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We’re not asking you to agree that the 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 is, strictly speaking, a necessary addition to the automotive market. Or that the already ridiculous performance G-Class needed to get quicker or more powerful. We’re simply telling you that Affalterbach’s fresh take on the totally redesigned is coming, as we all knew it would be, and that Mercedes has released the details ahead of its Geneva motor show debut.
Besides, if we only had cars that were, strictly speaking, necessary, the world would be a boring place.
The G63’s basics aren’t surprising if you’ve already scoped out the 2019 G550, which debuted at the Detroit auto show earlier this year. The boxy SUV is superficially similar to its long-lived predecessor, which began rolling off assembly lines shortly after the Patent-Motorwagen’s first drive, but it’s all-new. It’s gained some much-needed interior room (something this rolling monument to excess was surprisingly short on) but lost its live front axle in favor of an independent setup. The automaker assures us this change-up has not handicapped the darn near unstoppable box off-road. Time and testing will tell.
Look past the flared wheel arches and G63-specific front facia and grille and optional 22-inch wheels and the AMG version feels a lot like G550, at least on paper: Both have a 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission pumping power to all four wheels through three electronically locking differentials. But there’s more power and torque (577 hp at 6,000 rpm and 627 lb-ft from 2,500 rpm to 3,500 rpm) and the AMG Performance 4matic all-wheel-drive system has a 40:60 rear-biased torque distribution. Plus, the truck’s dual-flow exhaust keeps the side pipes seen on previous G63s.
The extra output is all in the interest of a 4.4-second estimated 0-60 mph time. This obviously the most important you’re gonna want to look at when you’re shopping for a brick-like SUV, and it’s down from 5.3 seconds on the outgoing model. The side pipes are in the interest of making the thing sound fantastic when you mat it.
Top speed is 137 mph or 149 mph if you get the driver’s package — again, absolutely crucial for this sort of vehicle.