What is it?
In a market in which there seems to be another six-figure ‘super-SUV’ coming along every other week, with everyone from Aston Martin to Rolls-Royce gearing up to launch one, what future is there for the pumped-up, AMG-engined Mercedes Gelandewagen? Will anyone be willing to part with upwards of £140,000 for this boxy throwback, you might wonder. If you’re looking for luxury, capability, convenience and conferred status from an exotic SUV, you could have a Bentley Bentayga for the same money, a Range Rover Sport SVR for a lot less or a Lamborghini Urus for not much more.
Well, you might wonder. For a while, at least — until the new G63 rolls into the car park in which you’ve been waiting, side-exit exhausts burbling hilariously and brooding with enough visual charisma and Tonka toy menace that it could have been driven straight out of a three-year-old’s sandpit and then zapped by a reverse-miniaturiser raygun.
There are SUVs, and then there are SUVs like this one. SUVs with a roof you can’t see over, even if you’re 6ft 3in, and that you have to climb up in order to board, whether you’re extremely unused to doing so or not. SUVs with square corners, exposed hinges and the chunkiest of door handles. Proper SUVs.
The G63 has doors that close with a ‘whump’ so solid-sounding that it can only have been engineered at considerable expense. Its door lock mechanisms are so loud that you could hear them ‘clack’ from a quarter-mile away. It retains a ladder frame chassis, a rigid rear axle and enough ground clearance to trump a Toyota Land Cruiser, even after the biggest model generation revision in the G-Wagen’s 40-year history. It’s a proper SUV and then some — apparently having been engineered to outlast the zombie apocalypse.
It’d need to be an apocalypse in which the petrol pumps had been left on, mind you. At least as far as UK buyers are concerned, there is only one engine on offer in this new G-Class and it’s AMG’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, giving this G63 some 577bhp and a whacking 627lb ft of torque.