FIRST DRIVE: 2019 Mercedes-AMG G63 with 585 hp V8

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is a bit of an institution by now, the bombproof off-roader having existed in some form or another since 1979. Well, after nearly 40 years there’s finally an brand new model, and don’t let the same old, same old exterior design fool you – this time, “all new” really means all new.

Despite being significantly larger than before, it now weighs up to 170 kg less than before, thanks to a body made from a mix of high-strength steels and aluminium panels. The new suspension setup was also developed in partnership with Mercedes-AMG, while inside there’s a new Widescreen Cockpit display from the latest E-Class and active safety features like Distronic adaptive cruise control and Parking Assist.

That’s before you get to the engine, which is a 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8 available with either 422 hp and 610 Nm in the G 500, or 585 hp and a massive 850 Nm in the fire-breathing Mercedes-AMG G 63 that you see here. All models get a nine-speed automatic transmission, with the G 63 also receiving its own transmission and chassis upgrades and an AMG Performance 4Matic four-wheel drive system.

To get your appetites whetted ahead of the G 63’s launch here in Malaysia, we sampled the full-fat AMG version in the south of France earlier this year, and you can watch our video review above to find out just how well (or otherwise) the new Geländewagen takes to the open road. As usual, let us know your thoughts in the comments section after the jump.

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