Currently reading: First ride: 2024 Mercedes-AMG G63
Revised off-roader gets semi-active suspension option in G63 guise; due next year

An upgraded version of the internal-combustion-engined Mercedes-AMG G63 will launch alongside the long-awaited battery-electric EQG in 2024.

The off-roader, revealed here undergoing testing in prototype form ahead of a planned unveiling in the middle of next year, will receive a number of key developments, including a new semi-active suspension similar to that seen on the Mercedes-AMG SL and AMG GT sports coupés.

The ‘kinetic’ suspension set-up, which will be offered as an option on the V8-engined Mercedes-AMG G63, does away with traditional anti-roll bars and replaces them with a system that uses interconnected electrohydraulic flow valves that allow continuously variable rebound and compression damping.

This alters damping force from side to side and from front to rear depending on road speed, steering wheel angle, body movement, driving mode and external conditions.

The compression units of the dampers on one side of the new G63 are linked via the electrohydraulic flow valves to the rebound units of the dampers on the other side and vice versa.

When a wheel compresses, the piston within the damper extends upwards and hydraulic fluid flows across to the other side to support the rebound properties of the opposite damper.

This results in improvements in body control, ride quality and off-road performance, according to AMG, which is also developing kinetic suspension for other upcoming models.

The stiffness of the damping is controlled by two accumulators – one for the front wheels and another for the rears.

These nitrogengas-filled metal spheres use a flexible membrane to collect excess hydraulic fluid and distribute it into the flow valves for extra damping stiffness when required.

Because the compression and rebound properties act independently, the kinetic suspension is claimed to provide a wider tuning range between its minimum and maximum damping levels.

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Replacing anti-roll bars with semi-active dampers also provides the G-Class with an as-yet-unspecified weight saving.

Wheel articulation is also said to have been improved. Further changes in store for the G63 in 2024 include the adoption of a new mild-hybrid powertrain.

Already used by the GLE 63, it combines AMG’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre petrol V8 with a 48V startergenerator that produces 21bhp and 184lb ft, for total outputs of 603bhp and 627lb ft. 

New 2024 Mercedes G-Class first ride review

As we scythe down a narrow and bumpy country road outside Leipzig, Germany, during testing of next year’s G63, Ralf Haug, head of suspension at Mercedes-AMG, describes the G-Class’s new kinetic suspension set-up as “a significant leap in suspension development”.

The idea for the adoption of the kinetic suspension on the G-Class came after AMG started development of the advanced system for the new SL and GT, explains Haug.

“We saw the advantages it brought to our sports cars and immediately began thinking of what it could do for our offroad models,” he says.

It’s still early days, but if the prototype we’re riding in is any indication, development is already well advanced. It’s never easy judging a car from the passenger seat, but next year’s G63 appears to offer improved handling qualities and a calmer ride than those of today’s model.

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The big surprise, however, is just how well the new suspension suppresses body roll. With the advanced dampers controlling the roll stiffness, there’s very progressive lean and, given the generous amount of suspension travel offered by the G-Class, limited body movement, even in tighter corners.

The ride also appears to have gained added suppleness across all of the driving modes. There’s clearly an improvement in on-road dynamics and, as AMG points out, a broader spread of on-road driving characteristics.

Another advantage of the kinetic system, says Haug, is improved traction. This is displayed to great effect on an offroad course, where the new G63 traverses tricky inclines and storms along sandy tracks with great authority and a level of surefootedness that few if any rivals could possibly match.

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G.O.M. 31 October 2023

Sounds like there should be some thanks to BMC's Hydrolastic suspension developed in the 1960's.