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by Marcus B. Fitzhugh

Because a 500-horsepower SUV with the off-road agility of a squirrel and S-Class comfort wasn't enough, Mercedes-Benz shuffled the deck and gave us something new: The 2012 ML63 AMG. The ML63 AMG is the third generation of high-performance MLs from AMG.


This new version has more power and better fuel efficiency.

The 2012 ML63 AMG has a direct-injected 5.5-liter twin turbo V8 that generates 518 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. This is an increase of 15 horsepower and 44 pound-feet. For those that demand more, the AMG Performance Package is being offered for the first time in an M-Class. The AMG Performance Package increases horsepower to 550 and torque to 560 pound-feet, increases the speed limiter to 174 mph, adds an AMG Performance steering wheel, carbon fiber engine cover and red brake calipers. In either option, the new ML63 is a third more economical than its predecessor, returning 16 MPG in combined driving.

The 4MATIC all-wheel drive system is combined with a seven-speed automatic transmission. The seven-speed performs rev-matched downshifts, has aluminum paddle shifters and three drive modes (Normal, Sport and Manual). These standard features also include a dedicated transfer case that distributes engine power 40/60 front to rear.

The new powerplant and drivetrain allows the ML63 AMG to perform zero to sixty sprints in 4.7 seconds. That is a full 2 seconds faster than the original ML55 AMG. Models equipped with the AMG Performance package are a tenth of a second faster.

Although the ML63 is an SUV, the ride quality is definitely not truck-like. The ML63 comes equipped standard with air suspension, automatic leveling, adaptive damping and active roll stabilization. Twenty-inch wheels are standard and twenty-one inch wheels are optionally available. Navigating with these large wheels is eased by the electromechanical AMG speed sensitive sports steering. This system adds steering assist based on vehicle speed, and saves fuel by only consuming energy when the driver actually turns the steering wheel.

The exterior features Bi-xenon adaptive headlights and an aggressive front fascia with a large Mercedes star dominating the front view. This flows into fenders that are 10mm wider to accommodate the large AMG wheels. Sculpted under door rocker panels run lengthwise to the rear, where a black diffuser and quad exhausts round out the exterior design.

The interior centerpiece is a COMAND hard-drive navigation system with a high resolution 7-inch LCD display. The COMAND doubles as the entertainment system with numerous interfaces including a 20 CD capacity DVD player, 80 GB hard drive, Bluetooth (hands free phone and music streaming), and USB/iPod/MP3. This premium digital sound system fills the cabin with up to 830 watts through 13 speakers in harman/kardon LOGIC7® surround-sound. The COMAND is enjoyed from electronically adjustable AMG sports seats that offer heating, cooling, and lumbar support. The standard hand fitted leather upholstery has contrasting double topstitching and AMG badges in the backrests of the front seats and the outer rear seats. In addition to the AMG sports steering wheel, the driver has a full suite of electronics assistants, including drowsy driver alert, pre-collision avoidance, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, brake assist and Parktronic, which all help keep driver aware of their surroundings. The remainder of the interior is rounded out with automatic multi-zone climate control and high end materials featuring aluminum and piano-lacquer wood trim.

The ML63 joins the popular ML350 (302 hp, 273 lb.-ft.) and ML350 BlueTEC diesel (240 horsepower, 455 lb.-ft. of torque). The ML63 and V8-powered ML550 (402 hp, 443 lb.-ft.), will be available in early 2012. The ML63 AMG will be available in the spring of 2012.

Specifications

Model ML350 4MATIC ML350 BlueTEC 4MATIC ML63 AMG
Vehicle type Four-door (plus liftgate), five-passenger luxury sport-utility vehicle
Chassis Steel unibody
 
Engine 60-degree V6 72-degree diesel V6 90-degree gasoline biturbo V8
Valve arrangement Four valves per cylinder
Valvetrain Double overhead camshaft per cylinder bank;duplex chain-driven
Displacement (cu. in./cc) 213.5 / 3,498 182.0 / 2,987 333.2 / 5,461
Bore (in./mm) 3.27 / 83.0 3.66 / 92.9 3.86 / 98.0
Stroke (in./mm) 3.66 / 92.9 3.27 / 83.0 3.86 / 98.0
Compression ratio 12.0:1 15.5:1 10.0:1
Horsepower @ rpm 302 @ 6,500 240 @ 3,600 518 @ 5,250 (550 @ 5,750)*
Torque (lb-ft.) @ rpm 273 @ 3,500-5,250 459 @ 1,600-2,400 516 @1,750-5,000 (560 @ 2,000-5,000)*
Intake system Naturally Aspirated, Direct Injection Turbocharger and intercooler; piezoelectric injectors Direct gasoline injection, twin turbo w/14.5 (18.8*) lbs. boost
Max. engine speed (rpm) 7,000 4,500 6,400
 
Transmission Seven-speed electronically controlled automatic with driver-adaptive shift logic. AMG SPEEDSHIFT equipped seven-speed electronically controlled automatic with driver-adaptive shift logic.
Shift controls Direct Select
Gear ratios
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
R
R2 comfort mode
4.38:1
2.86:1
1.92:1
1.37:1
1.00:1
0.82:1
0.73:1
-3.42:1
-2.23:1
Final drive 3.67:1 3.27:1 TBD
 
Stability control Electronic Stability Programming (ESP) integrating single brake application and throttle intervention for yaw control.
Suspension Four-wheel independent.
Front Independent double wishbone; antidive geometry; stabilizer bar
Rear Independent 4-arm multilink; geometry for antisquat and alignment control; stabilizer bar
Steering Electro-mechanical rack-and-pinion steering with constant power assist
Turning radius (feet) 38.7
Front Wheels 8.0 x 19 8.0 x 19
Rear Wheels 8.0 x 19 8.0 x 19 20
Front tires 255/50 R 19 255/50 R 19 265/45 R20
Rear tires 255/50 R 19 255/50 R 19 265/45 R20
Brakes Hydraulic power assisted 4-wheel vented discs;Four-channel ABS anti-lock, Brake Assist with electronic brake proportioning
Front disc diameter (in./mm) 13.0 / 330 - ventilated 15.4 / 391 - ventilated
Rear disc diameter (in./mm) 12.8 / 325 - solid 15.4 / 391 - ventilated
Front disc thickness (in./mm) 1.3 / 32 1.3 / 32 1.4 / 36
Rear disc thickness (in./mm) 0.6 / 15 0.6 / 15 1.0 / 25
 
Exterior dimensions (in./mm)
Wheelbase 114.8 / 2,916
Length 189.1 / 4,803 TBD
Width 84.3 / 2,141 TBD
Height 70.7 / 1,796 TBD
Ground clearance 5.24 / 133 TBD
Front track 65.1 / 1,654 TBD
Rear track 65.6 / 1,666 TBD
Interior dimensions (in./mm)
Front head room 38.9 / 988
Rear head room 38.5 / 978
Front Leg room 40.3 / 1,024
Rear Leg room 38.4 / 975
Front Shoulder room 58.5 / 1,486
Rear Shoulder room (second row) 58.4 / 1,483
 
Capacities
Cargo volume in cubic feet w/seats up 36.2
Cargo volume in cubic feet w/back row down 71.0
Curb weight (lbs.) 4,753 5,040 TBD
Towing (lbs.) 7,200 TBD
Fuel tank in gallons 24.6
AdBlue tank in gallons N/A 7 N/A
 
Performance
0-60 (seconds) 7.3 7.3 4.7 (4.6)*
Top speed INin MPH (electronically limited) 130 130 155 (174)*
Fuel mileage, city/hwy/combined 17 / 22 / 19 20 / 27 / 22 TBD / TBD / 16 (est)

* w/AMG Performance Package
Specifications supplied by Mercedes-Benz USA

   

Equipment List

Standard Equipment

Comfort/Convenience

  • Power sunroof with express open and close
  • Aluminum roof rails
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control with dust filter
  • 10-way power memory front seats w/door-mounted controls* & 4-way lumbar support
  • Heated & Active Ventilated Front Seats
  • CD/ DVD / MP3 /AM/ FM/ Weatherband radio
  • COMAND System w/ hard-drive navigation & SIRIUS real-time traffic & weather*
  • Rearview Camera
  • iPod / MP3 Media Interface
  • 10GB music register
  • SIRIUSXM Satellite Radio
  • HD Radio*
  • Bluetooth Audio Streaming*
  • Bluetooth interface for hands-free calling
  • 7" display with central COMAND controller*
  • 14-speaker harman/kardon LOGIC7® Surround-Sound w/Dolby Digital 5.1
  • 115V AC power outlet
  • 4-spoke multifunction leather steering wheel with aluminum shift paddles
  • 4.5" Color instrument cluster display*
  • Front and rear cupholders
  • Rain sensing intermittent wipers
  • Integrated garage door opener
  • Cruise control
  • Automatic headlamps with twilight sensor & locator lighting
  • Trip computer
  • Privacy glass
  • Retractable Luggage Compartment Cover
  • Power Lift Gate
  • Power folding, auto dimming mirrors
  • Power Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • Enhanced voice control
  • Double sun visors
  • KEYLESS-GO
  • Multi-color Ambient lighting*
  • Black headliner
  • Wood trim
Peformance/Handling
  • 4MATIC All wheel drive
  • Hand-built AMG 5.5-liter direct injection biturbo V8 engine*
  • 518 (550**) hp @ 5,250-5,750 rpm*
  • 516 (560**) lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,000 (2,000?5,000**) rpm*
  • Acceleration (0 - 60 mph): 4.7s (4.6s**)
  • Turbo Boost: 14.5 (18.8**) psi*
  • Top Speed: 155 (174**) mph (Electronically Limited)
  • AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7-Speed automatic transmission*
  • ECO Stop/Start*
  • AMG AIRMATIC Air Suspension
  • Adaptive Damping System (Sport & Comfort)
  • ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM
  • AMG speed-sensitive electromechanical steering
  • Front suspension: AMG Independent double wishbone with stabilizer bar
  • Rear suspension: AMG Independent 4-arm multilink with stabilizer bar
  • 20" AMG 5-Spoke Alloy Wheel with High Performance 265/45R Tires
  • Silver Brake Calipers
Safety/Security
  • PARKTRONIC w/Active Parking Assist*
  • ATTENTION ASSIST*
  • ADAPTIVE BRAKE*
  • Blind Spot Assist*
  • Lane Keeping Assist*
  • LED Daytime Running Lamps
  • Fiber Optic / LED Tail Lamps
  • Mercedes-Benz mbrace™
  • New vehicle 4-year/50,000 mile warranty
  • 24 hr. roadside assistance program
  • Owner information kit
  • Steel-reinforced cabin with front & rear crumple zones
  • Front & rear outboard seatbelts with pre-tensioners & force limiters
  • Dual two stage front airbags
  • Side airbags mounted in front seat backrests
  • Head protection curtains
  • Driver?s side knee airbag*
  • Rear side airbags
  • 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with Brake Assist System
  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP®)
  • Anti-Slip Regulation (ASR)
  • Antitheft alarm with engine immobilizer
  • SmartKey with panic button
  • Advanced tire pressure monitoring system
  • Minispare
  • Headlamp cleaning system
  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist*
  • Bi-Xenon headlamps with active curve illumination
  • Corner Illuminating lamps
Optional Packages

Driver Assistance Package

  • DISTRONIC PLUS with PRE-SAFE® Brake*
  • Active Blind Spot Assist*
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist*
  • Top speed of 174 mph
  • AMG Performance Steering Wheel with DINAMICA side grips
  • Power increase of +32 hp / 44 lb-ft
  • Red Brake Calipers
  • Carbon Fiber Engine Cover
Stand Alone Options
  • Wood/Leather Steering Wheel
  • Power Tilt/Sliding Panorama Roof
  • Brushed Aluminum Running Boards with Rubber Studs
  • Trailer hitch
  • Rear Seat Entertainment System
  • Rear Seat Entertainment System Pre-Wiring
  • Heated rear seats
  • 21" AMG 5-Spoke Alloy Wheels
  • Burl Walnut Wood Trim
  • Brown Satin Ash Wood Trim
  • Anthracite Poplar Wood Trim *
  • designo Black Piano lacquer wood trim
  • Black DINAMICA headliner
Special Order Options
  • 2nd seat row luggage pass through*
  • 3-Zone automatic climate control
  • Night View Assist PLUS with Pedestrian Protection*
  • Cargo Management System
Paint

Black, Obsidian Black, Capri Blue, Arctic White, Steel Grey, Iridium Silver, Palladium Silver, Pearl Beige*, Dakota Brown*, Diamond White

Upholstery

designo Auburn Brown Leather, designo Black Leather, designo Porcelain Leather

* = highlight for 2012MY
** = with Performance Package

Photos and specs supplied by MB USA


 

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