This is the brand new Mercedes-AMG G 63, and it’s very angry about something. Thankfully not much has changed on the outside, except for obvious new circular daytime running lights around optional ‘MultiBeam’ LED headlights, and it still looks absolutely fantastic in white with black accents.
It’s all change under the skin, though, swapping an older 5.5-litre biturbo motor for the newer, more efficient 4.0-litre unit we’ve already seen in everything from the AMG GT to just about anything built in the last few years with a ‘63’ badge on it.
Power doesn’t climb all that much, creeping from 563bhp to 577bhp, but torque takes a more significant leap from 561lb ft to 627lb ft. The clever V8’s design means the turbos are mounted between the cylinder banks, and the shorter pipework means lower losses and more power, but still plenty of good old-fashioned AMG shouting thanks to a two-stage variable exhaust flap.
At almost 2.5 tonnes it’s not really any lighter than before but it still shows massive gains in acceleration. Where the old car would gargle its way past 62mph in 5.4 seconds, the new one will crack the same feat in just 4.5 seconds. That’s brilliantly bonkers. Top speed is limited to 137mph, or, with the optional Driver’s Package, to 149mph.
Part of the reason is the AMG Speedshift TCT 9G (mmm, catchy) gearbox. Its nine ratios swap as quickly as you could wish for, with automatic rev-matching in the Sport and Sport Plus driving modes. Unlike other nine-speeders the G 63’s always moves away in first gear, for maximum attack. In ‘manual’ mode, the ‘box won’t automatically shift up to save your blushes if you’re about to hit the redline.
Naturally there’s a mighty four-wheel drive system on board, with two new electromechanically-actuated locking differentials, a multi-plate central clutch that acts like a locking centre diff, and a change in power bias, from 50:50 front-rear on the old G 63 to 40:60 on the new one, for a more dynamic feel through corners.
You can engage the off-road reduction gear at up to 25mph or so. The reduction ratio has been bumped way up, from 2.1 to 2.93, theoretically making it even easier to get going from a standstill on “extreme uphill gradients.” The locking diffs activate in the order of centre first, then rear, then front, and you can switch those on while on the move, too.
Also new is the suspension, a coil-sprung setup “completely redesigned” by AMG, featuring independent double-wishbone setups at the front wheels and adjustable damping, because Sport modes.
As we’ve already seen on the regular version of the new G-Wagen, the interior is a maelstrom of technology and leather, with the bovine trade union probably extremely worried by the sheer amount of leather surface coverage in the G 63. You also get the new twin-widescreen displays, which are user-customisable and can display more or less whatever you want to see. Prices will be in the region of ‘if you have to ask…’