Whether arriving at an elite ski resort in Vermont or joining the horsey set in Saratoga, almost everyone will take notice of what you’re driving. The new ML 63 AMG exudes self-confidence, athleticism and power and is certain to attract attention.
Just when you thought the newest Mercedes-Benz M-class was the latest and greatest, along comes the new ML63 AMG. Good as the standard ML is (and it is very good), the new AMG version offers a higher level of exclusivity and performance.
AMG excels at transforming good cars into really great ones and it has done just that with by creating ML63 AMG. AMG’s close attention to details and use of the latest technical developments all combine to createan an outstanding driving experience.
The ML63 AMG is easy to recognize as a Mercedes-Benz. It features a radiator grille with louvers in a high-gloss paint finish and the prominent Mercedes star. Two outer air intakes and the large central radiator grille provide the flow of air needed to feed and cool the 550 horses under the hood.
Even from a distance, bi-xenon headlamps and LED daytime running lights give the ML63 a premium, exclusive appearance. A closer look reveals distinctive front fenders that are 0.4 inches wider to accommodate the large AMG alloy wheels. “V8 BITURBO” badges identify the vehicle as the flagship AMG M-Class model and AMG illuminated sill panels project a subtle reminder to yourself and others about your choice of vehicle.
Unlike the other M-Class variants, this AMG version has two sets of twin chrome tailpipes to deliver the classic sound of a very healthy V8.
The interior of this high-performance SUV combines a sporty character with more than a touch of elegance. Standard designo premium leather upholstery includes contrasting double topstitching and AMG badges in the backrests of the front seats and the outer rear seats. AMG 10-way power front seats with 4-way lumbar adjustment provide excellent support.
The four-spoke AMG performance steering wheel has a natural feel with perforated leather grips, aluminium shift paddles and a rim flattened on the bottom.
Under the hood, the folks at AMG have delivered a very special upgrade of a standard Mercedes-Benz vehicle. As such, the new ML63 AMG is a showcase for some exceptional new technology. Its 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine features spray-guided direct injection with piezo injectors, ECO stop/start system, an all-aluminium crankcase, four valves per cylinder with camshaft adjustment, air-water intercooling and alternator management. With a displacement of 5461 cc, this V8 generates a maximum power output of 518 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.
Just in case more bragging rights are needed, the AMG Development Package increases charge pressure from 14.0 to 18.8 psi and boosts engine output to 550 hpand 560 lb-ft of torque. With and without the package, zero to 60 mph times of 4.6 and 4.7 seconds are possible. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.
Power goes to all four wheels using AMGs 7-speed automatic transmission. It has three driving programs and a rev-matching function during downshifts. A dedicated transfer case for the all-wheel drive distributes the engine power at a ratio of 40/60 front to rear for better driving dynamics.
With its 4-wheel capability, the ML63 can handle most offroad and weather situations, but it’s really at its best out on the open road. Pushing the accelerator to the floor causes all hell to break loose, a bit like being launched by a rocket. You’ll notice your body sinking into the seat back while you feel the skin on your face being pulled back. The exhaust sound changes from a pleasant V8 rumble to a loud staccato rap, and in what seems like an instant, you’re at 100mph.
The AMG sports suspension with Airmatic air suspension, independent damper struts, automatic level control and adaptive damping system works in combination with the active curve system for roll stabilization. This standard system uses active stabilizers on the front and rear axles to compensate for body roll.
With the push of a button, the driver is able to choose between the three suspension modes: “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Manual”. Here is a system that really works. Unlike many similar systems in competing vehicles, you can actually feel what happens when a setting is changed..
Electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering features speed-based power assistance and helps to save fuel because it only consumes energy when the driver actually moves the steering wheel. The steering has excellent on-center feel with just the right amount of effort for all driving situations. Quick sprints on twisting mountain roads are handled with ease, and it’s easy to forget you’re driving an SUV.
The ML63 AMG comes with 20-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels painted in titanium grey with a high-gloss finish and fitted with 265/45 R 20 high performance tires. Also available are optional 295/35 R 21 tires on 21-inch AMG alloy wheels. The AMG high-performance braking system provides remarkably short braking distances and high fade resistance with its ventilated and perforated brake discs at all four corners
Standard safety equipment includes the drowsiness detection system Attention Assist, the anticipatory safety system Pre-Safe, Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist, as well as Adaptive Brake, the ESP electronic stability program and Parktronic with Active Parking Assist. Further active assistance systems such as Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist are available as additional equipment.
Safety is further enhanced by new standard features such as LED daytime running lamps, fiber-optic LED tail lamps, Adaptive Highbeam Assist and a driver’s side knee airbag.
The new Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG will be available in the U.S. in March with a starting MSRP of $95,865 including the $875 destination charge. The estimated combined fuel economy for this high-performance SUV is 16 mpg. That doesn’t seem like much, but it’s a 33-percent improvement over its predecessor.