Monday 5 December 2011
• 525bhp as standard, 557bhp optional
• Zero to 62mph in 4.7 seconds
• Active suspension to minimise body roll
The Mercedes ML 63 AMG is the fastest and most powerful version of the company’s popular 4×4, and will make its debut at the LA Motor Show this week.
Thanks to a 5.5-litre V8 engine with twin turbochargers the Mercedes ML 63 AMG can launch from 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds, or 4.7 if the optional AMG Performance pack is fitted. Just in case you though the standard ML 63 AMG wasn’t potent enough, this pack boosts power from 525bhp to 557bhp and endows it with a stump-pulling 560lb/ft of torque – 162lb/ft more than the Ferrari 458 Italia supercar.
Its main rivals, the 493bhp Porsche Cayenne Turbo and 555bhp BMW X6 M also take exactly 4.7 seconds to hit 62mph.
Greater engine efficiency means the ML 63 AMG boasts a 28 per cent increase in fuel economy over its predecessor. It can now manage an average fuel consumption of 23.9mpg and emits 276g/km of CO2. Even engine stop and start is fitted as standard.
Handling is taken care of by a new Active Curve System – suspension which intelligently stiffens the chassis during cornering to limit body roll.
There’s no manual gearbox, but the AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic automatic ‘box has three modes tuned individually for economical driving, sports driving and manual control via steering wheel shifters.
AMG styling cues include large grille openings and a lower and wider front bumper finished in matt chrome. AMG 21-inch alloy wheels and a rear bumper with quad tailpipes complete the look, but also make it clear that this 4×4 won’t be going anywhere near the muddy stuff.
Inside, there are sports seats with adjustable lateral support, a four-spoke performance steering wheel and ARTICO leather covers the dashboard and door panels.
Merc’s ‘designo Exclusive’ interior package is also available, which adds diamond patterned nappa leather to the seats, velour floor mats and a black roof lining. Further optional extras include TV, COMAND Online multimedia system, rear seat entertainment, wood trim and an electric towbar.
By Andy Goodwin, senior web journalist