New 2018 Mercedes-AMG G 63: first images and details

The Mercedes G-Wagen has become known for its high-performance variant as much as any off-roading ability in recent years – and now Mercedes has released the first images and details on the new generation of the brutish V8 SUV, the AMG G 63.

The new G 63 gets AMG’s latest 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine, producing 576bhp and 850Nm. That’s enough to take the brick-shaped G-Class from 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds (almost a second less than the outgoing G 63) – and on to a top speed of 137mph, or 149mph if you choose the optional AMG Driver’s Package.

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As with the E 63, the V8 engine also gets cylinder deactivation. This helps the newly re-engineered G 63 – which boasts 4MATIC four-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard – to combined fuel economy of 21.4mpg, and CO2 emissions of 299g/km.

The G 63 gets many of the chassis and suspension improvements fitted to the regular new-generation G-Class. Its specification also includes AMG Ride Control as standard; this adjustable damper system can adjust its set-up between three configurations – Comfort, Sport and Sport+ – depending on how relaxed or focused the driver wants the chassis to feel.

Other new features for the AMG-tuned G-Class include a speed-sensitive steering rack and five on-road and three off-road driving modes. Called Dynamic Select, the drive mode selector offers the ability to modify elements such as engine response, transmission shift pattern and steering weight through everything from Slippery to Sport+ (road), plus Sand, Trail and Rock (off-road).

The overall silhouette of the G 63 has changed little – because Mercedes spent much of the regular G-Class’s development period working out how to keep its distinctive shape while still modernising the vehicle. The car in Merc’s initial images features a chrome bumper guard that won’t be offered in the UK; however, the rest of the package, which includes flared wheelarches, wheel sizes of up to 22 inches, running boards and standard metallic paint, will all be available to British customers.

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The G 63’s cabin gets a distinctive grab handle on the glovebox for the front passenger and chrome highlights on elements like the switch that operates the differential locks. The G 63 features an analogue instrument cluster as standard, but as an option, the car can be ordered with Merc’s latest widescreen combination, which mixes fully digital dials with a large central infotainment display.

The interior also includes an AMG sports steering wheel and a control for the standard two-stage exhaust system, allowing the occupants to increase the noise allowed through to the cabin from the V8 motor.

The G 63 is due in UK dealers in the second half of this year, following its public debut at the Geneva motor show; indeed, it will be the first of the new-spec G-Class models to be offered to British customers. There’s no indication on pricing yet but we’d expect a modest increase over the old car; that could give the G 63 a starting figure just north of £140,000.

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