2017 MERCEDES-BENZ AMG G63 ESSENTIALS: THE MOST RIDICULOUS MACHINE
The monster motor under the hood is almost beside the point, too, despite its 563 hp and weirdly disconcerting ability to propel this 5,624-pound brick-shaped hunk of steel in near-sports car fashion. Mercedes claims 5.3 seconds for 0-60; we have no reason to disagree. The growl, too, on startup and at full twin-turbo song, is addictive, as is the white-knuckle feeling of pushing such a tall, top-heavy vehicle so exuberantly, thereby tempting the center-of-gravity and handling Fates to tip you over on every corner.
No, the point of a G-Class in this clown-paint, AMG guise is to amuse. And for those who can afford to shell out $162K on such a diversion, well, I don’t begrudge them a whit. Its “timelessly modern design,” as Mercedes dubs its slab-sided, flat-glass styling, adds to its charm, as does an interior that feels, in its bones, at least three generations old but with a thick layer of tech and “luxury” slathered all over (note: There’s an all new interior coming with a new G-Class at the 2018 Detroit auto show). The concessions to modern automotive conveniences are few. It’s a throwback in big and little ways, from the tumble-forward second-row seats to the push-button exterior door handles (on doors that close with a super-satisfying and solid click) and the console-mounted shifter (in a Mercedes!).
It’s a nostalgic vehicle big on whimsy. That it also moves like stink is a bonus.