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Mercedes-Benz Reveals New ML63 AMG Ahead of L.A.

Mercedes-Benz reveals their all-new 2012 ML63 AMG only a few days before its live debut at L.A.

The high-performance, German-built, SUV battle continues. Mercedes-Benz has just released official details and pictures of the new ML63 AMG just days before it makes its live debut at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show. "Uniting efficiency, performance, exclusivity and an outstanding driving experience," Mercedes claims an estimated fuel economy of 16mpg, a 33 percent improvement over its predecessor.

Overall, this is quite impressive for a high-performance SUV of this caliber. Powered by AMG's 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine with 518hp and 516lb-ft of torque, power is up by 15hp and 44lb-ft over the previous model. In addition, there's the optional AMG Performance Package that boosts the V8's power output to 550hp and maximum torque to 560lb-ft. In our opinion, this package is a must-have. Power is sent to all four wheels via the AMG Speedshift Plus 7-speed automatic transmission. It features three driving programs and a rev-matching function for downshifting.

As mentioned before, AMG engineers were able to significantly improve overall fuel economy partly due to the abilities of this transmission. In "Controlled Efficiency" mode, the ECO stop/start function is activated and shuts down the mighty V8 when the SUV is stationary. This driving mode also allows for smoother acceleration and transmission characteristics with earlier gear changes. There's also Sport and Manual driving programs in which the ECO mode is inactive, allowing for more agile driving characteristics. The 7-speed auto also makes use of a new fuel-efficient torque converter.

Equipped with 20-inch 5-spoke alloy wheels painted in titanium grey and a high-gloss finish, there's also an AMG high-performance braking system and speed-sensitive steering. Exterior styling features various add-ons typical of AMG such as a front skirt, fender-mounted "V8 Biturbo" badges, AMG illuminated sill panels, and two sets of chrome twin tailpipes. The interior is also decked out with premium leather, a four-spoke AMG steering wheel, a Harman/Kardon surround system, Bluetooth, a seven-inch infotainment display, power sunroof, heated ventilated front seats, and AMG logos pretty much everywhere.

Top speed is 174mph and it can go from 0 to 60mph in 4.6 seconds (both numbers are for the Performance Package).

And despite the technological advances, the 2012 ML63 AMG is 99 pounds lighter than its predecessor. Official pricing hasn't been released just yet, but expect to see the new Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG in U.S. dealerships in early 2012. We'll have more details and pictures in just a few days straight from L.A.

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