Automotive

The mad, bad Mercedes G63 and G65 AMG off-roaders go to Beijing

The mad, bad Mercedes G63 and ...
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 interior
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 interior
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 interior
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 interior
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 engine bay
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 engine bay
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63
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Mercedes-Benz has never been shy of the absurd (R-class anyone?) and the Affalterbach works – home of the AMG division – must be a regular giggle-fest. The company is quite happy to indulge the hooligan in its well-heeled clients without a hint of embarrassment. It’s not exactly thinking outside the box, more taking a box and sticking an absurdly massive engine in it. The box in question this time is the decades-old, ex-military transport Geländewagen or G-class. Delicious.

After a period of a few years when it seemed possible that such indulgent machines would never been seen again, it is testament to the present confidence at Mercedes-Benz that, not only is the V8 AMG G-class being refreshed, but for the first time ever there is to be a mind-boggling V12 twin-turbo variant.

First, the externals. The AMG conversion treatment is a pretty standard formula these days. A two-bar radiator grill, extended lower air intakes in black, those LED running lights that annoy every other road-user, extended wheel arches, special alloy wheels and a few chrome badges. What’s amusing is seeing this bling on an SUV from 1979. What’s amazing is that it actually looks quite cool.

The interior has seen quite an upgrade. It’s always been difficult to “luxury-up” the originally utilitarian interior, but this attempt is by far the most successful, with a valiant stab at recreating the interior of a top-spec E-Class. Location of the sat-nav screen is still a bit awkward, though. The V12 G65 model gets the full two-tone quilted soft leather plus carbon-fiber treatment.

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 engine bay
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 engine bay

So, to the heart of the matter – those engines. The AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo in the G 63 (no, the nomenclature make absolutely no sense anymore) develops a maximum output of 400 kW (544 bhp) and a torque of 760 Nm (560 ft.lbs). This enables the new G 63 AMG to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.4 seconds, with a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph) electronically limited.

The AMG 6-litre V12 biturbo in the G 65 develops a maximum output of 450 kW (612 bhp) and a torque of 1000 Nm (740 ft.lbs). This enables the new G 63 AMG to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds, with a top speed of 230 km/h (142 mph) electronically limited. This of course makes it the most powerful SUV in the world – but not the fastest. If the performance figures look slightly disappointing, one has to remember that the G-Class has the aerodynamics of a house. A big boxy un-aerodynamic house.

Petrol consumption figures are not quoted as yet but one could make an educated guess – similar to the consumption of small sovereign nation probably, but at least Mercedes has included a stop/start economy function so that you can have a laugh about it.

Transmission is to all four wheels via the usual 7-speed auto box and a couple of trick differentials. Mercedes claims that the chassis and suspension have been extensively worked on compared to previous generation G-Wagens, and that particular attention has been paid to reducing bearing noise and vibration – vital steps in completing the transformation from farm-vehicle to Russian gangster-mobile.

Prices. Wow. The G63 weighs in at €137,500 (£112,000) and the G65 is €264,180 (£215,200). These prices include taxes, so the dollar equivalents without would be US$151,470 and $291,000 respectively.

These vehicles are crazy, absurd and you’ve got to admit, really quite cool.

Source: Daimler

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6 comments
Slowburn
Power has other uses than speed. What can it tow?
Jawaid Dilawar
@Slowburn: probably a military tank!
Ormond Otvos
The rich never have enough. They suck our life and then gloat with these monstrosities, and GizMag goes right along with it.
No, they're not cool. They're disgusting bling.
Slowburn
Ever been stuck behind a underpowered RV on the way up a mountain pass, or had to slam on your brakes on the highway because an underpowered under speed vehicle "merged" into traffic?
The rich pay for the development of the technology. If it was not for the rich buying those disgusting horseless carriages we would not have cars. If not for the rich who payed enough to buy a good car for a Pulsar LED watch I would not be able to afford a watch that gives me date, day of the week, and a stopwatch. Let them have their toys it is to our benefit.
Charlie Channels
@slowburn: ....but not necessarily to the benefit of our planet. We cannot afford to damage it anymore. Please, everybody! Think better before consuming....are you actually being a part of the solution or part of the problem? What kind of damaged world are we leaving our children?
Slowburn
re; Charlie Channels
It was petroleum oil that saved the whales by buying them time for the earths population to become prosperous enough to care.
Cuyahoga River caught on fire several times before 1969 usually it was a bigger fire but in 1969 America was rich enough that we decided that having rivers catch on fire was too high of a price for our lives of abundance. Impoverished people think that if the price of sending their children to bed with a full stomach every night is the river catching on fire they will be out there with kindling and a book of matches.
If you want to save the world make cheap abundant energy available to everyone.