G63 AMG: Super Sports Utility - CHRIS HARRIS ON CARS


Uploaded by drive on 30.05.2012

Transcript:

[MUSIC PLAYING]
[CAR STARTS]
You know what a G-Wagen is, right?
Well if you don't, I'll give you a bit of history.
1972, Mercedes develops a military vehicle to sell to
the German forces.
It's called the Gelandewagen--
hence, G-Wagen.
In 1979 they start selling it to the public, so they can buy
a brutish piece of military kit, which is tougher than a
Jeep and tougher than a Land Rover.
That car has carried on being sold since that point.
And the outline structure of the car-- the way it looks--
has barely changed at all.
Those cars had around 120 horsepower
with the petrol version.
The diesels had less than that.
The car I'm driving at the moment has 544 horsepower.
It's called the new G63 AMG, and it is completely batshit.

In fact, it's hard to think of the G63 as anything other than
a collection of numbers.
It has the new biturbo V8 that you see in the E63, the CLS63,
and recently the SL63.
The engine is rated it 544 horsepower.
It has 560 foot pounds of torque.
It weighs 2,550 kilograms.
It has acclaimed naught to 62 time of 5.4 seconds.
And it's limited to 131 miles an hour, flat out.
It is quite possibly the most pointless car on sale today.
But who needs cars with a point?

Now, the G-Wagen is not an ML rival or anything like that.
This is a proper ladder chassis with a body on it and
a load of power.
Quite how Mercedes manages to make these things even go
around corners, I do not know.
They're not civilized, though, and they don't
go around that quickly.
So here we are, in the Swabian Alps.
A little bit of space.
What's it like to drive an off-roader with a separate
body and chassis that's got 544 horsepower?
It's quite a lot of fun, actually.

Jesus Christ.
I've got a seven-speed automatic gearbox--
not the sort of wet clutch thing you get in the E63.
It absolutely fires out of hair pins.
It has the most intrusive ESP system in the world.
The steering has no feel whatsoever.
And the 275 section Yokohamas feel like they're about a
125/90 when you turn into a corner.
This is not about driving for enjoyment's sake.
This is about an experience.
But if you want to just squirt from 0 to 120 miles an hour
and have everyone else just drop their jaw at you, I'm not
sure there's a better car on the road is there?

This car has an absolutely unique ability to transmit
every single ripple of bump all the way through those
plump tires, the springs, the dampers, the floor, the seat,
right to your bottom.
But anyone who approaches the G63 AMG in an objective
fashion is a complete berk.
We've driven in some lovely, wind-y roads in
this Swabian hills.
Long enough to confirm that it's not much use at going
around corners, that it's very fast between corners, but now
and again you wonder if it's going to be able to stop.
It always does stop, I'll give it that.
And that it's actually not much fun to
drive on twisty roads.
But we knew that already.
If you had a G63 AMG for half a day, and you were in
southern Germany, what would do with it?
You'd do the same as me.
You'd go on to the autobahn, and try an bait things between
40 and 130 miles an hour.
So let's go find us some Porsches to irritate.

I suppose before we do go fast, we should assess the
aerodynamic capabilities of the G-Wagen.
Let's have a think.
First of all, panel gaps.
Well, they're not so much panel gaps as sort of
crevasses, aren't they?
Or great big crevices, you might call them.
They're enormous.
You can put your whole hand in some of them.
So at speed, with its upright wind screen, great big bluff,
square nose, and those great big gaps, this must be one of
the least aerodynamic cars on sale.

It's got this lovely, surging torque.
You just brush the throttle.
The car just strokes along a bit faster.
So it's quite relax.
Steering is the issue for me.
Forget the aerodynamics.
It's got, obviously, quite a big old steering system in it.
I mean, even at 90 you can do that to it, and it doesn't
even change direction.
So the subtleties of getting it trimmed a bit through a
faster corner on the autobahn would mean that you'd need
quite big spuds to drive this thing really fast, I think.
So we're pulling out onto the--
I'm not going to tell you, because I don't know, and
because it's not going to help.
The aim of this is to latch on to a few fast-moving cars and
see whether something with the aerodynamics of a small town
can actually live with fast, autobahn traffic.
We're now doing 90 miles an hour, already.
Quite busy today.
Hopefully that's going to help us, because that means we can
squirt between 80 and 120 miles an hour as quick as
everything else.
To me, this doesn't feel far off a really fast, saloon or
estate car.
So sort of Audi S4-style speed.
Not bad when you weigh 2.55 tons.
I suppose what's going to be more difficult is the sudden
braking, because people do drive quite close to you on
the autobahn, and you've got to cover the brake a bit.
Anyhow, surely, in terms of getting stuff out of the way,
this is going to be a bit handy.

There.
That's 115, 120 straight away.
I just gets up there so quickly.
We keep going.

190, 200.
Just straight into that limiter there.
130 miles an hour, bang.
It just sits there.
Amazing stuff.
Of course you've got that right old load of wind noise.
They've made the windows a bit smaller on this new version,
and you do notice less wind noise.
Probably upped the speed from about 129 to 130, as well.
Anyhow.
That's the end of the de-restrict here for a minute.
We cruised along at 130 quite happily.
That's a mighty bit of kick.
So here's the point of conjecture.
How fast would it go if you took the limiter off it?
Well, the G65 is limited to 230.
So let's say about 140 miles an hour.
Little bit over.
141, 142.
So what would this thing do?
Feels to me like it would do an honest 160 miles an hour.
Maybe more.
That's just sick.
And I think the limiting factor is the tire.
So someone at Yokohama, can you please make a tire that
will allow the G-Wagen to show us what it's capable of doing?

I still don't quite know what to make of this car, because
you can't take it seriously.
It's just preposterous, preposterous.