Tag Archives: 5.5L BiTurbo

2013 G63 AMG: The G-Class With Some Serious Grunt

20 Apr

2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG: Photo courtesy Mercedes-Benz North America.

Seven days after unveiling the six-figure-expensive 2013 G550 Mercedes has officially gone off the deep end with the introduction of the extremely costly, exclusive and powerful G63 AMG, the high-performance variant of the G-class. With its over-the-top performance and luxury, combined with its serious off-road capabilities the G63 AMG is like nothing else on the road. The G-class has always been in a league of its own, ever since it was first released in 1979. However, unlike the new G550 which varies ever-so-slightly from the previous generation the new G63 AMG has received significant exterior design changes making it all the more bad-ass.

Along with the SL65 AMG, which made its world premiere on April 4 at the 2012 New York International Auto Show the G63 features a signature high-gloss black “twin-blade” grille, making it much sharper and more aggressive looking than the standard G550 grille with four horizontal slats. Below the grille are large, masculine-shaped air inlets integrated into the bumper.  With its brutish appearance the front end looks leaps and bounds better than the 2011 G55 AMG, fulfilling the image conjured up when thinking of Mercedes’ box on wheels, and reinforcing the G-class’ reputation as the go-anywhere, do-anything vehicles in the manufacturer’s lineup. Rounding off the exterior changes are 9.5 x 20 five-spoke wheels finished in titanium gray, and a huge brake system consisting of six-piston fixed-calipers in front and single-calipers in the rear.

2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG with redesigned front grille and bumper: Photo courtesy Mercedes-Benz North America.

Under the hood the new engine backs up the exterior styling with a V-8 growl. Unlike the 2011 G55 AMG that was a powered by a 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 engine capable of producing a peak of 500 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, the engineers at Mercedes-AMG have left supercharging on the shelf this time in favor of turbocharging. The new form of forced injection along with a slightly larger 5.5-liter V-8 has boosted the maximum output to 544 horsepower and 560 lb-ft. Besides the added output figures the new power plant allows the G63 to cover the 0-60 sprint in 5.3 seconds, one-tenth quicker than the G55.

544 horsepower, 5.5-liter BiTurbo V-8 in the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG: Photo courtesy Mercedes-Benz North America.

Mercedes has claimed an overall efficiency improvement of up to 13 percent. That’s not spectacular, but when you can afford to spend well over six figures for an uber powerful SUV gas prices shouldn’t be a concern. The jump in fuel economy can be attributed to newly introduced spray-controlled gasoline direct injection and the same “Eco” stop/start function found on the majority of AMG’s gas-thirsty models.

The engine isn’t the only part of the drivetrain that has been updated. Gone is an outdated five-speed automatic and in its place is the AMG SPEEDSHIFT seven-speed automatic transmission with three driving modes; Controlled Efficiency (C), Sport (S) and Manual (M). The unit has been additionally beefed up with a new torque converter with centrifugal pendulum, friction-reducing bearing and transmission oil thermal management, just in case you want to take this baby off-road.

Designo leather interior in the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG: Photo courtesy Mercedes-Benz North America.

As with the new G550 the interior offers occupants a new instrument cluster and infotainment system. Unique to the G63 are AMG door sills illuminated in white and shift level with AMG logo. The seats are covered with designo leather upholstery with fluted leather door paneling, and customers have the option of a variety of trims including carbon fiber, champagne white lacquer or light brown satin poplar.

The G63 AMG certainly isn’t a vehicle for everyone. If you don’t like showing off to the Jones’ across the street or refuse to make frequent visits to the gas station then this four-wheeled, all-wheel-drive monster might not be the right cup of tea. However, if the G63 AMG suits your fancy then just be prepared to pay. As with the G550, no official pricing has been announced, but based on the 2011 G55 AMG expect for the G63 AMG to have a base MSRP of at least $125,000 when it goes on sale in August.

2013 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG: Photo courtesy Mercedes-Benz North America.

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Mercedes ML63 AMG Returns With New Engine and 518 Horsepower

15 Nov

2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG: Photo Courtesy Mercedes-Benz USA

Fifteen years isn’t a long time in terms of human history, but in the automotive industry it’s a lifetime. In 1996 the four major luxury brands in Germany, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Porsche all had yet to produce a luxury SUV. That all changed in 1997 with the introduction of the first generation ML class. The first high-performance model, the ML55 AMG, model followed for the 2000 model year. Now, over a decade after the initial release, the all-new AMG variant of the third generation ML has been unveiled.

The new ML63, although redesigned on the exterior for the 2012 model year, leaves the most major changes hidden under the hood. With a large number of manufacturers including BMW and Audi turning to forced injection turbocharging for their new generation of vehicles, its no wonder Mercedes stayed in lock-step with the competition. This grocery-getter has received more horsepower and torque by replacing the outgoing 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 with the same 5.5-liter BiTurbo unit that has already made its way into other 2012 AMG models.

Photo Courtesy Mercedes-Benz USA

As if the 505 hp from the naturally aspirated unit wasn’t enough for driving the kids through the snow to their hockey practice, the new power plant produces 518 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque (550 hp and 560 lb-ft with the optional AMG Performance Package.) Peak torque is available from only 1,750 rpm, allowing the 2012 ML63 AMG to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds (4.6 with Performance Package) and reach an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph, or a raised limit of 174 mph.

All of this power and torque is transferred to the high gloss, titanium gray, 20 -inch, 5-spoke alloy wheels with 265/45 R 20 high-performance tires through the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission. Optional 295/35 R tires and 21-inch AMG alloy wheels are also available.

As with other current AMG models the ML63 AMG employs a “Controlled Efficiency” (C) mode if one so chooses. When engaged, the Eco-friendly transmission shuts down all unnecessary functions and turns off the engine while the vehicle is stationary. Mercedes must be aware most customers who purchase the new high-performance SUV do so without the regard of fuel economy or efficiency. Despite this, an Eco mode isn’t a bad thing. Especially considering the ML63’s fuel economy. According to Mercedes the new 5.5-liter engine has resulted in a 33 percent improvement over the 6.2-liter V8. The estimated combined economy is still marginal at 16 mpg, but that’s surely better than the second gen. average of 11 mpg. Especially when considering the vehicle’s weight and highly tuned engine.

Photo Courtesy Mercedes-Benz USA

On and off the road drivers will benefit from a reduction of 99 lbs from the previous generation. The ML63 will still feature a transfer case which delivers the 4-MATIC permanent all-wheel drive to the road surface. To make the ride quality even more refined the new ML63 will employ, for the first time, an ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM for active roll stabilization. An AMG sports suspension with AIRMATIC Air Suspension is standard equipment, along with independent damper struts, automatic level control and an Adaptive Damping System (ADS).

In staying with the expectations of buyers the new ML63 AMG now features designo interior as standard equipment. The interior had been available, but only at significant additional cost. It is available in three different choices, designo auburn brown, porcelain or black. Other choices on the interior include a host of designo pieces, including black leather edging on the floor mats, trim in black piano lacquer and wood/leather steering wheel in black piano lacquer. Rounding out the options are AMG badges on the backrests of the front seats, outer rear seats and edges of the floor mats.

The ML63 AMG is certainly not something for everyone. Most people don’t need to have a high horsepower, gas hungry SUV with tons of luxury accompaniments. Despite this there are obviously enough people who are in the market for Mercedes’ top SUV; 13,000 of the second generation were sold over the 6-year production run and 24,000 have been sold in total.

If you are in the market for the 2012 ML63 AMG you’ll need to have deep pockets. No official prices have been released, but with the 2011 model having a base MSRP of $92,590 you can expect the new family hauler to fall somewhere in that ballpark.

Interior: 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG: Photo Courtesy Mercedes-Benz USA

© 2011 GermanAutoNews

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any unauthorized reprint or use of any material is prohibited. No content information whatsoever may be reproduced or retransmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without the express written consent of the creator of GermanAutoNews.com