Test driving the Mercedes G63 AMG

Mercedes' new G63 AMG is called Crazy Colour and we took it out to paint the town green

It is intimidating, massive and utterly muscular; at the same time, it is funny. Just look at this mammoth Geländewagen all dressed up in green. This is the Crazy Colour G63 AMG, the latest AMG beast in Mercedes’ Indian line-up. Priced at Rs 2.17 crore (ex-Delhi), this best-selling Mercedes model may be an expensive way of filling your driveway, but it still manages to dwarf its rivals and everything else on the road. Is it practical? We spent a day in it to find out.

The craziest thing about the G 63 AMG is its motor — the biggest motor that Mercedes has
The craziest thing about the G 63 AMG is its motor — the biggest motor that Mercedes has

When Mercedes said this new G-Wagen is called the Crazy Colour Edition, they weren’t kidding. The green one we drove looks absolutely insane. We have to hand it to Merc for indulging in this kind of fun activity. There is an appropriate amount of chrome and blacked out elements. And ample AMG badges to announce that this beast comes from Affalterbach.

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Black is the dominant theme, giving this SUV a serious appearance

Inside the G63, a similar cabin makes an appearance but it comes loaded with a lot of carbon-fibre. As always, black is the dominant theme, giving this SUV a serious appearance; however, with no contrasting colours on the inside, it feels a lot smaller than it is. The space is good for five people and their weekend luggage, though the rear knee-room is limited, especially if you are tall. Had the rear seats been adjustable, the rear seating space could have been one of the roomiest. Nevertheless, quality and fit-and-finish are top-notch and, feature-wise, the G63 AMG is loaded with modern gadgetry.

The craziest thing about the G63 AMG is its motor, the biggest motor that Mercedes has. And it sits under that massive, classic looking hood. Eight cylinders in V-configuration displacing 5.5 litres of air, breathing through two turbochargers and producing 544 horses and a massive turning force of 760 Nm. It might not be the most powerful unit in the line-up, but it is ample enough.
Power delivery is somewhat smooth if you gently work the throttle. However, if you are not careful enough, those 544 horses will be unleashed in an utterly violent way, punching you in the driver’s seat. After all, the engine was bred for being stupendously fast. But the acceleration is thrilling and addictive.

A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission shoulders the duty of sending 544 PS and 760 Nm to all the wheels and it does its job quite well. The shifts are precise and, with the Eco mode, it runs quickly through the cogs to reach the higher ones to provide the maximum efficiency. But with an engine like that and a price tag that defines crazy, buyers will not really care about how much petrol this SUV consumes.

It goes from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.86 seconds — that’s sports car timing posted by an SUV. A  restricted top speed of 210 km/h sounds like nothing much for a 500+ PS SUV, but you get there utterly fast and, honestly, given our roads, I would prefer to just go there and back off or else the consequences would not be happy at all.

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It’s stiff suspension provides  a shaky ride quality. However, it was never meant for comfortable long drives, only short sprints to the neighbouring city in record time or, if you are brave (or stupid) enough, a few laps at the BIC. Slightly less stiff suspension would have made the G-Wagen a comfortable long-distance tourer.

The handling, sadly, hasn’t changed a bit. The tall stance combined with heavyweight construction makes it quite a handful in the corners, especially when you push it hard. Body-roll was evident. What was bothersome, however, was the steering wheel, which was heavy and vague. It kept me busy all the time. I only hope that Merc rectifies these issues in the new G-Wagen. Anyway, R2.17 crore is steep for an SUV that slaps practicality on its face.

Need to know 
Mercedes G63 AMG

Price (Estimated): Rs 2.45 crore (OTR, Pune)
Engine: 5461 cc, V8, twin-turbo, petrol
Maximum Power: 544 PS
Maximum Torque: 760 Nm@1,800 - 4,500 rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed, twin-clutch, automatic, All Wheel Drive

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