The facelifted Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG has been revealed at the Beijing motor show in China, with company bosses predicting a surge in sales for the the iconic car, which is expected to now cost around £110,000 in the UK.
"At present 40-50% of G-class sales are AMG models, and we expect that figure to grow with the arrival of the new-look model," said AMG boss Ola Kaellenius in Beijing. "The first reaction from customers has already been quite overwhelming." Typically 100 to 200 G-class's are sold in the UK each year, with 6600 sold globally in 2011.
Flaunting a deep new front bumper with large cooling ducts, a double slat grille, side mounted exhaust pipes exiting ahead of the rear wheels and characteristic five spoke AMG alloy wheels, the G63 AMG enters the Mercedes-Benz line-up as a replacement for the long running G55 AMG.
Power hails from the German car maker’s twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 direct injection petrol engine. It develops 536bhp and a heady 560lb ft of torque – some 43bhp and 44lb ft more than the G55’s old supercharged 5.4-litre V8 powerplant.
The new engine is mated to a contemporary seven speed automatic gearbox, with drive channeled permanently to all four wheels through three separate differentials that can be manually locked from the cabin for added ability in off-road conditions. Unlike other facelifted G-class models, it also receives an automatic stop/start function and brake energy recuperation for added fuel savings.
Mercedes-Benz says the 2500kg-plus G63 AMG will do 0-62mph in 5.4sec, and has confirmed combined average fuel consumption of 20.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 322g/km, which is an improvement on the G55 AMG’s 17.9mpg and 378g/km.
Planned to be sold in selected markets, including China, Russia and the Middle East, it runs a 603bhp version of Mercedes-Benz’s twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 multi-point injection petrol engine boasting a mammoth 737lb ft of torque. The 0-62mph time is 0.1sec faster than the G63's at 5.3sec. It will cost around the equivalent of £250,000 in these markets.
"The exclusivity of this car is what appeals to customers, almost more than the performance data," said Kaellenius. "In the markets we are targetting it is clear there is demand for such a car."
Mercedes-Benz UK has confirmed, however, that it will not import the left-hand drive only G65 AMG to UK shores.