2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 Preview
By Christian Wardlaw, February 13, 2018
- New performance-tuned version of the redesigned 2019 G-Class
- Styling and interior modifications help set the AMG G63 apart
- Twin-turbocharged V8 making 577 horsepower and 627 lb.-ft. of torque
- 9-speed SpeedShift automatic transmission
- Rear-biased 4Matic 4-wheel drive
- Revised steering, suspension, and braking components
- On sale by the end of 2018
Mercedes-Benz introduced a redesigned G-Class flagship SUV at the beginning of the year, and has officially announced details for the performance tuned AMG variant.
Like other members of the G-Class family, the new AMG G63 retains the previous model’s boxy profile, flat hood, round headlights, external door hinges, protective body side strips with integrated door handles, and spare wheel hung on the rear door. Each of these design cues are classic symbols of what is often referred to as the ‘G-Wagen.’
In AMG G63 specification, however, the vehicle receives a unique grille and front bumper design, flared wheel arches, exhaust system side pipes, and unique aluminum wheels measuring up to 22 inches in diameter. Unique badges also help to identify the G63 as the most powerful and expensive model in the G-Class lineup.
Inside, the new AMG G63 is more spacious than the vehicle it replaces, especially in the back seat, where rear passengers will enjoy an extra 5.9 inches of leg room. Thoughtfully, the rear seat offers a 40/20/40-split folding design to help maximize utility.
Standard equipment include heated front and rear heated seats, and the driver faces a sport-design, flat-bottom steering wheel. It is wrapped in Nappa premium leather with perforated grips, and includes fingertip operation pads for selected instrumentation and infotainment functions.
As an option, buyers can choose an Active Multicontour Seat Package with faster heating, ventilation, and massage. These seats also supply added adjustability and air chambers that automatically inflate to provide extra lateral support when cornering.
Additionally, AMG G63 buyers can select an AMG Night Package to alter the look of the SUV. It installs dark-tinted lighting elements, dark tinted rear and rear-side windows, black painted exterior trim, and matte-black 21-inch or 22-inch wheels.
When the AMG G63 first goes on sale, it will be offered as a limited-production Edition 1 model. These versions will have exclusive Designo Night Black Mango paint, graphite gray sport stripes, red stripes on the side mirrors, and matte-black 22-inch forged aluminum wheels with red-painted rim flanges. The AMG Night Package is also included for this model.
Inside, the AMG G63 Edition 1 features Black/Red Pepper Nappa leather upholstery with diamond pattern red contrast stitching, carbon fiber interior trim with Red Pepper highlights, and a Dinamica suede-wrapped steering wheel with a red 12 o’clock centering mark.
Under the Hood:
Deriving its power from a hand-built, twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8, the AMG G63 is claimed to accelerate to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, which is almost a second faster than the previous AMG-tuned G-Class. Top speed is limited to 137 mph, unless you get the AMG Driver’s Package that bumps maximum velocity to 149 mph.
The engine makes 577 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 627 lb.-ft. of torque between 2,500 rpm and 3,500 rpm, and “provides a sense of effortless superiority,” according to Mercedes. But this motor is about more than just speed. New cylinder deactivation technology allows it to operate as a 4-cylinder under certain driving conditions, and it continues to supply automatic engine start/stop and a “gliding” mode to improve fuel economy.
Power is delivered to a rear-biased 4Matic all-wheel-drive system through a 9-speed SpeedShift automatic transmission with a “Manual” mode and galvanized steel paddle shifters. In Sport and Sport Plus driving modes, it exhibits a double-declutching function for a more engaging experience.
This version of 4Matic sends 60 percent of the engine’s output to the rear wheels, and continues to offer three differential locks for outstanding off-roading capability. A higher reduction gear ratio than before is intended to improve performance on steep slopes. Low range can be engaged at speeds up to 25 mph, and can be switched out to High range at speeds up to 44 mph.
The engine breathes through a dual-flow exhaust system with a 2-stage flap to make the SUV quiet or loud, depending on the selected driving mode or specific driver preference.
Speaking of driving modes, multiple AMG-developed Dynamic Select settings are designed to calibrate the engine, transmission, suspension, steering, and exhaust (depending on component and function). They include Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, and Individual. Additionally, three off-road driving modes are at the driver’s disposal: Sand, Trail, and Rock.
Mercedes-AMG says it has redesigned the G63’s suspension to be specific to this model. The design employs an independent double wishbone design with a strut tower brace in front, combined with a rigid axle 5-link rear suspension. Coil springs and adaptive dampers are standard, and transverse stabilizers are used at both ends of the SUV to help to reduce body roll. Settings include Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus.
Additionally, the AMG G63 has variable ratio electromechanical steering. To paraphrase Mercedes, it is light and effortless at low speeds, and heavier and stiffer at high speeds. Settings for the steering include Comfort and Sport.
Compared to a standard G-Class, the AMG G63 gets larger and wider wheels and tires, while red-painted front brake calipers clamp down on drilled brake rotors to bring the SUV to a halt.
Mercedes-AMG did not detail all of the safety features offered for the G63 AMG, but you can expect the same suite of driver assistance, collision avoidance, collision preparation, and post-collision technologies that are available for the standard G-Class.
Similarly, AMG G63 owners can expect access to the same infotainment and convenience systems that will be offered for the standard G-Class, including an optional Widescreen Cockpit display supplying virtual instrumentation via two 12.3-inch screens housed beneath a single glass-covered design.