaty engine. In this case, it’s a variant of the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that’s found in everything from the AMG GT R to the S560. In this guise, the engine makes 577 horsepower and an axis-shifting 621 pound-feet of torque, the latter available 2,500 to 3,500 rpm. Like with the other variants, the turbochargers are in the middle of the engine’s V, a move that helps them spool faster. Cylinder deactivation helps improve fuel economy.
Power is sent to all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic. The 4Matic all-wheel drive system has a 40:60 front to rear torque split, ensuring that some amount of wheel spin should be possible. For those concerned, take comfort in knowing that there are still three locking differentials.
The G63 will hit 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, 0.9 seconds quicker than the old model. Top speed is limited to 137 mph. Checking the box for the Driver’s Package raised the limit to 149 mph, impressive for such a brick-shaped object.
It wouldn’t be an AMG-tuned model if there wasn’t some work done to the suspension and steering. We love it for its charm, but frankly the outgoing model was one of the absolute worst-handling vehicles on the market. The new model ditches the solid front axle in favor of an independent setup. There’s a five-link setup in the rear with coil springs all around. Every AMG gets adaptive dampers with three preset modes, Comfort, Sport and Sport+. In total there are five on-road settings and three more for off-roading.
The steering system now uses a variable ratio and speed sensitive rack. AMG says feedback improved, but it’s not hard to move up from what was already available. Like the suspension, the steering has both Comfort and Sport modes that adjust the wheel’s weight.
Like the G500, the G63 won’t be mistaken for anything else but a G-Class. Like the Jeep Wrangler, the design has become too ingrained in the minds of consumers to stray too far away. The G63 gets the traditional AMG treatment, namely larger wheels, more chrome and a more aggressive front bumper. The grill gets a slightly rounded shape, inspired by the one on the AMG GT R. The G-Wagen’s sweet side-exit exhaust remains, ensuring the V8’s exhaust note will continue to aggravate your neighborhood.
Other AMG additions include “V8 BITURBO” badges on the fenders, flared wheel arches, red brake calipers and available 22-inch wheels. An AMG Night package adds dark tinted headlights, taillights, turn signals and rear glass. It also adds Obsidian Black paint on the mirrors, spare wheel ring and bumpers. Finally, the package includes either 21- or 22-inch matte-black wheels. For those who get to their dealers early, there’s an Edition 1 package. It comes with Designo Night Black Magno paint with Graphite Grey stripes. The mirror caps get red stripes.
Inside, the G63 gets about every touch and nicety Mercedes-Benz has to offer. There’s metal, leather and carbon fiber covering nearly every interior surface. An optional Widescreen Cockpit packs two 12.3-inch displays in front of the driver, displaying a huge, digital instrument cluster. The interior of the Edition 1 models get red stitching on the dashboard, center console, door panels and rear seats. The front seats are done in black and red nappa leather with diamond stitching.
Pricing hasn’t been announced, but the G63 will make its full debut on March 6 at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.