Mercedes-AMG G 63 S and Maybach models may be on the way
Merc G-Class boss insists improved platform will form the basis of further SUV variants, including faster G 63 S and luxury Maybach models
Speaking from the launch of the all-new G-Class in the south of France, product chief Dr Gunnar Guthenke told us the bespoke nature of the SUV’s platform meant further variants were inevitable. He also suggested that improvements in the car’s dynamics would pave the way for faster and more focused ‘S’ versions.
When discussing previous individualised G-Wagens like the G 63 6x6, the G500 4x4 Squared and Landaulet, Guthenke said: “We have a small team, but all of these cars were developed very quickly. Let’s see what comes.”
This hints that in addition to the standard five-seat SUV, further limited-run G-Class models are on the way. He also touched on the firm’s existing Designo service, which offers special paint, leather and trim packages – allowing owners to customise cars to their taste.
When pushed as to whether we might see a super-exclusive Maybach version of the new G-Class, Guthenke said: “We have had Maybach with Landaulet. We want to nurture this tradition.”
In addition, Guthenke seemed confident that the new car’s improved chassis could cope with more power – suggesting an AMG ‘S’ model was on the cards.
“Previously, you’d never have had the steering and dynamics for an S,” he said. “I am so excited about future modifications.”
However, despite the trend for downsizing, a V6-powered AMG G 43 is less likely. Guthenke simply said: “Our customers love the V8.”
New Mercedes G 63 S to cost £143,305
Last month the German marque unveiled the all-new Mercedes G-Wagen, confirming that the popular AMG G 63 will cost from £143,305 in the UK. That's around a £7,000 price hike over the model it replaces.
A limited-run model, called the Edition 1, will also be available for £164,495. Standard kit across the line-up includes Merc's dual 12.3-inch digital dash, three-zone climate control, LED headlamps, 20-inch alloys and AMG performance brakes.
The new G 63 gets AMG’s latest 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine, producing 576bhp and 850Nm. That’s enough to take the brick-shaped G-Class from 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds (almost a second less than the outgoing G 63) - and on to a top speed of 137mph, or 149mph if you choose the optional AMG Driver’s Package.
As with the E 63, the V8 engine also gets cylinder deactivation. This helps the newly re-engineered G 63 - which boasts 4MATIC four-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic gearbox as standard - to combined fuel economy of 21.4mpg, and CO2 emissions of 299g/km.
The G 63 gets many of the chassis and suspension improvements fitted to the regular new-generation G-Class. Its specification also includes AMG Ride Control as standard; this adjustable damper system can adjust its set-up between three configurations - Comfort, Sport and Sport+ - depending on how relaxed or focused the driver wants the chassis to feel.
Other new features for the AMG-tuned G-Class include a speed-sensitive steering rack and five on-road and three off-road driving modes. Called Dynamic Select, the drive mode selector offers the ability to modify elements such as engine response, transmission shift pattern and steering weight through everything from Slippery to Sport+ (road), plus Sand, Trail and Rock (off-road).
The overall silhouette of the G 63 has changed little - because Mercedes spent much of the regular G-Class’s development period working out how to keep its distinctive shape while still modernising the vehicle. The car in Merc’s initial images features a chrome bumper guard that won’t be offered in the UK; however, the rest of the package, which includes flared wheelarches, wheel sizes of up to 22 inches, running boards and standard metallic paint, will all be available to British customers.
The G 63’s cabin gets a distinctive grab handle on the glovebox for the front passenger and chrome highlights on elements like the switch that operates the differential locks. The G 63 features an analogue instrument cluster as standard, but as an option, the car can be ordered with Merc’s latest widescreen combination, which mixes fully digital dials with a large central infotainment display.
The interior also includes an AMG sports steering wheel and a control for the standard two-stage exhaust system, allowing the occupants to increase the noise allowed through to the cabin from the V8 motor.
The G 63 is due in UK dealers in the second half of this year, following its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show.
Read all about the new 2018 Mercedes G-Class…