FIRST DRIVE | New 2018 Mercedes-AMG G63 is the same but different

Mercedes-Benz says a less showy diesel variant of the new G-Class will go on sale here in the third quarter of 2019. In the interim, my first impressions of the dramatic G63 is that of a vehicle polished further for the purposes of its continued existence, which is to offer an unparalleled hybrid of luxury and offroad motoring.

On smooth surfaces and closed-up areas it’s even more unruly now, with the decibels coming out its side-draught quartet of exhaust ports amped up to preposterous levels. The effects of a lighter engine and construction certainly give it stronger than ever take off and overtaking performance.       

Driven off road, new levels of improvement in absorbing road irregularities are also evident and because it’s still not removed from its guerrilla warfare origins, its 850Nm of torque and a trio of differential locks make it tame the rough tracks if ever you find good enough reason to bellow up a small mountain, whether it’s fitted with standard matte black 21s or the optional 22-inches of alloy wheels. It’s a more accomplished beast and a hoot to drive, this I admit to, even if it’s one of the most illogical vehicles of our times. 

Price: R2,591,000                                                                                                   

Edition 1 Package: R300,000 (Includes 10 exclusive paint options, sport stripes on flanks, decorative red stripe on wing mirror housing, matte finish 22-inch forged wheels, red interior highlights, carbon fibre trim, Performance steering with red 12 ’o-clock marking.      

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