Car News

Mercedes-AMG Reveals 577 hp Twin-Turbo G 63

Mercedes-Benz revealed the first all-new G-Class in nearly 40 years at the Detroit auto show last month. Now it's time to take the curtain off of the first AMG version, the G 63 and its twin-turbo V8.

The new G doesn't look much different than the old model, but this is an all-new SUV inside and out. The Mercedes-AMG G 63 takes the off-roader and adds more power, sportier looks, and upgraded handling.

It starts with the 4.0L V8 and a pair of turbochargers. That engine makes 577 hp and an astounding 627 lb-ft of torque over a prairie-flat plateau from 1,300 to 4,000 rpm. The twin-turbo V8 has a cylinder deactivation system that drops from eight to four cylinders when power isn't needed, saving fuel.

The transmission is an AMG Speedshift nine-speed automatic. It's tuned to allow multiple gear downshifts and have very short shift times. Put the G in Sport or Sport Plus modes and it can even double-clutch on downshifts for a smoother (and cooler) rev-matching shift.

The G 63 has AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel drive with a 60/40 torque distribution favouring the rear wheels. That's a change from last year's 50/50 balance that helps give more traction under acceleration and improves agility in corners. Plus it helps with tail-out handling when roads get slippery - or turn to dirt.

The AMG still has a low-range for the all-wheel drive system with a 2.93:1 reduction. Drivers can switch into low range at speeds up to 40 km/h and back into high range at speeds up to 70 km/h. All three differentials can be locked individually for maximum traction.

The G 63 has an AMG Ride Control suspension. It doesn't use air springs but has adaptive and adjustable damping. It improves ride comfort and off-road ability, as well as helping to keep the big SUV planted on the road.

Added to the usual AMG Dynamic Select control modes of Comfort, Sport, and Sport+, the G 63 gets a Slippery mode for slippery roads. There are also Sand, Trail, and Rock modes for off-roading.

On the outside, the G 63 keeps its signature side-exit chrome exhaust tips. There is an AMG grille, and AMG bumper with large air inlets and matte trim. LED headlamps that use 84 individually controlled LEDs are optional. The 22-inch wheels, an option for the first time, are covered by flared wheel arches and highlight the red brake calipers.

The AMG G 63 will launch at the Geneva Motor Show next month, with a special Edition 1 trim available for a limited time. The on-sale date will follow that debut.