When Mercedes finally revealed the first complete redesign of the G-Wagen since it was originally introduced back in 1979, it only showed off the entry-level G550. As impressive as it was off-road, and as luxurious as the new interior looked, we knew it was only a matter of time before the AMG version showed up to hog the attention. And, well, here it is, ready to do exactly that.
There's no mistaking the G-Class for anything else, but to make sure the G63 stands out, AMG gave it a new grille, widened the fenders, added a two-mode sports exhaust, made running boards standard, and switched to red brake calipers. Optional 22-inch wheels are also available. Inside, the G63's most notable AMG-specific feature is its flat-bottomed steering wheel.
As with any AMG, though, the biggest news is under the hood. The G63 now makes 577 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque from a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, beating the G550 by 161 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque. Mercedes says that with the help of the new nine-speed AMG transmission, the new G63 can hit 60 mph in an estimated 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 149 mph with the AMG Driver's package. Compared to the outgoing 5.5-liter model with its seven-speed auto, the new G63 gets an extra 14 hp and 66 lb-ft of torque, enough to cut almost a second off its 0-60 time.
We don't expect many owners to off-road their G63s, but like the 2018 model, the 2019 comes with four-wheel-drive and three locking differentials as standard. Instead of distributing torque evenly, though, the new version is rear-biased and defaults to a sportier 40:60 split. Low range can also be engaged at speeds of up to 25 mph and disengaged at speeds of up to 44 mph.
The biggest difference between the current G63 and the new one, however, will likely be on paved roads. That's because all versions of the 2019 G-Class get an independent front suspension and a significantly widened track. Mercedes says AMG then completely redesigned the suspension, adding AMG-specific coil springs at all four corners to improve handling. It also added a strut tower brace to improve rigidity, stabilizer bars to reduce body roll, adaptive dampers, and speed-sensitive steering. To further tailor the G63 to their needs, owners can choose from five on-road and three off-road driving modes.
Pricing isn't available at the moment, but expect Mercedes to share that, as well as when the G63 will go on sale, by the end of the year. More information may also be made available when the Mercedes-AMG G63 makes its official debut at the Geneva International Motor Show next month.