Home2011 Los Angeles Auto Show
Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG

What is it? Following tradition, Mercedes-Benz has created a high-performance variant to the redesigned M-Class SUV. The ML63 AMG is powered by a 518-hp, 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 with a seven-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Should that powertrain be inadequate for your needs, there is also an AMG Performance Package that increases the output to 550 horsepower.

The ML63 features three drive modes: Eco, Manual, and Sport. Fuel economy is a reported 16 mpg combined. While not great, it does mark a claimed 33-percent increase over the previous generation.

The exterior is dressed up with AMG-specific bodywork that includes front and rear fascias, side skirts, and four exhaust pipes.

Inside, the SUV has sporty leather seating, HD radio, Bluetooth, power heated front seats, power sunroof, and abundant AMG-specific trim. The AMG Performance Package adds a performance steering wheel, carbon-fiber engine cover, and red brake calipers.

Standard safety features include nine air bags, brake assist, drowsy driver detection, adaptive brake, park assist, and LED daytime running lights. Active blind spot and lane-keeping assist are optional.

A milder, non-turbo V8 model, the ML550, will be offered in early 2012 with 402 horsepower, in addition to the 302-hp ML350 and 240-hp ML350 diesel.

When will it be available? February, 2012.

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