Launched in 1979 in its civilian version, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class remained largely unchanged to this day. Now an icon of the SUV market, the G-Wagon is also one of the very few vehicles to still carry its classic body and chassis configuration. The boxy Merc underwent several updates since 1990, but a beefed-up, AMG -badged version wouldn’t arrive until 2006.
That first version came powered by a supercharged, 5.5-liter V-8 and dubbed G55 AMG. The G-Class received a makeover for the 2012 model, when output was increased to 536 horsepower and the nameplate switched to G63 AMG. That same year, an even more extreme version was introduced - the G65 AMG. This SUV is powered by a 6.0-liter V-12 that generates 604 ponies and 738 pound-feet. Unfortunately, we couldn’t have it in the U.S. But that will change starting in 2016 as the Germans are planning on offering the G65 AMG on these shores as well.
At least that’s what Automotive News claims, quoting "company sources." The outlet also adds the G65 AMG will fetch more than $250,000, nearly double the base price of the G63 AMG, which retails from $135,700. Ouch!
Note: European model pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mercedes G65 AMG.
Of course, the G65 AMG is not just about a V-12 engine. Compared to the G63 AMG, the utterly powerful SUV is distinguished by a high-gloss chrome grille, exclusive 20-inch AMG wheels, and a more luxurious interior. The seats, the door panels, and the instrument panel are upholstered in Designo leather. The seats are complete with a diamond design with AMG headrests. Piano black Designo trims and Designo floor mats round off the G65 AMG’s bespoke interior.
The biturbo, 6.0-liter V-12 powerplant mates to an AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic. The autobox channels the 604 ponies and 738 pound-feet to all four wheels with maximum precision and enables the SUV to charge from naught to 60 mph in only 5.3 seconds. Top speed may be limited to 142 mph, but that 0-to-60 mph sprint makes it faster than a Porsche Panamera hybrid or a BMW 550i .
There’s no production SUV that can match the G65 AMG’s output figures or even its boxy appearance, but those looking for a sporty and capable family hauler can always turn to the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S. The second-generation Turbo S comes with "only" 550 horses and 553 pound-feet on tap, but the 2015 model year facelift will bring an even more powerful twin-turbo, V-8 engine. The regular Turbo gained an extra 20 ponies and 37 pound-feet, which means the Turbo S’ tweaked mill could send at least 570 horses and 580 pound-feet to the ground.
Sure, that’s less than the 604 horsepower the G65 AMG boasts, but the Cayenne is superior when it comes to acceleration and top speed. We expect the Turbo S to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds, to go with a top speed of 173 mph. These amazing numbers don’t come cheap, but the Turbo S will most definitely fetch less than Mercedes’ boxy monster. Expect pricing to start from around $160,000 before options.