Is the world ready for a 580hp G-Class?

15th February 2018

It might appear boringly boxy and utilitarian, the antithesis of the sleek new-gen of SUVs. But looks can be deceptive and with 577bhp, 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and 150mph, despite barn-door aerodynamics, there’s not much that’s boring about the new Mercedes-AMG G63. 


The new ultimate version of the reborn Mercedes G-Class, all-new despite the carryover looks and separate chassis layout of the near-40 year-old original, has been revealed ahead of a public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. With V8 Bentley Bentayga-matching power and pace it cranks up the performance battle at the top of the SUV market while staying true to its off-road roots.

Like the rest of the new G range, the G63 combines the traditional looks and iconic details with luxury, technology and driver-assist systems from the S-Class. Inside it’s a revelation while outside, well, there can be no mistaking what it is – even with the over-the-top bullbar shown in some of the pictures which incidentally won’t be available in the UK.

What you do get are the AMG-specific radiator grille, flared wheel arches, striking side pipes on the exhaust system and, if you want them, 22-inch wheels. 


The engine is as expected: the biturbo 4.0-litre V8 with the nine-speed automatic and, in keeping with its “unadulterated” off-road ethos, complete with three diff locks and transfer case in its heavy-duty all-wheel drive armoury. The V8 pumps out 577bhp with 627lb ft of pulling power from 2500rpm. Regular top speed is 137mph but, in one compromise of all-terrain ability, a Driver’s pack of high-speed wheels and tyres pushes that up to just shy of 150mph.

World’s quickest authentic off-roader? It could be. Either way, it is unlikely to alter the fact that most AMG G versions use all their axle articulation and wading ability for nothing more demanding than coping with inner city kerbs and puddles. It’s a formula that has in the past made the G63 the biggest selling model in the whole G range.

It’s on sale from the summer at a price to be confirmed; the old one came in at £154,000. 

What else is new from Mercedes at Geneva?

The big debut for Mercedes in Palexpo this year is the all-new A-Class. This is Merc’s small hatchback seriously grown up, with sharper, CLS-inspired styling, cooler interior design and the availability of big-Merc features like massaging seats, head-up display, widescreen dashboard, active damping control, semi-autonomous drive features and trick LED headlights, as well as a new Mercedes-Benz User Experience operating system. 


Mercedes’ biggest selling model, the C-Class, gets a sprucing-up for Geneva. New headlights, bumpers and trim changes mean you will have to look hard to spot the differences. More autonomous functions, S-Class gadgets and the latest technology like the Multibeam headlights and widescreen dashboard display, are all available now – as they had to be if the C wasn’t to be shown up by the latest A Class. UK pricing is due March, with first cars arriving August.


Looking more like the standalone luxury model it used to be is the latest version of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Mercedes isn’t admitting to that many changes but, judging from the pictures, the effect on the three-pointed star’s top model is marked. We put it down to that two-tone paint job (echoes of the old Rover 75, or is that just us?), and what is rapidly becoming the trademark Maybach grille with its “pinstripe” vertical struts. On sale from April, here in the UK we will get only the top dog: the 621bhp 6.0-litre V12 powered S650 offering true limo room – it’s 200mm longer then even the lwb S-Class – and a sprightly turn of speed: 0-62mph in 4.7secs. One in 10 S-Class sales are now the Maybach variants. 

  • Mercedes-Benz

  • AMG

  • Geneva

  • G-Class

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