Mercedes-Benz announced the first official AMG variant of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class today in the form of the GL63 AMG. The GL63 AMG will compete with the BMW X5M, Range Rover Supercharged and the Toyota Land Cruiser. It’s the second SUV in Mercedes range to get the AMG treatment, following the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG.

The GL63 AMG gets the AMG 5.5 liter V8 biturbo engine that has become synonymous with the ’63’ badge. In the GL-Class it produces a peak output of 557hp and maximum torque of 760Nm. This allows a 0 to 100km/h sprint of 4.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. For those that need to know, economy figures are 12.3 liters per 100 kilometers (288g CO2/km).

Mercedes have offered an insight into the elements fitted to the engine. It features a high-tech power package including spray-guided direct petrol injection, piezo injectors, biturbo charging, air/water intercooling, an all-aluminium crankcase, a four-valve-per-cylinder design with variable camshaft adjustment, plus alternator management and the ECO start/stop system.

The gearbox will be a seven-speed AMG Speedshift Plus 7G Tronic which transmits the power to the permanent four-wheel drive system. The gear box gets three modes and an automatic double-declutching function for downshifting. These include “Controlled Efficiency” (C) mode where the ECO start/stop function is active, Sport (S) and Manual (M) modes.

The ride benefits from a combination of the 4matic all wheel drive system, AMG ride control, active curve control active roll stabilisation and the airmatic sports suspension program. Roll stabilisation, damping and suspension adapt automatically to the driving surface with three familiar suspension modes, “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport plus”, available at the touch of a button. Also fitted is the 4ETS electronic traction control system.

Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG

The steering is electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering connected to five-spoke light-alloy wheels in size 10×21, painted titanium grey and with a high-sheen finish. The braking system is a fade resistance system with ventilated and perforated brake discs all-round in size 390×36 millimeters (front) and 345×26 millimeters (rear).

The exterior design features AMG elements including a new front apron with larger openings, a bottom air intake, trim inserts finished in matt silver chrome around the air intake and LED daytime running lamps in the side air vents. Wheel-arch flaring widens the car by 20 millimeters on each side and the wings and illuminated running boards get V8 Biturbo logos. At the rear, the AMG sports exhaust system with its quad pipes is perhaps the most telling visual image of the GL63 AMG.

Inside, all seven seats in the high-performance SUV are covered in high-quality leather. Electrically adjustable AMG sports seats have been fitted with AMG badging, an AMG Performance four-spoke steering wheel is fitted and you get the AMG instrument cluster with central colour TFT monitor.

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