A 2.4 ton behemoth with more than 550 horses on tap may sound like madness. However, the new ML63 AMG is all that
For the uninitiated, AMG is the performance tuning arm of Mercedes-Benz, which has been turning the German luxury brand’s everyday cars into fire-spewing, insanely-powered monsters for ages now. The cars bearing the AMG badge boast more powerful engines, superior underpinnings, and faster lap times around a racetrack as compared to their base M-B models.
The latest to join the AMG brigade in India is the ML63 AMG SUV. While the base version of the car is one of the most comfortable and practical luxury SUVs on sale in India, the AMG variant packs in trademark AMG lunacy. Let’s see what makes this big SUV worth Rs 1.5 crore.
A luxurious audio/video entertainment system for the back-seat passengers is available as an optional extra. Pics/Amit Chhangani
In profile, the V8 bi-turbo powered AMG version of the ML is significantly more powerful and expensive than the normal ML-Class — and this superiority in power and profligacy should be evident to the onlookers. So while the balanced basic proportions of the ML Class remain unaltered, the AMG parts infuse more power, belligerence and distinction to its exterior.
The four spoke flat-bottom AMG steering wheel has mounted pedals at the back for manual shifts
Body styling includes the more aggressive AMG front bumper with three large air intakes. There is a matt silver insert at the bottom of the front bumper to offer contrast. The LED daytime running lights are integrated above the outer air intakes. The AMG specific front wings, including the wheel arches, are wider, underlining the squat, more aggressive stance of the car.
The instrument cluster features a hi-resolution coloured screen. You can time your laps using the Racetimer feature
The V8 Biturbo lettering behind the fenders and the massive 20-inch lightweight alloys are the distinguishing elements. The footboard on the regular ML class is replaced by a side skirt here, forming a visual link between the front and the rear. At the rear, the bumper resonates the styling of the front apron with its three air outlets. A matt silver strip, like the one at the front, lines the bottom section of the rear bumper.
The AMG engines are handcrafted. In addition to the terrific performance on offer they are known for their great sound note
A performer to the core
Propelling this 2.4 ton machine is a 5.5-litre biturbo petrol engine with peak output rated at a colossal 560bhp between 5250-5750 rpm. It has a peak torque of 760 Nm between a wide rev-band of 2,000 to 5,000 rpm. The engine, though more efficient than the model it replaces, is still going to burn a big hole in your pocket for fuel bills.
The 0-100km/h is dispatched in 4.7 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h. AMG has also worked its magic on the underpinnings to ensure maximum grip and poise to turn the car into a track tool.
The AMG 5.5-litre engine is mated with the AMG Speedshift Plus 7G- Tronic automatic transmission. The seven-speed automatic transmission distributes power to all four wheels. You can choose between three modes — Controlled Efficiency (C), Sport (S) and Manual (M). Selecting Controlled Efficiency (C) mode activates the ECO start/stop function, which shuts off the eight-cylinder engine when the vehicle comes to a halt. In S and M modes, there are higher engine speeds, more spontaneous gear changes and faster shift times. Gears can be changed using the AMG shift paddles on the steering wheel.
To attain exceptional grip, Mercedes-AMG uses a specially designed transfer case for the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive. This system distributes the drive to the front and rear axle at a ratio of 40:60 to attain dynamic handling. Its Active Curve System employs active anti-roll bars on front and rear axles to reduce body roll and enhance handling stability. The Ride Control sports suspension consists of air suspension with an adaptive damping system to handle driving conditions with ease.
The ML63’s cabin can be customised. In the standard trim, the dashboard, the armrests and the door panels of the car come draped in ARTICO leather with double topstitching in a contrasting colour. The AMG sports seats are covered with leather.
The four-spoke AMG performance steering wheel features leather in the grip area, has aluminium shift paddles and a flat bottom rim. The circular instruments have unique graphics, red needles, a 320 km/h speedometer dial and a characteristic AMG logo. The ML 63 AMG instrument cluster allows you to record lap times on private racing circuits in RACETIMER mode.
The standard equipment list boasts a neat sounding audio system with Bluetooth and USB interface. Tyre pressure monitoring system, headlamp cleaning system, electric sliding glass roof, heated seats for the driver and front passenger are some of the special features.
There are optional extras including rear seat entertainment system, Harman/Kardon Logic 7 surround sound system, Intelligent Light System, TV tuner, wood trim and individually crafted Designo interior.
Summing it up
The ML63 AMG is an outrageously expensive machine, meant to deliver devastating performance and supreme luxury to the outrageously rich mortals. If size matters to you, sans the vices in the form of weight and dynamic inability — the ML63 AMG should suit your taste just right.
Bells and whistles
>> AMG sports exhaust system
>> AMG speed-sensitive sports steering
>> AMG high-performance braking system
>> Attention Assist (Anti- Drowsiness feature)
Engine displacement— 5461 cc
Power — 560PS @ 5,250-5,750 rpm
Torque — 760 Nm @ 2,000-5,000 rpm
Top speed — 250 km/h (restricted)
Rs 1.52 crore
Audi Q7 4.2 TDI
The Q7 has been enchanting lovers of supersized SUVs since 2005. This machine is available with a 6.0 litre V12 diesel engine internationally. In India, we only have the 4.2 litre V8 TDI variant, which dwarfs the competition in terms of output figures. Three hundred and thirty five bhp of power may not sound astounding, but 800 Nm of torque sure does. Coupled with the legendary Quattro all wheel drive system, the Q7 is a fast car.
Price: Rs 76 lakh
New BMW X5
The latest version of the biggest SUV from the Bavarian carmaker has just made its debut in India. It’s big, heavy and comfortable on the inside, yet drives in a manner that would put many a sports car to shame. Irrespective of the engine that propels the X5, it’s guaranteed to enthrall you with its dynamic ability and sportiness. We’d like to replace the currently available 3.0 litre diesel engine with the 4.4-litre bi-turbo petrol unit with 450 bhp and 650 Nm though. Price: R71 lakh
Land Rover Range Rover Sport V8 SC
Even after being an SUV, the Range Rover Sport is meant to be “first and foremost a driver’s car” according to Land Rover. It has a 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine. The power output is rated at 510PS, while peak torque produced stands at 625 Nm. RR Sport’s weight savings, courtesy a first in class all-aluminium body structure, comes really close to the ML63 AMG in terms of power, and price.
Price: Rs 1.65 crore
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