High-powered SUV might be a conundrum to some folks. Why put a twin-turbocharged V-8 in a vehicle that’s supposed to be for hauling kids and trailers, right? The way I see it – and likely most of you reading this – there is absolutely no problem with a 577-horsepower, three-row family machine with the ability to hit 60 mph in a scant 4.7 seconds.That’s exactly what the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 is all about.
New for 2017, the AMG GLS63 builds off Mercedes’ updates with the GL-Class. The SUV now wears the GLS badge across its model range, denoting the changes brought for 2017. A refreshed exterior matches a reworked interior and are combined with carry-over powertrain options including the GL63 AMG’s V-8 powerhouse. Nevertheless, the S-iffided GL now looks more modern, has a flashier interior, and comes with all the bells and whistles you’d expect at this price point.
EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;
The newly introduced Mercedes Benz GL Class 63 AMG looks completely refreshing, thanks to the sophisticated AMG exterior package. To begin with, the frontage of this vehicle is fitted with a large perforated radiator grille with two chrome slats along with the company’s insignia in the center. This grille is flanked by a distinctly crafted headlight cluster that is incorporated with adaptive bi-xenon headlamps along with LED daytime running lights. The front bumper has a large perforated air intake section that is surrounded by a pair of air ducts, which are further fitted with LED fog lights. It is also fitted with an aluminum protective cladding, which further enhances the elegance of front profile. The side profile has well-molded wheel arches that have been fitted with 21-inch, 5-spoke, titanium grey light alloy wheels that gives a captivating look to the side. The window sill surround has been treated with chrome, while the ORVMs and door handles are in body color. Furthermore, it also has aluminum running board with rubber studs, which is illuminated with LED technology. The rear profile is simply elegant and comes fitted with two-piece tail light cluster incorporated with LED lighting system . The rear windscreen is very large and it is accompanied by a roof spoiler that emphasizes the wide stance of the vehicle and gives it a road-hugging look. The rear bumper is fitted with aluminum cladding along with chrome tipped quad exhaust pipes.
INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;
On the inside, you get a familiar GL dashboard but this one gets a lot of tweaks for that sporty appeal. It’s finished in black and gets silver inserts (even on the instrument cluster). The steering is an AMG unit with perforated leather grips and a flat bottom. The paddles are made of aluminium while AMG logo and menu is also incorporated in the infotainment system. The GL63 AMG also gets two 20.3 cm displays, placed right behind the front seat headrests, working in sync with wireless headphones and infrared remotes. Audio quality sees further improvement with the Harman Kardon surround sound system which has 14 speakers. The vehicle also gets Night View Assist Plus system which uses an infrared headlamp and camera to detect pedestrians in the dark.
The Mercedes GL63 AMG also gets the Designo Exclusive package which comprises of AMG sport seats finished in Designo leather. The same high grade soft leather is also used on the dashboard, door panels, arm rest and centre console. Even the Velour floor mats get the Designo treatment and the Designo badges are placed across the interiors on the seats and mats. The car also gets AMG sports pedals finished in brushed stainless steel with rubber studs. Space inside the cabin is in plenty and what makes the interiors such a special place to be in is the high feel of luxury and ease of folding seats with a one touch of a button, which boosts practicality tremendously. Even the boot is huge and the interiors of the GL63 AMG have a fantastic blend of luxury and sportiness.
ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS350d is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6 engine that generates 255 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. The GLS450 uses up to a 3.0-liter turbocharged gasoline V6 rated at 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The GLS550 gets a 4.6-liter V8 that churns out 449 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. All three of these models come standard with all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission.The GLS550 pictured here comes standard with a turbocharged V8 engine that serves up sports-carlike acceleration.
The AMG GLS 63, meanwhile, employs a 5.5-liter V8 that provides an astonishing 577 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque. It comes with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic.According to the EPA, the GLS450 should return 19 mpg combined (17 city/22 highway), with the GLS550 dropping to 16 mpg combined (14/18) and the AMG GLS 63 bringing up the rear at 14 mpg combined (13/17). The GLS350d has not been rated as of this writing, but should deliver even better numbers than the GLS450.
The drive modes also control the engine, transmission, and exhaust calibrations. Set comfort, the GLS63 rides like a cloud with a soft throttle response and smooth shifting. The V-8’s exhaust rumbles quietly in the background. Put into Sport or Sport+ modes, and the engine awakens with all 577 horsepower ready to run, the transmission keeps itself in lower gears for quick acceleration, and the flaps inside the exhaust open up for a gnarly roar with burbles and splats on overrun. The exhaust note is the cherry on top of every sporty feature found on this AMG.Pulling the GLS63 to a stop are massive AMG-specific brakes. The front rotors measure 15.4 inches in diameter and are squeezed with six-piston calipers. The rear discs are 14.2 inches in diameter and are capped with slightly smaller calipers. All four rotors are drilled and slotted.
BRAKING AND SAFETY ;
Mercedes Benz GLS Class 63 AMG in spite of bearing so many luxury features delivers a safe performance. It is equipped with a high end disc braking mechanism. Its front wheels have been fitted with ventilated disc brakes, whereas its rear wheels have been equipped with perforated disc brakes. The brake calipers that come along with the disc brakes enhance the performance. Additionally there is an anti lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution system and electronic stabilization program. An active curve system featuring active stabilizer bars is present in the vehicle that reduces the rolling motion of the vehicle. It is equipped with other safety features such as infrared headlamps, infrared camera and an on-board computer for analyzing the images.
The Mercedes GL63 AMG isn’t your typical SUV. While it ticks all the right notes for an SUV buyer, it goes ahead and gives you much more than you would ever want. This is one vehicle which is not only practical but a whole lot of fun too. It has some serious power to keep you grinning all day long, while the dynamics are well sorted too, a feat indeed for a machine of this size. Factor in the luxury and usability on a day to day basis and the Mercedes GL63 AMG immediately comes out as a performance SUV for those who don’t compromise at all.