Now that we’ve seen the third generation ML-Class, Mercedes was ready to launch its most powerful version: the ML63 AMG. The sporty SUV was to be revealed at the 2011 Los Angeles Show, but with just two days before the official debut, Mercedes decided it was time to unveil the official details on the SUV. Sales of the new ML63 AMG will begin in the first quarter of 2012.
The whole goal behind the new ML63 AMG was to "bring sport back." At least that is what Mercedes is attempting: "In a world flooded with average SUVs, it is time to bring back dynamic handling, pulse quickening power and most importantly, sport."
The current ML63 AMG uses a 6.3 liter naturally aspirated V8 engine, but the new model will adopt the same treatment as all of the latest AMG models: a 5.5 liter V8 engine with 518 HP and 516 lb-ft of torque. With the optional AMG Performance Package, the V8 engine’s power output will be increased to 550 HP and 560 lb-ft of torque.
UPDATE 04/17/12: Do you really know everything there is to know about the 2012 Mercedes ML63 AMG? On the chance that you need someone from Mercedes to give you the proverbial guided tour around the SUV, Mercedes-Benz USA Exclusive Vehicles Product Manager Will Vetter will take you on a two-part tour in, around, over, and under the ML63 AMG. Check out the videos after the jump!
Walking Around the Mercedes ML63 AMG with Will Vetter Part 1
Walking Around the Mercedes ML63 AMG with Will Vetter Part 2
Like with all the other AMG models, the new ML63 AMG is dominated by a radiator grille with louvers in a high-gloss paint finish, a prominent Mercedes logo, a larger cooling air intake, an MG front skin stripped in matte silver chrome, bixenon headlamps, an AMG front skirt integrated into the distinctive front fenders, and greater width (0.4 inches) on either side to accommodate the large AMG alloy wheels. A prominent "V8 Biturbo" badge will further identify this model as the top AMG model in the M-Class. AMG illuminated sill panels feature dynamic styling and establish a visual link between the front and rear of the vehicle. At the rear, the car has received an AMG rear skirt to highlight the black diffuser and an AMG sport exhaust system with two sets of chrome twin tailpipes.
For the interior, the Mercedes ML63 AMG will get standard designo premium leather AMG power sports seats, a four-spoke AMG Performance steering wheel, perforated leather grips, and aluminum shift paddles. The center console will be trimmed in aluminum elements and will feature a piano-lacquer retractable cover. Dashboard, armrests, and door trim are also finished in designo premium leather with double top stitching.
Other standard equipment includes:
- AMG illuminated door sills in stainless steel
- AMG sports pedals in brushed stainless steel with rubber studs
- COMAND system with hard-drive navigation & SIRIUS real-time traffic & weather
- 10-way power front seats w/door-mounted controls plus driver and passenger memory with 4-way lumbar support
- harman/kardon¨Logic 7¨surround sound system
- HD radio
- Bluetooth audio streaming
- USB port
- 7" display with central COMAND controller
- 4.5" color instrument cluster display
- Power lift gate
- Multi-color ambient lighting
- Power sunroof w/express open and close
- Heated & active ventilated front seats
The AMG Performance package includes:
- Top speed of 174 mph
- AMG Performance steering wheel with DINAMICA grips
- Increased output +32 hp / 44 lb-ft
- Red brake calipers
- Carbon fiber engine cover
Mercedes has placed a AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine under the ML63 AMG’s hood, which features spray-guided gasoline direct injection with piezo injectors, ECO stop/start system, an all-aluminum crankcase, four valves per cylinder with camshaft adjustment, air-to-water charge air cooling, and an efficient alternator management.
The engine delivers a total of 518 HP and 516 lb-ft of torque. Combined with the AMG Performance Package, these values rise to 550 HP and 560 lb-ft. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph will be made in 4.7 seconds (4.6 seconds with AMG package), while top speed is limited to 155 mph. With the AMG Performance Package, top speed can be increased to 174 mph.
The engine is mated to an AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission featuring three driving programs: "Controlled Efficiency" mode (C), Sport (S) mode, and Manual (M) mode.
The Mercedes ML63 AMG will also be equipped with electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, 20inch 5-spoke alloy wheels painted in titanium grey with a high-gloss finish, and an AMG high-performance braking system.
The new Mercedes ML63 AMG went on sale in March 2012 with a starting MSRP of $95,865 (includes $875 destination charge).
The new Mercedes ML63 AMG will have to take on high performance models like the BMW X5 and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. The Mercedes may not have much to fear in the X5 though. The BMW uses a V8 petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo and direct injection that delivers a total of 407 bhp at 5,500 – 6,400 rpm and sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. The ML63 AMG clearly outdoes the BMW X5 in this arena.
The Cayenne Turb, however, brings more to the table. It uses a 4.8-liter V8 engine that delivers a total of 500hp @6,000rpm and 516 lb-ft of torque, while the 0 to 60 mph sprint is made in 4.4 seconds.
More powerful and efficient engine
Aggressive and sporty appearance
Lots of standard equipment
You may find faster competitors out there
16 mpg is not impressive