This is the new, 518bhp Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, which will go on sale in the UK next spring after its world debut at today's Los Angeles motor show. It is powered by AMG's new twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 engine.
Compared with its predecessor's normally aspirated 6.2-litre V8, the 5.5 brings a gain of 15bhp and a 51lb ft hike in torque to 516lb ft, delivered from just 1750rpm.
The AMG engine - which gets stop-start as standard - takes the ML to a governed top speed of 155mph and enables it to cover the 0-62mph sprint in just 4.8sec.
An optional AMG Performance Pack (which adds a carbonfibre engine cover, red brake calipers and an AMG steering wheel) pushes the engine¹s output to 550bhp and 560lb ft, although it shaves the 0-62mph sprint back by only a tenth of a second. Economy and CO2 emissions are the same for both versions of the engine: 23.9mpg and 276g/km.
The powerplant drives all four wheels through the AMG 7G-Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission and specifically designed transfer case, which distributes the engine's torque in a ratio of 40 per cent to the front wheels and 60 per cent to the rear.
The suspension set-up - based around Airmatic suspension, auto damping, speed-sensitive steering and auto-levelling - gets the Active Curve System, which uses active anti-roll bars to reduce body roll in corners.
The ML AMG line began in 1999 with the ML55, powered by a 347bhp 5.5-litre AMG engine, followed by the ML63, which had a 503bhp 6.2-litre V8. Since 1999, 24,000 AMG SUVs have been sold.