While 2018 heralded the arrival of the long-awaited Mercedes X-Class ute, early 2019 brought with it the cream of the crop – the V6-engine X350.
The AMG G 63, in a shape and stance little changed in almost 40 years, has seen mechanical, safety, technology and equipment updates to make the latest model as desirable and tough as ever.
Performance comes from a bi-turbo 4.0L V8, making 430kW of power and 850 Nm of torque, channelled through an AMG Speedshift TCT 9-speed automatic transmission to a permanent all-wheel-drive system, including a low-range ratio with shift-on-the-move, with a 0-100km/h time of 4.5 seconds.
AMG Ride Control offers adaptive damping, and the G63 travels on 21-inch AMG 5 twin-spoke alloy wheels.
The suspension is much improved with a front independent suspension system replacing a front live axle. The driver may use the new AMG Ride Control adaptive damping feature to select ‘comfort’, ‘sport’ or ‘sport+’ suspension profiles. Size and space have increased all round, including length (+110mm); width (+106mm); wheelbase (+40mm). Ground clearance improves to 238mm (+3mm), and fording depth to 700mm (+100mm).
Outside, the Mercedes-AMG G 63 is distinguished for the first time by an AMG Panamericana grille plus AMG body styling, metallic paint, side running boards, red AMG brake calipers and two chrome-plated twin tailpipes on either side.
Safety is via nine airbags, including rear seat airbags and a knee airbag, plus the Distronic active distance assist system with active lane keeping assist. Other key measures include blind spot assist, active brake assist, traffic sign assist, and the Pre-Safe system that prepares the vehicle and occupants if a collision is inevitable.
In the well-appointed cabin, several features never-before-seen on the G-Class include two 12.3-inch widescreen displays, a new Burmester surround sound system with 15 speakers and 590 watts; ambient lighting with 64 colours and eight colour schemes; a parking package with active parking assist and a 360° camera; a sliding glass sunroof with tilt; a selectable AMG sports exhaust system; Keyless-Go starting; and an AMG steering wheel in Nappa leather.
Further equipment includes three 100% differential locks, plus an off-road information centre; the Dynamic Select function so the driver can choose from several pre-set driving profiles, or customise their own via the ‘Individual’ feature.
And there are electronically adjustable front seats, steering column and mirrors with memory function and heated seats (front and outer rear).