With performance SUVs being a new rage in the Indian market, Mercedes-Benz has launched the performance version of its GL-Class SUV, the GL63 AMG in India. The GL63 AMG is the ideal wolf in sheep’s clothing with a mammoth of an engine residing under the hood and the understated exteriors revealing very little about the performance capabilities of India’s most powerful SUV. The other models currently available in AMG guise are C63, G63, E63 and SLK55 from the German auto giant.
Very little actually differentiates the 2014 GL63 AMG from the regular GL-Class. You do get AMG wheels as well as the quad exhausts and the AMG badging at the rear to tell them apart. On the inside, the cabin boasts of a luxurious theme coupled with performance aesthetics providing a compelling package. The GL63 can seat seven passengers in complete comfort, while the cabin is loaded with goodies like the Harman Kardon audio system, Sirius satellite radio, navigation system, panoramic sunroof and tri-zone automatic climate control. You also get the three-spoke AMG steering wheel, ventilated sport seats and the COMAND infotainment system offered as standard.
Powering the Mercedes GL63 AMG is the 5.5-litre; bi-turbo V8 engine tuned to produce 565 PS of power and a staggering 760 Nm of torque, which is mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission. The GL63 AMG completes the 0-100 km/hr run in a claimed 4.9 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/hr. Power is sent to all four wheels via Mercedes’ 4-Matic system. You get three driving modes on the AMG SUV which includes Comfort, Sport and Sporty Plus. The handling characteristics are aided with the help of Automatic Level Control, Independent Damper Struts, Adaptive Damping; Active Cruise Control and AIRMATIC springs and Active Curve Control.
While the options in the performance luxury SUV segment maybe a handful, the purchase decision will certainly get tough for buyers. The GL63 with its practicality and performance makes for a compelling snob value for every wealthy enthusiast to have in his garage. The 2014 Mercedes GL63 will be locking horns with the Land Rover Range Rover, BMW X5 M and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S in the segment. While the GL-Class is assembled at Mercedes’ plant in Pune, the GL63 is being imported as a completely built unit and has been priced at Rs. 1.66 crore (ex-showroom, Mumbai). The luxury SUV comes with a 3-year, unlimited mileage warranty which can be extended by another year.