We drove the new Mercedes G550 and AMG G 63 in southern France this week. It’s the first new version since the rugged machine launched in 1979. It’s had updates, of course, but this is the first time they really started over with it. Our full review will post next week, but here’s a quick taste to whet your appetite. – Eric Adams
Who It’s For: Depends on which model we’re talking about. If it’s the G 550, you’re into sunrises, long runs on the beach, and hard-core off-roading. If it’s the AMG G 63, you’ve never actually seen a sunrise, you go to the beach mostly to burn off a hangover, and you enjoy blasting past lesser machines on the highway at triple-digit speeds while towering three feet above everyone else.
Updates: Well it’s been 40 years so pretty much everything is updated. But the highlights are a new front axle design that improves stability both on-road and off, all the safety and driver-assist features the G-Class never had, and the barest hint of aerodynamic tuning to minimize the ever-present wind noise as much as possible without compromising the car’s signature look.
Verdict: Two thumbs up if you’re in the G550; two middle-fingers up if you’re rocking the AMG.
Engine: 4.0-liter twin-turbochanged V8
Transmission: nine-speed automatic; front, center and rear locking differentials
Horsepower: 416; 577 horsepower
Torque: 450; 627 lb-ft