First Look: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG

By Brandon Turkus

May 31, 2012

This is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG. Based off the new-for-2013 GL550, It may be the fastest seven-passenger vehicle money can buy.
Powered by a 5.5-liter, biturbocharged V-8, besides pumping out 550 horsepower, the GL63 comes to market with a stonking 560 pound-feet of torque. It’ll hit 60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds, before reaching an electronically limited top speed of 155 horsepower. This is the same V-8 engine found in the AMG versions of the E, S, CL, CLS, and ML.
Power is routed to all four wheels via the same AMG SpeedShift seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission found in the rest of the AMG range. As with the other cars, it features both a Sport (S) and Controlled Efficiency (C) mode, along with a full manual, paddle-shift mode. Start-Stop is activated in C.
The AMG Ride Control is a sports version of the AirMatic suspension found in your granddaddy’s S-Class. Featuring the Active Curve System, the GL63 should be able to handle better than its size would indicate.
While the standard GL-Class goes on sale in September, buyers of the AMG version will need to wait until the first quarter of 2013 to take delivery. Pricing should be announced closer to launch.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Mercedes-Benz.
The new Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG
The perfect balance of performance and style
May 31, 2012 - Montvale
Luxury and refinement, distinctive design, outstanding safety and classic Mercedes dynamics - the new GL63 AMG high-performance SUV combines the latest technology with an extensive array of standard equipment and perfect comfort for up to seven passengers. Exceptional refinement comes courtesy of the AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine with a peak output of 550 hp and maximum torque of 560 lb-ft. The AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM delivers compelling dynamics and classic Mercedes handling.
The MY 2013 GL350 BlueTEC, GL450 and GL550 arrive in U.S. dealerships in September 2012. The MY2013 GL63 AMG is expected arrive at U.S. Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the first quarter of 2013.
Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "With the new GL63 AMG, our range of performance-oriented SUVs is now complete. Alongside the outstandingly versatile ML63 AMG and the recently launched G63 AMG (U.S. debut in August) and G65 AMG (n/a U.S.), the GL63 AMG sets clear accents in the fields of dynamics and style. The GL63 AMG combines the first-class comfort of the S-Class with the performance of an AMG sports sedan and is utterly unique in its segment."
The AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine delivers the perfect prerequisites for a refined ride and performance that is typically AMG. One glance at the technical data delivers all the evidence you need. The peak output of 550 hp and maximum torque of 560 lb-ft delivers absolutely first-class performance. The GL63 AMG accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9* seconds, while the top speed stands at 155 mph (electronically limited).
The AMG eight-cylinder with the acronym M157 is equipped with an innovative package of high-tech features that includes spray-guided gasoline direct injection, piezo injectors, bi-turbocharging, air-water intercooler, a fully aluminum crankcase, four-valve technology with variable camshafts and alternator management, plus the ECO stop/start system.
An overview of the key data:
Displacement   5461 cm3
Bore x stroke    98.0 x 90.5 mm
Compression ratio        10.0 : 1
Power   550 hp @ 5250-5750 rpm
Max. torque      560 lb-ft @ 2000-5000 rpm
Engine weight (dry)     450 lbs
Acceleration 0-100 km/h          4.9 s**
Top speed        155 mph*
* electronically limited.
Power delivery to all four permanently driven wheels is handled by the AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7-Speed automatic transmission. Equipped with three modes and an automatic double declutching function for downshifting, the seven-speed automatic offers an impressive degree of versatility. The ECO stop/start function is active in the Controlled Efficiency mode (C) and switches off the eight-cylinder engine as soon as the vehicle comes to a standstill. "C" also comes with a milder throttle and transmission setup with early gearshift. Pulling away generally takes place in second gear. A green "ECO" symbol in the AMG instrument cluster advises the driver that the ECO start/stop function is active.
In the Sport (S) and manual (M) modes, not only is the ECO stop/start function disabled, the engine/transmission combination also has more spontaneous reactions for a considerably more agile feel. In these modes, the brief and precisely defined retardation of ignition and injection during upshift under full load delivers faster shift times and a thrilling acoustic effect.
Greater efficiency and performance
For greater efficiency, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7-Speed automatic transmission is equipped with a highly efficient torque converter with centrifugal pendulum vibration absorber, friction-reduced bearings and transmission oil temperature management. Also contributing to reduced fuel consumption are friction-minimized axle drives, the electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, optimized belt drive and on-demand control of all auxiliary units and pumps.
Mercedes-AMG uses a standalone transfer box for the 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive that enhances the dynamic characteristics by splitting the drive 40:60 between the front and rear axles. Furthermore, the AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with AIRMATIC package, consisting of air suspension, special struts, automatic self-leveling function and Adaptive Damping System (ADS), is combined with the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM. This is standard equipment and has been specifically adapted by AMG. It incorporates active anti-roll bars on the front and rear axles that reduce bodyshell roll angle under cornering for enhanced agility and driving pleasure. At the same time, the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM raises stability and thus safety, especially at high speeds.
Roll stabilization, springs and damping adapt automatically to the prevailing driving conditions and offer excellent ride characteristics, as well as exceptionally high stability. At the touch of a button, the GL63 AMG driver can choose between two suspension modes "Comfort" and "Sport". The full air suspension system is speed sensitive and lowers the bodyshell at higher speeds to minimize drag, while increasing stability.
The AMG-specific elastokinematics on the front axle and the stiffer rear axle stabilizer deliver even greater steering precision. The reinforced driveline ensures the best possible transmission of power to the wheels and hallmark Mercedes reliability. The 4ETS electronic traction control system optimizes grip under varying surface conditions.
AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, AMG high-performance brake system
The electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering is equipped with variable power assistance that adapts in accordance with the selected suspension mode. This system also helps to save fuel, as the power assistance only consumes energy when the driver is actually turning the steering wheel. The GL63 AMG runs as standard on machine polished, twin five-spoke 10 x 21 AMG alloy wheels sporting 295/40 R 21 tires. For the shortest possible braking distances and excellent fade resistance, there is the AMG high-performance brake system with ventilated and perforated discs at all four corners - 15.4 x 1.4 inches (front) and 13.6 x 1.0 inches (rear).
Masculine design with performance focus
Distinctive, masculine, unmistakable - these are the characteristics that define the design of the GL63 AMG. The styling fundamentals of the new GL - powerful dynamics and sporty elegance - have been further enhanced by Mercedes-AMG with specific elements that emphasize the stunning performance of this V8 top model. The hallmark, upright GL radiator grille with its central Mercedes star is augmented by high-gloss black louvers. The AMG styling includes the front valance, which features large air intakes for effective airflow to the cooling modules. On the lower air intake, shaped in true AMG fashion in the shape of a stylized "A", is a narrow gap beneath a fine black fin, through which air flows directly to the cooling modules - a perfect combination of design and technology. The chrome trim element beneath this creates visual breadth and blends perfectly with the surrounds for the LED daytime running lamps incorporated into the outer air intakes.
The AMG front valance transitions beautifully into the flared fenders. The large 21-inch AMG alloy wheels clad in wide 295 tires add almost one inch to either side of the vehicle. The side view is further enhanced by "V8 BITURBO" badges on the fenders and illuminated sills with an aluminum finish. The flared fenders at the rear connect into the AMG rear valance, which also sports a distinctive chrome trim strip, as well asa black diffuser-type panel. A visual and acoustic highlight is provided by the two chromed twin end pipes of the AMG sports exhaust system.
Exclusivity and dynamics dominate the interior
Enormous attention to detail, perfect ergonomics and a generous amount of space characterize the interior of the GL63 AMG, where the emphasis is on exclusivity and dynamics. All seven seats in the high-performance SUV are upholstered in premium leather. The electrically adjustable AMG sports seats feature double stitching in a contrasting color, as well as AMG badges in the backrests of the front seats and the outer rear seats. The dashboard, armrests and door trim are finished in MB-Tex with double stitching.
The AMG performance steering wheel features a four-spoke design and offers optimum vehicle control with perforated leather grips, a flattened bottom and aluminum shift paddles. Four instrument dials in the AMG instrument cluster provide the driver with all necessary information. Positioned in the center is a color TFT monitor, which incorporates an AMG logo and the AMG main menu.
Further standard equipment in the GL63 AMG includes:
AMG running boards in stainless steel
AMG floor mats
AMG sports pedals in stainless steel with rubber studs
Active Parking Assist
Bi-xenon headlamps
COMAND System with Bluetooth® and USB interface
Easy-entry system for the rear seat on both sides
Electrically operated tailgate
Electric tilt/sliding glass roof
Intelligent Light System (ILS)
Multi-contour seats with massage function for driver and front passenger
Memory package (incl. electrically adjustable driver and front passenger seats, steering column and exterior mirrors with memory function, plus 4-way lumbar support for driver and front passenger)
Crosswind stabilization
3-zone automatic climate control
AMG performance steering wheel with DINAMICA microfiber grip
Red brake calipers
Further special equipment (extract):
360° camera
Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist
Trailer hitch with electric release
Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround sound system
BAS PLUS brake assist
DISTRONIC PLUS (including PRE-SAFE® Brake)
Panorama sliding roof, panorama roof over all three seating rows
Dimensions:    Length Width   Height  Wheelbase
2013MY GL-Class        201.6"  84.3"    72.8"    121"

2007-12MY GL-Class   200.7"  83.6"    72.4"    121"