• 2018 Mercedes-AMG G63

The quickest G-Class to Date

Mercedes-AMG wasted no time releasing a hot-rod version of the all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV. The G-Class still retains its iconic, boxy design and ladder frame chassis, but is completely modernized in every other measure. From the twin-turbo V-8 and new suspension system to the high-tech, leather-lined interior, the new Mercedes-AMG G63 is the new high-water mark for the automaker.

Mercedes is set to officially debut the G63 at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show on March 6, after which the production version will arrive in showrooms toward the end of 2018. Naturally, the price is steep – likely costing more than the 2018 G63’s $142,800 here in the U.S.

We should know more as Mercedes-AMG debut the 2019 G63 at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, so stay tuned to TopSpeed.com.

Update: 02/13/2018: Mercedes-AMG has released photos and preliminary information about the all-new, 2019 G63 SUB ahead of its official debut at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show on March 6.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63.

Exterior

  • More aggressive front fascia
  • Wider fender flares
  • Body-color & chrome spare tire cover
  • Unique AMG & BITURBO badging
  • Standard 21-inch wheels
  • Optional 22-inch wheels
  • Two available appearance packages
2018 Mercedes-AMG G63 Exterior
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The G63 is given a more aggressive front bumper and grille, wider wheel arches, and several distinguishing trim pieces

While the basic design remains mostly unchanged from the 2019 G-Class, in typical AMG fashion, the G63 is given a more aggressive front bumper and grille, wider wheel arches, and several distinguishing trim pieces that help visually separate this high-horsepower monster from its more civilized brethren.

The side strips along the doors are pained in high-gloss black and feature silver AMG emblems. A chrome and body-color wheel cover hides the spare tire, and the front fenders get “V8 BITURBO” emblems. The tailgate also boasts a G63 logo.

The AMG G63 is also treated to unique colors on the trim work. The front air inlets are painted in matte iridium silver, while the oversized brake calipers are painted in red. Mercedes includes 21-inch wheels as standard equipment on the G63, but 22-inch wheels are optional. Both come wrapped in performance all-season tires that are somehow not terrible off a beaten path.

2018 Mercedes-AMG G63 Exterior
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Speaking of getting off the path, the AMG G63 is still fully capable of going off-road.

Speaking of getting off the path, the AMG G63 is still fully capable of going off-road. It boasts 9.5 inches of ground clearance and short overhangs with impressive approach and departure angles. Underbody skid plates keep vital drivetrain components safe from trail damage, too.

If for some reason the Mercedes-AMG G63 doesn’t look special enough for you, Mercedes offers two appearance packages. The AMG Night Package includes smoked LED headlights, taillights, and turn signal lenses, deep-tinted windows, and Obsidian Black paint on the side mirrors, spare tire cover ring, bumper trim, and 21- or 22-inch wheels finishes off the look.

2018 Mercedes-AMG G63 Exterior
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If for some reason the Mercedes-AMG G63 doesn’t look special enough for you, Mercedes offers two appearance packages

The second special edition package is the Edition 1. It comes painted in Designo Night Black Mango with contrasting matte Graphite Grey stripes along the G63’s sides. A red stripe on the side mirrors adds color while high-gloss black covers the rest of the exterior trim. Unique 22-inch wheels coated in matte black paint come with the Edition 1 package and feature a red-painted ring along its outer edge.

Interior

  • AMG flat-bottom steering wheel
  • Vastly improved interior shared with standard G-Class
  • Real metal & wood trims
  • Seating for five
  • Power-folding, 60/40-split rear bench
2018 Mercedes-AMG G63 Interior
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The G-Class has come to represent the ultimate in excessiveness and ostentatious living

The G-Class has come to represent the ultimate in excessiveness and ostentatious living, yet over the last few years, its interior has become outdated and rather sad. Thankfully, Mercedes has completely cured that issue for 2019. The interior is covered in high-end leather and accented with quality trim materials. Dual 12-inch screens cover the dashboard and report on vehicle parameters while keeping passengers entertained.

Mercedes-AMG kicks things up a notch with even higher-end materials like carbon fiber, a flat-bottom AMG steering wheel, and performance apps in the infotainment system.

Thankfully, AMG didn’t have to do much to improve the desirability of the new G-Class’ interior. Aside from the lovely dual screens, the dash includes real metal accents and toggle switches, the modern Mercedes infotainment controller, an analog clock for that old-world touch, and memory seat controls for both driver and passenger.

2018 Mercedes-AMG G63 Interior
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As for those seats, Mercedes even offers its Active Multicontour Seat package.

As for those seats, Mercedes even offers its Active Multicontour Seat package. This includes special front seats with several massage functions, heating and ventilation, and nearly infinite adjustability. The rear passengers aren’t forgotten, either. The new G-Class comes standard with a 60/40-split rear bench with power-folding and adjustments that include reclining. The seats also fold completely flat for hauling larger cargo, too.

Drivetrain

  • Hand-built 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8
  • “Hot-V” engine design
  • 577 horsepower & 627 pound-feet of torque
  • Nine-Speed automatic transmission
  • Full-time 4WD with low range
  • Front, Center, & rear differential locks
  • Eight drive mode settings
  • 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds
  • Top speed up to 149 mph
2018 Mercedes-AMG G63
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The engine kicks out an impressive 577 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque.

At the heart of the Mercedes-AMG G63 is a hand-built 4.0-liter, Biturbo V-8. The engine kicks out an impressive 577 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. That peak torque hits at an incredibly low 2,500 rpm and stays strong up to 3,500 rpm – perfect for an SUV. Mercedes says the G63 will hit 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds and onto a top speed of 137 mph. Customers who want more can pay extra for the AMG Driver’s Package. This bumps the top speed up to 149 mph.

The engine a “hot V” arrangement with its twin turbochargers. This means the cylinder heads feature a reverse flow with the intake to the outside of the V and the exhaust on the inside of the V – hints the “hot V” name. The benefit is a very short distance from the exhaust port to the twin-scroll turbochargers, which allows for a great reduction in spool time and a noticeable decrease in turbo lag.

Of course, the G63 wouldn’t be an AMG without a rumbling exhaust system. It features dual exhaust tips on each side of the SUV – just ahead of the rear tires under the side steps. The side exit helps make the exhaust more audible to those inside the G, but without being too obnoxious during normal driving.

2018 Mercedes-AMG G63 Exterior
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The torque split has been moved from a 50/50 divide in the outgoing G63 to a 40/60 split front to rear.

Mercedes uses its AMG SpeedShift nine-speed automatic transmission to spin the 2019 G’s updated full-time 4WD system. The torque split has been moved from a 50/50 divide in the outgoing G63 to a 40/60 split front to rear. This means the G will have a tail-happy bias when pushed hard.

When it comes to off-roading, the G63 performs even better than before. Its 4WD low range has been improved from a 2.1:1 ratio to a stouter 2.93:1 ratio. This multiplies torque at a higher rate before heading to all four wheels. In other words, the engine has more leverage to get the G63 though sticky situations. Impressively, 4WD low range can be engaged at speeds up to 25 mph and will operate up to 44 mph. At that point, 4WD high range can be engaged without stopping. That’s a big improvement over most two-speed 4WD systems that require a complete stop and the transmission to be shifted into neutral.

Another iconic feature the G-Class continues to have is its three locking differentials. The front, middle, and rear differentials can all be electronically locked by pressing the buttons prominently featured on the dashboard. It starts with the center differential; when locked it provides an even 50/50 torque split between the front and rear axles. The rear is next, and when engaged, locks the two rear wheels together, making the spin at the same speed regardless of one loses traction. The front differential is the last to lock. Just like the rear diff, it binds the two front wheels together for maximum traction. The only downside to a locked front diff is a great reduction is turning ability. That’s why the differentials are only lockable in 4WD low range.

2018 Mercedes-AMG G63 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The 2019 G63 comes with even more driver-selectable controls, too

And while this feature has been around since the G-Class’ beginnings, Mercedes has reworked the system to engage more quickly.

The 2019 G63 comes with even more driver-selectable controls, too. There are five on-road driving modes. These include Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual. Each customize the G63’s engine, transmission, 4WD, stability control, and traction control to behave in different manners for a tailored performance in each category.

The same is true for the three off-road driving modes, too. These modes include Sand, Trail, and Rock. Sand and Rock modes are self-explanatory, but the Trail mode is tailored to soft, muddy terrain. All eight driving modes are selected through the AMG Dynamic Select rocker switch on the dash.

Last but not least, when it comes to saving fuel, Mercedes-AMG didn’t simply forego the topic. The 4.0-liter biturbo V-8 is fitted with cylinder deactivation. With the drive mode set to Comfort and the revs settled between 1,000 to 3,250 rpm, the engine will cut fuel to four of the eight cylinders.

Suspension

  • New independent front suspension shared with 2019 G-Class
  • Five-link coil spring rear suspension w/ live axle
  • Adaptive dampers with three settings
  • Sport-tuned coil springs at all four corners
2018 Mercedes-AMG G63 Exterior
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Mercedes-AMG improves on this design further with adaptive dampers and AMG-specific coil springs with firmer spring rates

The new 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class rides on an all-new suspension system that incorporates an independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and a solid rear axle held in place with a multi-link coil spring arrangement.

Mercedes-AMG improves on this design further with adaptive dampers and AMG-specific coil springs with firmer spring rates. The front suspension is aided by a strut tower brace for added lateral rigidity. The rear suspension uses four track bars to hold the axle in place fore and aft, while a Panhard bar keeps the axle in place laterally.

The adaptive dampers react to the Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ driving modes with increasing degrees of stiffness. Set to Comfort, the G63 rides like a Mercedes S-Class, while when set to Sport+, it rides like a Mercedes-AMG GT.

Pricing

2018 Mercedes-AMG G63 Exterior
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Mercedes-AMG has not announced the price for its 2019 G63, but we fully expect an increase over the outgoing 2048 G63’s starting price of $142,800. Perhaps the 2019 model will start around $145,000 to $150,000, depending on how much Mercedes thinks its customers are willing to pay for the vast improvements.

We will know more as the 2019 G63 gets closer to its on-sale date toward the end of 2018.

Competition

2018 Land Rover Range Rover

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Exterior
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The Range Rover is Land Rover’s most luxurious and expensive model. It is also one of the brand’s most capable vehicles thanks to its full-time 4WD system and adjustable air suspension. The Range Rover offers seating for four or five, depending on the model, and has a decent amount of cargo room. If you want the second row to fold flat, stick with the rear bench option; the rear bucket chairs don’t fold flat.

Though several engines are available, the most powerful is JLR’s ubiquitous 5.0-liter supercharged V-8. In “base” form, it makes 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough grunt to move the Rover to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. However, with the SVAutobiography Dynamic edition, the V-8 makes 557 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. JLR says the 0-to-60 mph time remains at 5.1 seconds, but does say top speed is improved from 130 to 140 mph.

An eight-speed automatic and full-time 4WD system send power to all four wheels. When the going gets tough, an available low range gives extra torque, and automatically locking center and rear differentials ensure torque is distributed equally between the wheels.

The 2018 Range Rover is certainly not cheap. In its “base” form, it carries a price of $87,350. If you want the V-8, it pushes the vehicle price to $104,850. For the SVAutobiography Dynamic edition, the price starts at $177,200. Those wanting more legroom in the second row will appreciate the Range Rover Long Wheelbase. It comes with all the same equipment, but with an extra 7.3 inches added to the second-row footwell. It starts at $108,895, but the powerful SVAutobiography starts at a whopping $207,900 before options.

Read our full review on the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover.<

2018 Lexus LX570

Eject-O Seat-O: 2019 Lexus LX Drops Third Row and $5,000 Off the Sticker Exterior
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The LX570 is Lexus’ most posh and expensive model, yet is very capable when the pavement ends thanks to its underpinnings shared with the Toyota Land Cruiser. When it comes to hauling people, the LX can haul more than the G-Wagen and Range Rover thanks to its third-row seat. Combined, it can haul a maximum of eight. Cargo room also leads the three, thanks to the folding and tumbling second and third rows. However, Lexus knows some customers just need two rows, so for 2018, a two-row LX570 is now available.

The only engine choice is Toyota’s venerable 5.7-liter V-8. Here, it makes 383 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque. The sprint to 60 is undoubtedly the slowest of the bunch, taking 7.3 seconds. The LX does have a top speed of 137 mph, however, but the lumbering SUV is by far the least athletic of this bunch. An eight-speed automatic is paired with the LX’s full-time 4WD system with a Torsen limited-slip center differential that can be locked when things get really slippery. The 2018 Lexus LX570 carries a starting price of $85,350 with the two-row version. Loaded out, the LX can cost just over $100,000.

Read our full review on the 2018 Lexus LX570.

Conclusion

2018 Mercedes-AMG G63 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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We’re exactly happy Mercedes has finally updated its G-Class. The outgoing model has been around – basically unchanged – since 1979. The changes move the old-school SUV into modern times with a swanky interior, an updated powertrain, and a modern chassis with adaptive dampers and an independent front suspension.

These days, G-Class customers no longer consist of militaries and government agencies, but rather upper-class folks who want a status symbol that embodies their wealth and success. The G spends far more time rolling down Rodeo drive than through the ruts of a battlefield, so it’s only reasonable that Mercedes cater the G to its current customer.

As for the AMG improvements, we’re wildly impressed with the 4.0-liter’s 577-horsepower output, the nine-speed automatic, and the new full-time 4WD system. Mercedes unquestionably knows how to develop and build a high-end drivetrain with outlandish levels of power. That legacy is not lost on the 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63.

  • Leave it
    • Expensive

References

2018 Mercedes G-Class

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.

Mercedes-AMG G63

2013 Mercedes G63 AMG High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the Mercedes-AMG G63.

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Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

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Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

Update History

Update 07/12/2017: A new crop of spy photos reveals the G-Wagen’s interior. It’s inspired by the E-Class, but has a unique, more rugged design that plays into the G-Wagen’s iconic heritage.

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
About the author

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