There is a group of gasoline drinking, carbon breathing lunatics who just so happen to be some of the best engineers in the world and when they get their hands on a Mercedes-Benz, something truly special is usually the result. The latest creation to come out of the house that AMG built may have the typical high output engine, big wheels, razor-sharp suspension tuning and world-class refinement but this time around, there is a “however”. Unlike monsters such as the C63, SLK55 and SLS AMG, the AMG version of the GL can hold up to seven passengers all while bombing down a freeway with the fury of 550 horsepower. Enter the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG.
“With the new GL63 AMG, our range of performance-oriented SUVs is now complete,” said Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. Based on the full size GL-Class line of family haulers, the hot-rod version is typical Mercedes fashion and luxury wrapped in a long, low and muscular body. Not the off road monster that is the G-Class, the GL caters more to the buyer who wants the added security and safety of an all wheel drive SUV. With that in mind, the GL63 uses permanent all wheel drive with a torque split of 40:60 front to rear while the Air Ride Control dampers allow for self leveling that will lower the SUV with increased speed. Given that stamped to the flanks of the GL63 is an AMG badge, increased speed can easily be had.
The core of the 2013 GL63 AMG can be found under the hood. Pumping out 550 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque, the brawny V8 displaces 5.5 liters and breathes through two turbochargers. Built entirely by AMG, the M157 utilizes direct injection, air-to-water intercooling, an all-alloy crankcase, a 10:1 compression ratio and variable valve timing. The GL may be a heavy, full size seven seater but in AMG form, it can chirp all four of its wheels from a standstill to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. Like most U.S. bound Mercs, the GL63′s top speed is limited to 155 mph.
The AMG treatment doesn’t just stop at the engine as the chassis and outside are just as bold as the powerplant. Everything from the seven speed automatic, transfer case, electromechanical speed sensitive steering, brakes to suspension stabilizers have been touched by the AMG engineers. Active anti-roll bars work with the active dampers to adjust chassis stiffness depending on vehicle velocity and drive mode selected: Comfort or Sport. In the words of Mercedes themselves, the GL63 is “masculine” in design with a lowered front fascia, large air ducts and elegant LED running lights. The fenders have been subtlety flared to house massive, 21 AMG wheels wrapped in 295 mm wide low profile tires. A special, rear diffuser sits snug in between the dual exhaust tips that emit a sound that would make a 1970s muscle car proud.
“The GL63 AMG combines the first-class comfort of the S-Class with the performance of an AMG sports sedan and is utterly unique in its segment,” said Källenius. Included in the AMG package is every bit of luxury and technology that is a kin to a Mercedes-Benz. Pieces such as 360 degree camera, Bang & Olufsen BeoSound surround sound system, tri-zone climate control, crosswind stabilization, blind spot monitoring and exclusive trim can all be found on the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG.
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