It took Mercedes-Benz more than 30 years to replace the G-Class. The second-generation model officially debuted in early 2018, injecting the boxy off-roader with modern technology and the latest creature comforts.
Some feared that the new G-Class would neuter the model’s off-road capability, but that wasn’t the case. A new Carwow video puts the new Mercedes-AMG G63 against a previous-generation 2013 model to see how the off-road SUVs compare.
Gallery: 2021 Mercedes-AMG G63: Off-Road Feature
The second-generation AMG G63 uses the automaker’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine with a nine-speed gearbox. The powertrain produces 585 bhp (436 kilowatts) and 626 pound-feet (850 Newton-metres) of torque that’s sent to all four wheels.
The 2013 G63 features a larger 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8 making 544 bhp (405 kW) and 560 lb-ft (760 Nm) of torque. A seven-speed gearbox stands between the engine’s power and the wheels. It might look similar to the second-generation G63 but features rigid front and rear axles and recirculating ball steering.
The Carwow crew put the two SUVs through a series of off-road challenges designed to test their rugged capability as both pack plenty of power to dominate at the drag strip. The challenges tested their suspension, ground clearance, departure and approach angles, and more.
Underneath the similar-looking exterior are similar off-road specs. The old G63 has 260 millimetres (10.24 inches) of ground clearance, a 33-degree approach angle, and a 29-degree departure. The new G63 only has 241 mm (9.49 in.) of ground clearance, with a 31-degree approach angle and a 30-degree departure angle.
The two SUVs ended up tied after the final competition, with the pair performing similarly through all the challenges. The older G63 is narrower, giving it a handful of advantages in some of the bouts, but the newer SUV better handled other aspects, like the hill descent control test. The old one outperformed the new one in the uphill race but lost in the hairpin test.
The new AMG G63 is a big improvement over the outgoing model. However, Mercedes didn’t compromise its off-road capability even if the new one is larger than the model it replaces.