What is it? If you need to get up to seven people someplace real quick, this is your vehicle. Under the hood of this high-performance SUV is a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 that churns out 550 horsepower and 560 lb.-ft. of torque, which Mercedes claims lets it zip from 0-60 mph in under five seconds and reach a top speed of 174 mph. This potent powerplant is mated to an AMG seven-speed automatic transmission and uses an engine start/stop system to help optimize fuel economy.
Complementing the potent drivetrain is AMG’s Ride Control sport suspension with automatic level control. This uses special struts with adaptive damping and active front and rear stabilizer bars to help control body lean during cornering.
In addition to all of the features and accoutrements in the regular GL550, this AMG version includes a standard Driver Assistance Package, panorama roof, specially trimmed interior, and Mercedes’ surround-view camera system, which uses multiple cameras to simulate a 360-degree view around the vehicle to aid parking.
The Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG will retail for $116,925.
What’s new & notable? A special transfer case for the GL63’s four-wheel-drive system distributes more power to the rear wheels, in a 40:60 ratio, which Mercedes says helps give this large SUV “sports car handling.” Or at least, sports car inspired handling.
When will it be available? Early 2013.