Who says the era of the big, gas-guzzling, power-laden, ostentatious, highly-expensive SUV is completely over? Not Mercedes-Benz! While Cadillac soldiers on with the Escalade, Mercedes and Infiniti have fielded strong competitors. At the very top of the Mercedes SUV range is the new-for-2013 GL63 AMG. It is all those things we mentioned before, and yes, we love it.
The GL63 is based on the all-new GL-Class, which was redesigned for the 2013 model year. The new GL is bigger in every dimension and sports Mercedes’ more aggressive new styling language. It also has BMW-like taillights, but never mind that – let’s get to the important stuff. And what, you might ask, is the important stuff? Horsepower numbers, of course! AMG status bumps you up to Mercedes’ 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, producing 550 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque.
That’s good enough to take yourself and 6 other passengers to 60 mph in just 4.9-seconds. This engine comes equipped with serious hardware to get to that number; spray-guided gasoline direct injection, piezo injectors, twin turbocharging, air-water intercooler, a fully aluminum crankcase, and four-valve technology with variable camshafts and alternator management. Plus, an ECO stop/start system is thrown in for good measur.
The GL63 AMG’s suspension features AMG=tuned Ride Control with Airmatic. It includes air suspension, “special struts”, an automatic self-leveling function, and an Adaptive Damping System (ADS) along with Active Curve System (ACS). Active roll bars on the front and rear axles aim to reduce body roll, while the systems work together to control ride height around corners. The system includes the selection between two modes, Comfort and Sport. The GL63 is a rolling technological showcase, and likely a hoot (in its own way) to commandeer. The big SUV is set to go on sale early next year. We’d imagine that, given its price tag and gas prices, it’ll be a pretty rare sight in the wild.