Class and also popularly known as the G-Wagon has indeed proven to be stronger than time. One of the things that has made it popular is that is has its unique original muscular shape that dates back to 1979. The G-Class has also proven to be powerful on and off-road. Recently we attended the launch of the new G63 and we think the evolutionary changes will prove to be popular with the base once more.
The exterior changes are barely noticeable yet a lot of changes have gone into the G63. The G63 is made up of various types of steel, in a bid to use lighter materials without compromising on durability and quality. The wing, bonnet and doors are made of aluminium and the A and B-pillars are made from strong steel as they are meant to carry big loads. A new vertical grille which gives the G63 a distinctive look has been introduced. It features new light functions including the adaptive highbeam assist plus, giving you the larger number of pixels, allowing enhanced illumination to improve safety for all road users. The unique original shape has also ensured that the distinctive features like the door handles and the characteristic closing/locking sound. In addition, the doors now have a protective foil cladding inside, to prevent water from flowing in when the car is crossing through a body of water.
The unique twin exhausts on the sides (which provide that typical AMG V8 sound) remain on the exterior of the vehicle, below the rear doors. The centre console can be used to switch between two stages, dependant on the driving mode, to alter the exhaust sound, making it sportier or more subtle. The G63 Edition 1 will switch things up a little on the exterior by bringing into the mix sport stripes along the vehicle sides. Additionally, distinct details which include the sporty matte graphite grey stripes will be seen along the vehicle. The exterior mirrors housing gain a decorative red stripe complimenting the red outer rim on the 22inch forged wheels in a cross-spoke design. The AMG night package comes in high gloss black, to retain the masculinity of the vehicle.
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Looking at the retention of the boxy shape, one might be tempted to think that the interior is not modern or comfortable. You will be mistaken on both levels. The G63 inherits the extremely classy and gorgeous that has been pioneered by the likes of S-Class and E-Class. You are greeted by a generous use of high-quality metal or carbon fibre trims and leather seats. The open pore wood trim gives a sense of elegance to a car with such a rugged appeal. It has a fully digital widescreen cockpit giving you two 12.3 inch displays with extra crisp visuals. The AMG performance steering wheel; also borrowed from the likes of S-Class, with a sporty design is now standard. Staying with the S-Class, the G-Class also has ambiance lighting available in eight colours, also as standard. The AMG steering wheel has a flattened lower section and sides with a thicker rim allowing for more predictable and precise steering. The controls on the steering are also very functional, as you can toggle between cruise control, and also navigate the functions of the infotainment system on the steering wheels.
The cabin is spacious and plush, and can comfortably accommodate 3 adults at the back. You are able to comfortably rest your elbows on the doors. The seating features include a memory function for the driver with seat heating for the front and the back. There are even ten adjustment stages, giving maximum versatility and comfort. The sound has been reduced from the inside ensuring that the drive is as serene as can be with the orchestra of the V8 AMG humming in the background.
The G63 comes in with the AMG 4.0 litre V8 biturbo engine. It generates a whopping 430 kW and gives you a thunderous 850 Nm. This allows the G63 to accelerate from zero to 100km/h in just 4.5 seconds. Although we were not on the race track with the G63, the power is felt in the acceleration notwithstanding the size of this beast. An AMG Speedshift TCT 9G Transmission is used in the G63. Mercedes-Benz has bequeathed it with a model-specific software application to achieve very short shift times.
The G63 comes with the AMG-specific multiple downshift function allowing for a double-declutching function in Sport and Sport+. It also comes with a newly developed suspension, called the AMG Ride Control, making it more comfortable and capable off-road. The AMG Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation system provides more efficiency which is said to significantly lower the fuel consumption. We achieved nearly 16l/100km on our drive during the launch. This could go lower on longer drives with a consistent style of driving.
The G63 might have adapted to be modern and luxurious but, but it’s still capable to be driven off-road. Apart from driving on the odd gravel road, we could not put this to the test. That said, the G63 remained absolutely composed and almost stately on the gravel roads.
The AMG G63 is priced from R2,591,000.
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