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GOLLY G (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The Mercedes G-Wagen is at its most astonishing in 585hp G 63 V8 petrol form. Jonathan Crouch drives it.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 71
You know the real thing when you see it and, when it comes to supremely capable large SUVs, this is the real thing, the Mercedes G-Class. In this second generation guise, virtually everything has changed: the body, the suspension, the steering, the engines - all of it's new. So is the 4.0-litre V8 engine in this top G 63 version. As a car, it's unnecessary, it's politically incorrect and it's addictive.
Backgroundword count: 142
On the face of it, putting a 585hp engine into a luxury SUV shaped like a portakabin sounds a bad idea. No, scrub that. It sounds an absolutely certifiable notion. But Mercedes has done it anyway, reasoning correctly that oligarchs and squillionaires will find the idea of a Gelandewagen powered by the 4.0-litre twin turbo V8 from the AMG GT supercar almost impossible to resist. Perhaps though, the whole point of enormous wealth is indulging your inner fantasies and the way the handbuilt V8 in this exclusive SUV explodes under heavy acceleration in a frantic volley of noise all the way to the point where it crashes against the 7,000rpm rev limiter is certainly addictive. Giving this car the kind of charm it would need to offer if your other SUVIP choices included a Lamborghini Urus or a twelve cylinder Bentley Bentayga.
Driving Experienceword count: 212
The old AMG-fettled G-Class model had a 5.5-litre V8, but this new generation design's lighter, torquier unit puts out 85hp more and clouts the G 63 to 62mph in just 4.5s and onto an electronically limited top speed of 137mph - or 149mph if you're crazy enough to pay Mercedes £2,000 to de-restrict it, in which case you really have got more money than sense. You'll get to enjoy the engine much more once you get the hang of all the different drive systems. As part of the G-Wagen re-design, Mercedes has added in its 'DYNAMIC SELECT' set-up which in its top 'Sport+' setting, ramps up the throaty note of the AMG sports exhaust. There are also the usual 'Sport', 'Comfort' and 'Individual' options, plus an extra 'Slippery' mode for rainy days and icy mornings. All the choices you can make here affect throttle response, steering feel, stability settings and the shift timings of the new 9G-TRONIC auto gearbox that all G models now get and which features in a G 63 in more sharply-focused SPEEDSHIFT form. 'DYNAMIC SELECT' can alter suspension feel too because another thing this new-era model can now offer is adaptive damping, a standard feature for a Mercedes-AMG customers and a virtually must-have option elsewhere in the range.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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