After 39 years of glacial evolution, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class was completely redesigned and re-engineered in 2018.

    Although all-new, it retained the iconic design language of the original, right down to the flat windscreen, exposed door hinges, and indicators atop the front guards.

    And while the 2025 model, now codenamed W465, looks barely changed from the 2018 edition, the new Mercedes-AMG G 63 has some major upgrades underneath.

    It’s coming to Australia in the fourth quarter of 2024.

    Under the bonnet is a mild-hybrid version of the 430kW/850Nm AMG M177 4.0-litre twin-turbo V-8 used in the outgoing model with a 48V integrated starter-generator, which adds an extra 15kW and as much as 200Nm on demand.

    Mercedes-Benz claims that, with the optional AMG Performance Package fitted, the 2640kg mild-hybrid G 63 will thunder to 100km/h in about 4.1 seconds, four tenths of a second quicker than the non-hybrid model.

    Top speed is a claimed 240km/h.

    In addition to its mild-hybrid powertrain, the new G 63 debuts an off-road optimised version of the Mercedes-AMG Active Ride Control system first seen on the recently launched Mercedes-AMG GT.

    Despite its triple differential locks, its ability to climb 45-degree inclines, traverse 35-degree slopes and wade through 700mm of water, Mercedes-AMG engineers admit more than 99 percent of G 63 never venture off road.

    Nevertheless, they have jumped at the opportunity to use Active Ride Control to enhance its already impressive off-road capabilities.

    Available as an option, Active Ride Control uses hydraulically inter-connected two-valve shocks to precisely control wheel and body motions.

    As it can change the effective compression and rebound damping rates of each shock, it eliminates the need for mechanical roll bars.

    In the G 63, the system can vary the roll stiffness from a maximum of 6000N per degree in Sport+ mode to as little as 1500N per degree in Off-Road mode. In the default Comfort mode, the roll rate is set at 3000N per degree.

    Order a G 63 with the AMG Offroad Package Pro, and you get an enhanced version of Active Ride Control suspension that allows drivers to manually adjust the roll stiffness of the suspension, switching from medium to high, for example, if driving at speed along a gravel road, or to low if negotiating a rocky section.

    The AMG Offroad Package Pro also includes three off-road driving modes that can be fine-tuned by the driver.

    In Trail mode, drivers can switch between seven different levels of traction control, just like they can in track-focused AMG sports cars.

    In Sand mode, the level of torque vectoring can be adjusted to help improve agility, while in Rock mode, as the drive system can exactly sense the torque load on each wheel, an Off-Road short cut button can be used to activate electronic diff locks with variable locking rates.

    The AMG Traction Pro feature, available in Sand and Rock modes when Low Range is selected, will spin the front and rear wheels at different speeds to help extricate the G 63 if it’s bogged in sand or mud or deep snow.

    Wind tunnel work aimed at improving the range of the forthcoming electric-powered, four-motor G 580 with EQ Technology (no kidding, that’s its official name) has resulted in revisions to the A-pillar, and the insertion of a small trim piece between the top of the windscreen and the roof.

    Drag coefficient has thus dropped from a brick-like 0.53 to a brick-with-rounded-edges 0.48.

    Other exterior changes include new bumpers front and rear, the rear bumper now offering a location for the rear-facing camera that isn’t obstructed by the external spare wheel.

    The G 63 retains the toothy AMG grille, but now has three vertical louvres in each of the front bumper vents. In line with the new AMG branding strategy, there’s an AMG crest on the hood of the G 63 rather than the three-pointed star, and an AMG fuel filler cap.

    Technology upgrades include the adoption of the latest generation of MBUX, which means the G 63 finally has a touchscreen infotainment display.

    A new ‘off-road cockpit’ function includes a 360-degree camera system enables a virtual transparent hood that shows you on the screen what’s under the front wheels.

    For the first time, the G 63 also has 21st century driver aids such as lane-keep assist, active steering assist, and emergency stop assist.

    Convenience upgrades include Keyless Go – though the trademark ‘thunk’ of the G Class door locks remains – along with temperature-controlled cupholders, wireless smartphone charging, and the availability of the latest Burmester 3D premium sound system with Dolby Atmos.

    The new G 63 will arrive in Australia in the fourth quarter of this year along with the fast and even more off-road capable electric-powered G 580, full details of which will be revealed next month.

    No word on pricing yet for either model, but don’t expect much change from $380,000 for the updated G 63.

    MORE: Everything Mercedes-AMG G

    Angus MacKenzie
    Angus MacKenzie is a International Contributor at CarExpert.
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