Mercedes-AMG G63

Old school charm meets mod­ern day lux­ury

Auto Today - - Dashboard - PIC­TURES Gur­deep Bhalla

At some point dur­ing my time with the MercedesA MG G 63 I started won­der­ing what the point to it was. De­spite the fact that fast SUVs are very much in vogue, the G63’s ex­is­tence still beg­gars be­lief. Mercedes-AMG has enough of those in its lineup, ten to be pre­cise if you count all the body styles and en­gine vari­a­tions. Why then did the com­pany feel the need to cre­ate what is es­sen­tially a brick which can do 0-100kmph in just 4.5s? Well, if you’re read­ing this think­ing I will have a con­vinc­ing an­swer to that ques­tion by the end of this

DE­SPITE THE FACT THAT FAST SUVS ARE VERY MUCH IN VOGUE, THE G63’S EX­IS­TENCE STILL BEG­GARS BE­LIEF

write-up then spoiler alert, I won’t. But with my words I will at­tempt to tell you what makes the MercedesAMG G63 so spe­cial.

The G-Wa­gen started out as a util­i­tar­ian ve­hi­cle for the mil­i­tary in the late 1970s. Over the decades, Mercedes-Benz has re­tained the orig­i­nal’s de­sign. But if you think that made life for the de­sign de­part­ment easy, well think again. It is more than just a sim­ple copy-paste job. Take the front turn in­di­ca­tors for in­stance. They cost around five times more be­cause of mod­ern safety reg­u­la­tions that re­quire them to sink back into the body in case you end up hit­ting a pedes­trian. Although the turn sig­nal will be the least of my wor­ries if I had a 2.5tonne brick hurtling to­wards me! The door hinges and han­dles also hark back to the orig­i­nal and clos­ing the door takes a fair amount of strength. All this adds to the old school charm of the G-Wa­gen. Fea­tures like all LED head­lamps and LED tail lamps and AMG’s sig­na­ture Panamer­i­cana front grille seem to be the few con­tem­po­rary bits around.

The ver­ti­cal side­walls of the car aren’t just a styling as­pect. They orig­i­nate from the need to seat three sol­diers abreast in full mil­i­tary garb without their hel­mets hit­ting each other as the ve­hi­cle went over the tough­est of ter­rains. Speak­ing of the in­te­rior, the cabin of the G63 is a to­tal con­trast to the old-world ex­te­rior. The dash­board is straight out of a mod­ern-day Mercedes, com­plete with a dual screen setup hous­ing a cus­tom­iz­a­ble in­stru­ment panel. The steer­ing gets touch con­trol but­tons that let the driver ac­cess the CO

MAND in­fo­tain­ment setup and cus­tom­ize the in­stru­ment panel. The qual­ity lev­els on dis­play are ex­em­plary and feel solid enough to do jus­tice to the G’s “Stronger Than Time” tagline. One of the very few old-timey bits in­side the G63 is the front pas­sen­ger grab han­dle. From what we hear, much like the fender mounted in­di­ca­tors, this too was a night­mare to get past the new­est safety reg­u­la­tions.

A 4.0-litre twin turbo V8, the same one that does duty on the likes of the AMG GT R, C63 and E63, re­places ear­lier G63’s 5.5-litre twin turbo V8. De­spite the re­duc­tion in size, power and torque fig­ures have gone up to 585bhp and 850Nm re­spec­tively mak­ing this 2.5tonne be­he­moth fright­en­ingly fast. 0-100kmph comes up in just 4.5 sec­onds! It will go on to hit a top speed of 220kmph. Sounds like num­bers one would usu­ally as­so­ciate with a sports car. A 9-speed AMG gear­box han­dles trans­mis­sion du­ties and can

ENGI­NEERS DE­SERVE A PAT ON

THEIR BACKS FOR MAK­ING A CAR THIS BIG AND HEAVY HAN­DLE THE WAY IT DOES

be con­trolled via pad­dle shifters if you so de­sire. The G63’s green cre­den­tials are given a boost with cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion sys­tem that cuts off cylin­ders two, three, five and eight for in­creased fuel ef­fi­ciency.

Mercedes and AMG engi­neers de­serve a pat on their backs for mak­ing a car this big and heavy han­dle the way it does. Of course, it’s no corner-carver, but it does not feel as scary as I had ex­pected it to when push­ing it hard. While the G63 can hit a top speed of 220kmph, you will have to con­tend with the Gov­ern­ment man­dated sound alarm above 120kmph that an­noy­ingly cuts off au­dio and a ‘max­i­mum speed ex­ceeded” mes­sage takes up per­ma­nent space on the in­stru­ment panel. While I doubt any­one buy­ing a 2 crore plus SUV will ven­ture off the road, but if the owner does de­cide to par­take in such ac­tiv­i­ties, the car has him/her cov­ered with dif­fer­en­tial locks and off-road modes.

I, for one, firmly be­lieve that things like driv­ing dy­nam­ics, off-road abil­i­ties and other se­ri­ous stuff

is ir­rel­e­vant to a car like the Mercedes-AMG G63. Be­cause one has to be daft to buy one of these if they wish to head out to the track or tackle chal­leng­ing trails. Not that it won’t be fun do­ing that in the G, but there are bet­ter op­tions avail­able for each of those pur­poses. The rea­son to buy one of these is the in­de­struc­tible feel­ing you get ev­ery time you step in­side, the sense of oc­ca­sion it of­fers with each drive, the glo­ri­ous V8 sound­track and the old world charm the G63 af­fords without com­pro­mis­ing mod­ern day fea­tures. 1. The G63 comes with cool look­ing side pipes that emit a glo­ri­ous V8 sound. 2. The fender mounted in­di­ca­tors re­tract into the body in case of col­li­sion with a pedes­trian

VER­DICT

The Mercedes-AMG G63 is one of those cars that you buy with your heart rather than your head. It is a mod­ern day car wrapped in an old school body that can do things one would ex­pect from a sports car. It has im­mense road pres­ence that very few cars can match. It can do silly num­bers, has cool look­ing side pipes and an in­tox­i­cat­ing V8 sound­track. In its lat­est avatar, it also han­dles much bet­ter. But all that does come at a price. At Rs 2.19 crore (ex-show­room), the G63 is ridicu­lously ex­pen­sive though. And that is be­fore you start tick­ing the op­tions list.

1. Thor­oughly mod­ern in­te­rior dis­plays high lev­els of qual­ity. 2. The screen for the in­fo­tain­ment setup is not touch en­abled. 3. Cus­tom­iz­a­ble all-dig­i­tal in­stru­ment panel finds its way into the new G-Wa­gen. 4. But­tons for the dif­fer­en­tial locks is lo­cated be­tween the cen­tral air con­di­tion­ing vents. 5. There is a sun­roof on of­fer but not the panoramic kind. 6. Uphol­stery can be cus­tom­ized as per the cus­tomers pref­er­ences

Dhruv Sax­ena Cor­re­spon­dant dhruv.sax­[email protected]­j­tak.com @dhruv992

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