The Mercedes-Benz G-Class has been around since the late 1970s when it was created as a rival for the Range Rover. It was originally called the G-Wagen an abbreviation of Gelandewagen or “cross country vehicle” for which there can be no argument because it’s right up there with the toughest off-road vehicles on the market.
The shape of the G-Class has changed very little over its four decades and the latest model retains the same iconic boxy design that clearly appeals to its loyal buyers. There have however been significant mechanical, safety, technology and equipment updates to ensure the new model remains as desirable and tough as ever.
The latest addition to the G-Class range is the Mercedes-AMG G 63. It’s powered by a bi-turbo 4.0-litre V8 making 575 horsepower (430 kW) and 850 Nm of torque. That’s up from the 420kW/760Nm produced by the previous model’s 5.5-litre V8.
Power is taken to all four wheels through an AMG SpeedShift TCT nine-speed automatic transmission to a permanent all-wheel-drive system, including a low-range ratio and shift-on-the-move.
It can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds. An amazing effort from a vehicle that weighs around 2.5 tonnes.
It’s distinguished by a new body kit including, for the first time, the distinctive AMG Panamericana grille. There’s also AMG body styling, metallic paint, side running boards, red AMG brake calipers; twin chrome-plated tailpipes on either side. and 22-inch AMG 5-Twin spoke alloy wheels
Inside there are electronically adjustable front seats, steering column and mirrors with memory function; front and outer rear heated seats; three-zone climate control; Nappa leather upholstery, leather-finished dashboard with open-pore ash wood trim, and DINAMICA microfibre roof liner; and an AMG-specific IWC design analogue clock.
Standard safety features include nine airbags; Multibeam LED headlights; DISTRONIC Active Distance Assist system with Active Lane Keeping Assist; Blind Spot Assist; Active Brake Assist; Traffic Sign Assist; Isofix child seat mountings; and Autonomous Emergency Braking in the form of the Benz PRE-SAFE system which prepares both vehicle and occupants when an imminent collision is sensed.
AMG G 63 uses the same twin 12.3-inch widescreen displays as the E- and S-Class sedans. There’s also an off-road information centre; digital radio; TV tuner; 590 watt Burmester 15-speaker sound system; COMAND Online infotainment system with internet connectivity and fast hard-disc navigation featuring 3D map display and dynamic route guidance; smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The new Mercedes-AMG G 63 is priced at $247,700 plus on-road costs.
There are two options packages. The $5900 Night Package provides darkened tinted indicator lenses, black exterior door mirror housings, trim elements in the bumper in obsidian black, under-guard painted in black, spare wheel housing in black, and black multi-spoke alloy wheels
The $19,500 Edition 1 includes Night Package exterior elements with black Nappa leather seats in black/red with diamond stitching, multi-contour adjustment for the front seats with massage and climate control; metal AMG badges embedded in the front seat back-rests; AMG Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather with red stitching; red-pepper carbon fibre interior trim.