Meet the AMG G 63 Edition 1, or for the traditionalists, the G Wagon (on raging steroids). And what makes it the Edition 1 and more special than the standard AMG G 63?
Well for starters there’s the paint colour, think magnetite black, obsidian black, designo night black magno and a handful of other exotic colours. Then the stripes along the side are in matt graphite grey, the mirror housings have a red stripe, and the matte black 22 inch rims have red painted rim flanges.
Then on the inside there’s red contrasting stitching throughout the cabin, the seats are in black and red nappa leather and have a diamond pattern with red contrasting top stitching. The carbon fibre trim gets red pepper highlights as does the performance steering wheel.
And that whole G package is going to put you back a cool R3086653. You read right, just over three bar.
See about being insane?
And yet in a galaxy far, far away it makes perfect sense. Not just because it’s a Mercedes-Benz, but because it’s something special and because it’s so unusual.
Forget anything you know about Geländewagen of days gone by; yes, it’s instantly recognisable as a G Wagon but that’s about as far as it goes.
It’s still a box, so no matter what the design team in Stuttgart does, its a big cube that thunders about and attracts attention everywhere it goes.
The only other car that came close to turning so many heads was Ford’s Mustang. The Mustang because of its iconic status and the G63 because of what it represents in terms of aspirational hopes and status and also the rumble from the pair of pipes sticking out from under the side steps.
It’s a sound that prompts perfect strangers to ask you to “just rev it a bit” and gets you pulled over by the traffic cops who ask you to pull away as fast as you can so “we can hear it”.
That glorious noise comes courtesy of a twin turbo-charged 4.0 litre V8 that’s not shy to give you 430kW and 850Nm of torque, will get you to 100km/* in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 220km/* or 240km/* with the AMG Driver’s package.
All of that is connected to a very smooth AMG speedshift TCT 9G transmission which drives all four wheels with a 60% to 40% bias to the rear.
But the G63 is more than a brute with a potent engine and a symphony of sound; it’s a very sophisticated vehicle and has everything that you would expect from a top-end Mercedes-Benz..
Inside the first thing you’ll notice, apart from the plush interior, is Merc’s widescreen cockpit concept that has two 12.3 inch screens joined as one panel.
The one facing you behind the performance steering wheel has all the instrumentation you need and supplementary driving information and you can switch between classic, sporty and progressive options.
Next to that is the infotainment system that’s easy to understand and operate and what struck me is the clarity and high resolution of the graphics even in bright daylight.
The active front seats are uber-comfortable and grip you tighter as you play on the twists and turns on the road. It’s a unique feeling being massaged while doing so.
Heated seats keep you toasty on a cold winter’s morning and the passengers in the back also have their own heated seats.
For those of us that grew up with the Geländewagen, its offroad prowess was second to none and if you got stuck with it there was no other standard vehicle on the market that was going to get to you.
Well, this new version has all the ability, except gone is the solid front axle now replaced with an independent double wishbone suspension.
All the diff locks and low range are still there, staying true to its heritige; the question you have to ask yourself is whether it’s worth spending that amount of money and risking damage because I suspect a ding or scratch repair would probably cost the same as a small car. That’s not to mention the fact that the optional 22-inch low profiles will be a hard sell on any mountain pass.
Nope, this car is made to growl around menacingly, so put in sport+ to hear the sound reverberating off the buildings in town or to make a grand appearance because one thing it can’t be accused of is being subtle.
Not subtle, either, is consumption which Merc claims to be 13.1l/100km, but in real terms count on anything between 15 and 21 depending on how you drive because, let’s be honest ,the car wasn’t made to idle around in comfort mode.
Mercedes-Benz has obviously loaded it with safety equipment and features and the only kink I found being the lane-keep assist function that felt like someone had given the car a side swipe.
Yes, there are vehicles in a similar price range that will probably give you a more comfortable ride and even more luxury, but is it an AMG G 63?