The redesigned 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class is set to go on sale this September, but Mercedes announced today that it will also be adding a sportier GL63 AMG model to the line-up early next year. The addition of the GL63 AMG means that heading into the 2013 model year, the only Mercedes-Benz product not to get an AMG model will be the compact GLK-Class SUV. Mercedes has yet to announce the pricing of the new GL63 AMG, but with the smaller ML63 AMG starting at $94,990, we would expect the souped-up GL to be priced well over $100,000.
Under the hood of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG is an all-aluminum twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter direct-injected V-8 that produces 550 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque. Official curb weight has yet to be announced for the 2013 GL63 AMG, but Mercedes claims it will be able to accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 4.9 seconds - about a half second faster than the 2013 GL550 which weighs around 5,600 pounds - with an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Like other AMG models, the GL63's seven-speed automatic transmission features three drive modes (Controlled Efficiency, Sport and Manual) and the 4Matic all-wheel drive system help feed all the power to the ground. In "C" (controlled efficiency) mode, an ECO stop/start feature shuts the engine off when the vehicle is at a standstill to conserve fuel and reduce emissions. This mode should be very useful when not trying to beat out Porsche Cayennes and Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8s, but the GL63 AMG should be at home in the Manual and Sport modes. Sport-tuned steering, air suspension and brake systems finish off the performance upgrades to the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG.
In addition to the making the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG faster, Mercedes also gave it an AMG-worthy appearance that starts with a more aggressive front end including a new fascia with LED daytime running lights. Aluminum trim on the leading edge of the fascia and stainless steel running boards add to the sporty look while the rear view is finished off with black, diffuser-style rear fascia inserts and quadruple exhaust outlets. Massive 21-inch five-spoke alloy wheels are wrapped in wide 295-series tires for improved performance, and the large wheel openings also help to expose the red-painted brake calipers. Inside, the GL63 AMG comes standard with multi-contour front bucket seats with massage function, a flat-bottomed, sport steering wheel wrapped in microfiber and stainless steel sport pedals.
"With the new GL63 AMG, our range of performance-oriented SUVs is now complete," said Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. "Alongside the outstandingly versatile ML63 AMG and the recently launched G63 AMG and G65 AMG, 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 2013 G63 AMG will go on sale a month before the GL63 AMG, but Mercedes will not be bringing the G65 to the U.S. even though we bet the SUV's 612 horsepower and 737 lb-ft of torque from its 6.0-liter V-12 would be a blast to drive.