MERCEDES-BENZ G 500 (G63 AMG KIT)

Mercedes reapportioned the G’s new length to gain an extra 1.5 inches of legroom up front and a massive 5.9 inches more in the rear. Whereas tall people had trouble getting comfortable behind the wheel in the old truck and found the rear seat hopeless, now even our 99th-percentile editor was perfectly comfortable in any seat. And the G’s upright profile means headroom is never an issue. Mercedes says the seats are “ergonomically designed,” which is a huge upgrade from how you’d describe the same pieces in its predecessor. Those felt like they were carryover items from the original 1979 G-class, when the sales brochure might have described them as “something to sit on,” the way an overturned bucket or a knee-high rock will do when the only alternative is standing. The optional Active Multicontour Seat package will allow massages while off-roading, and the whole range of interior materials is now modern Mercedes.

Mercedes claims a 375-pound weight reduction thanks to extensive computer modeling of components and systems to determine where to shave mass. Our measurements show 222 pounds lost for the G550 and 178 pounds for the G63. The body shell is steel, while the fenders, doors, and hood are aluminum. A laser-welded roof panel and an underhood brace connecting the tops of the damper mounts, much like a unibody’s strut-tower brace, help increase torsional rigidity by 55 percent and reduce levels of NVH. Although even with the windshield tilted back ever so slightly, there’s still lots of wind noise around the A-pillars at freeway speeds. And if you hear “strut-tower brace” and think of the dainty aluminum or carbon-fiber Xs under the hood of a sports car, know that this brace is thick enough to serve duty as part of a roll cage.

The experience of the two engines is similar, with the G63 presenting a more urgent, slightly peakier version of the same. (Its 627 lb-ft is accounted for from 2500 to 3500 rpm, while the G550’s 450 lb-ft stretch from 2250 to 4750 revs.) As before, either yields an astonishingly quick big box. The G550 needs just 5.1 seconds to hit 60 mph, while the G63 gets it done in an implausible 3.9 seconds. Top speed for the former is limited to 130 mph; the latter allows 137 mph, or 149 with the optional AMG Driver’s package.

AED 605,000.00

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