The third generation M-Class from Mercedes-Benz is truly impressive. At the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, the automaker revealed the agile 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG and left us all longing for the new most powerful sports utility vehicle on the market. Being a high-performance SUV, the car is packed with very appealing features, like the beautiful bodywork, the special wheels, the upgraded six-piston brakes, electronically controlled suspensions, sports exhaust, and a very sporty interior too.
Even though this new generation ML SUV keeps its ML63 nomenclature, it is no longer powered by a 6.3-liter V8, but by a very potent twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 with direct injection. The output figures are 518 horsepower at 5,250 rpm, and 560 pound-feet of torque between 1,750 and 5,000 rpm. If that’s not exactly enough for you, Mercedes also has a nice performance package for interested customers. This can bring the four-wheeled beast to 550 hp, and a top speed of 174 mph (without the performance package, the speed is electronically limited to 155 mph).
There are plenty of electronic aids for the driver, including active parking assist, ABS, ESP, blind-spot assist, lane-keeping assist, and attention assist. If you want more in this department too, you can choose the optional active version of the lane-keeping assist and blind-spot assist, where the car can correct your driving course by applying brakes selectively.
The new ML63 AMG comes with a lot of goodies as standard (we didn’t mention yet the adaptive damping shocks, the air springs, or the active curve system), but buyers can also make it even more irresistible with a comprehensive list of options, such as rear seat entertainment, B& O, active cruise control, and more.
Driving this 5,000-pound beast is a pleasure. Despite its weight, it accelerates and handles without any difficulty. It can complete the 0-60 mph run in just 4.7 seconds, and all this with 33 percent better fuel economy too! Its electromechanical rack-and-pinion steering mechanism will make you feel surprised at your newfound driving skills even in the tightest corners.
Very versatile, the ML63 the car can be driven with manual, economy or sport transmission, and it will impress you in every role it plays. It can stroll calmly while the passengers admire the landscapes, it can take you in adrenalin-pumping experiences off the road, or it can keep fuel consumption under control by shutting off the engine when the car stops, and restarting it when the brake pedal is released. If you feel this can be your next perfect family SUV, then be ready to purchase it when Mercedes-Benz will have it on sale in April. The base price will be around $80,000.