It ain’t cheap but 577 hp of brute, boxy SUV power never is.
The original G-Wagen transformed itself from a rugged workhorse to a high street fashion accessory over a four-decade-long production run, and its recently introduced replacement injects a healthy dose of modern technology without straying far from what made it so popular. Visually the changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary but under the skin just about every last nut and bolt is new.
While some of the old AMG models continue to soldier on for the time being, the 416-horsepower 2019 G550 is already available at dealers and starts at a not inconsiderable $124,500. Fans of ballistic box-shaped SUVs will be pleased to hear that the 2019 AMG G63 will also be coming to our shores in early 2019 and while it may cost an even healthier $147,500, you do get an even more powerful version of the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 which now makes 577 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque.
That is around a $4,000 premium over the outgoing model which seems a bargain for what amounts to a far more capable and modern vehicle. Aside from the much-improved driving characteristics over the 2018 SUV, the 2019 AMG G63 also has a 9-speed automatic transmission, AMG Ride Control sports suspension, AMG performance exhaust and a much more luxurious and comfortable interior which now includes the twin 12.3-inch screens as found in other Mercedes models.
The five on-road driver modes are now complemented by three additional off-road settings too and the three locking diffs are still standard so, in theory, you could venture off the beaten track in your AMG G63.
In reality, though the low-profile 21 or optional 22-inch tires will be spending most of their time trying to contain all of that torque as you rocket to 60 mph in 4.5-seconds between traffic lights. That is almost a second quicker than the old 5.5-liter AMG G63 and seven tenths faster than the far more expensive 2018 V12 AMG G65.
There is little point looking for any logical reason as to why the G-Class exists, let alone why it has proven so popular for so long. One thing is for sure though, there will be a long queue out the door for these revitalized mega SUVs; sometimes looking cool is enough. The added refinement and performance of these new 2019 models is just icing on the cake.