Nearly 40 years on, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class has finally been given a thorough makeover, the legendary off-roader getting some substantial updates under the same old, same old skin. Now, the latest version has made it to Malaysian shores, alongside the AMG GLC 63.
This institution of the Three-Pointed Star lineup arrives here in no less than the full-fat AMG G 63 version, with all the bells and whistles that you’d expect from an Affalterbach-fettled product. It has the price to match – an eye-watering RM1,464,888 on-the-road without insurance.
It may not look like it with its boxy throwback design, but this really is an all new model. It still sits on a ladder-frame chassis, but it’s now made from high-strength steel, and the body utilises a mix of strong, high-strength and ultra-high-strength steels, plus aluminium in the bonnet, fenders and doors.
The result is a 55% increase in torsional rigidity, plus a weight saving of around 170 kg. This is despite a significant growth spurt – it’s now 101 mm longer, 121 mm wider and 40 mm taller, which Mercedes says provides better legroom, shoulder room and elbow room. Rear passengers in particular receive a generous 150 mm of extra knee space.
On the outside, Mercedes has preserved the iconic rough-hewn aesthetic, complete with the bluff front end, round headlights, upright windscreen and sides, prominent protection strips and wheel arches and the exterior spare wheel cover. The latter is one of the few items carried over from the original, another being the chunky push-button door handles.
Inside, the new G-Class borrows elements from other models in the Mercedes passenger car range, including the Widescreen Cockpit flatscreen panel with twin 12.3-inch displays, turbine-style air vents and a 64-colour ambient lighting system. You’ve still got classic Geländewagen cues such as the individual switches for the three fully-locking differentials and a passenger-side dashboard grab handle.
Under the bonnet, the G 63 utilises AMG’s 4.0 litre biturbo V8 producing 585 hp at 6,000 rpm and 850 Nm of torque from 2,500 to 3,500 rpm. It’s paired to a nine-speed Speedshift TCT 9G automatic gearbox and AMG Performance 4Matic all-wheel drive, and so equipped, this two-and-a-half-tonne behemoth will get from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds and onwards to a 240 km/h top speed, thanks to the AMG Driver’s Package.
Suspension is handled by independent double wishbones at the front, rather than the old model’s front and rear solid axles. The one at the rear remains, but it’s now controlled by four trailing arms and a Panhard rod. Additions specific to the AMG model are AMG Ride Control adaptive dampers, AMG speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering and cross-drilled disc brakes with red callipers.
Visually, the G 63 is differentiated by the trapezoidal Panamerica front grille with vertical slats, larger front air intakes, flared wheel arches, quad side-exit exhausts and a flat-bottomed AMG Performance steering wheel. Our models also come with the Edition 1 package, which add a whole host of aesthetic highlights.
These include matte graphite grey side stripes, the gloss black AMG Night Package, black 22-inch cross-spoke alloy wheels with red flanges, black and red Nappa leather upholstery with red stitching, red-tinged carbon fibre trim, red seat belts and Dinamica microfibre steering wheel trim with a red 12 o’clock marker.
Standard equipment includes Multibeam LED headlights, keyless entry, push-button start, the Active Multicontour Seat package with power adjustment, memory and heating, triple-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, the range-topping Comand Online navigation system, a Burmester surround sound system and a 360-degree camera system.
Safety-wise, the G 63 gets the full Driver Assistance package with Active Brake Assist, Distronic adaptive cruise control, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Blind Spot Assist. Also fitted are Pre-Safe, a tyre pressure monitoring system and a Tirefit tyre repair kit.
Do check out our first drive video review down below, and stay tuned for the written review coming out soon.
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