The most absurd cars are often the best. Well, so it seems when it comes to AMG’s brutal take on the long-serving G-Wagen.
The factory-backed Benz tuners from Affalterbach have stuffed the company’s 400kW/760Nm 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 petrol engine into the 35-year-old military-spec wagon to create one of the most ludicrous yet entertaining 4x4s money can buy. And while we’re talking money, you’ll need a lot of it to park one of these in your driveway – like $230,000!
The G63 has no peer, but we can think of a couple of similarly over-the-top dream vehicles we’d like to see. How about Land Rover wedging the Range Sport’s supercharged V8 into the Defender, as a last hurrah for that model? Or Toyota taking the V10 screamer from the Lexus LFA and putting it into a 70-Series to build a go-fast farm truck?
The G63 is that ridiculous, but it sure as hell puts a smile on your face every time you mash its gas pedal. The V8 bellows out either side of the wagon through a quartet of chrome-tipped pipes, straight into the ears of those sitting meekly in their city econoboxes. The big black box draws attention wherever you drive it; it quickly becomes obvious why this AMG is the choice for wannabe celebrities and would-be gangsters.
Forget about taking it offroad; the liquorice-strap 20-inch tyres wouldn’t like it and there are not enough people in the bush for you to impress with the G anyway. Nor are there enough fuel stations out there to feed the thirst of that demanding V8 engine.
But if you must venture out of town, the G63 retains the lesser grade’s dual-range transfer case and triple set of locking diffs to keep you out of trouble. And if fuel consumption is a concern, then the G63 is probably not for you in any case, but you can be reassured by the idle-stop function that helps keep the fuel use to a claimed 13.8L/100km. Yeah, as if! When you drive the G63 you want to hear the engine all the time – whether at idle, or at wide-open throttle on your way to a 5.4-second dash to 100km/h.
The test vehicle might wear black on black, but it’s by no means stealth. If the sound doesn’t encourage a second look, then the striking red six-spot brake calipers surely will. The black-widow theme continues when you open the door and step over the illuminated ‘AMG’ sill plates to the diamond-quilted Designo seats that match the brakes. The performance might be abrupt, but it’s full-on Mercedes-Benz luxury inside the G.
Yes, the AMG G63 is ostentatious, preposterous and ridiculously expensive, but in a world of cars that all too often exhibit very little sense of adventure, we’re glad that the nutters at AMG still see fit to build it and other vehicles like the insane 6x6 and the 1000Nm V12-powered G65.
Engine: Bi-turbocharged petrol V8
Max Power: 400kW @ 5500rpm
Max Torque: 760Nm from 2000-5000rpm
Gearbox: 7-speed automatic
4X4 System: Dual-range full-time 4x4 with locking diffs
Construction: 5-door wagon, body-on-frame
Front suspension: Live axle with coil springs
Rear suspension: Live axle with coil springs
Wheel and tyre spec: Full-size spare
Kerb Weight: 2550kg
Seating capacity: 5
Fuel tank capacity: 96L
ADR fuel consumption: 13.8L/100km
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