Loved by celebrities the world over, the Mercedes-AMG G63 is a car that most of us can only dream about. With a price tag of just under R2.6 million, the G-Wagon, as it is affectionately known, is reserved for the select few who can afford it.
A motoring journalist salary doesn’t pay much, but it does afford me the chances to experience such icons as the new G63. “Stronger than time” is the international campaign slogan for the newly launched Mercedes-AMG G63 and what a more appropriate place to introduce it to the local media than at the Cradle of Humankind, Gauteng. It was Darwin (or Leon Megginson – no one seems certain) who said that “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most adaptable to change.” This can be said about the G-Class. It has adapted and survived since it launched back in 1979. It has never lost its DNA or what makes it so special and so remains one of Mercedes-Benz’s most iconic, if not the most iconic, vehicles.
Considered a design icon, the G-Class has retained its external appearance and only ever changed slightly. What remains has been carefully thought out, including elements such as the distinctive door handles with the characteristic closing sound, the exterior protective strip and the prominent indicator lights. What has been redesigned is the interior of the G63. It is now more spacious thanks to an increase in length, width, and height. It is also more modern than ever before. The dashboard has been completely redesigned and the Widescreen Cockpit with virtual instruments is instantly recognisable as it was first seen on the E-Class. The luxurious interior now even includes ambient lighting as seen on the S-Class with a choice of eight colour tone mixes.
At the heart of this beast is now an AMG 4.0-litre V8 bi-turbo engine which replaces the previous 5.5-litre V8 biturbo. It kicks out 430 kW of power and an enormous 850 Nm of torque. It is by no means a light vehicle and with a 0 – 100 km/h sprint of just 4.4 seconds, you can picture just how quick this guy is. The aural sound flowing out of the exhaust pipes will put a smile on your face that is hard to get rid of. The claimed fuel consumption figure of just 13.1 L/100 km means the G-Class has undergone the greatest change in history. With that said, the figure I achieved sat more around the 17L/100 km mark. But I am not sure you will care when driving this, you will be having too much fun.
Johannes Fritz, Co-CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Executive Director of Mercedes-Benz Cars, says, “The new Mercedes-AMG G 63 inherits the positively powerful DNA of its ancestors. Among the genes are its characteristic design and unparalleled off-roading capabilities. We only modified that which would strengthen its predecessor and make its uniqueness even more pronounced. In short, the new G 63 is still a ‘G’ — only better — which is was our customers want.” Having just spent two days in it, I can confidently attest to this!