It was back in 1999, that Mercedes-Benz revealed its first AMG-worked ML SUV – the ML55 AMG. During the following 12 years the performance SUV has sold over 24,000 units worldwide. Now the German brand is ready for the third generation of the series that will be called the 2012 ML63 AMG and will be officially revealed at this week’s 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Powering the family-friendly beast is Mercedes’ 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine that delivers 386kW of power and 700Nm of torque, representing an increase over the 375kW/630Nm output of its predecessor. If you need to do the school run even faster, there’s also an available AMG Performance Package boosts the V8 engine’s output to a crazed 410KW of power and 780Nm of torque.
With the “standard” package, acceleration from zero to 100 km/h takes just 4.7 seconds while top speed is quoted at 280 km/h. Estimated combined fuel is hardly frugal at 14.7l/100km.
Power is put to the tarmac through a permanent all-wheel drive system that operates at a ratio of 40:60 to the front and rear axle, and a standard AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7-speed automatic transmission featuring three driving modes – Controlled Efficiency (C) for improved fuel economy, Sport (S) and Manual (M).
Keeping AMG’s new ML on the road is a new active roll stabilisation system that forms part of the AMG sports suspension system, along with Airmatic air suspension, automatic level-control and adaptive damping.
In terms of aesthetics, the top-end ML model gains a full body kit that includes reworked front and rear bumpers, deeper side skirts and pumped out front guards, there’s distinctive quad tail pipes and newly styled 20-inch wheels.
Inside, AMG’s designers granted the ML with new leather-covered sport seats, a four-spoke performance steering wheel and a unique instrument cluster with a color TFT monitor.
The new ML63 AMG will beginning entering global markets early next year, if it makes it to NZ expect it in late 2012 or early 2013.