Find a car review

Make
Model

Mercedes ML63 AMG

To mark ten years of its behemoth behaving briskly, Merc launches two ‘special editions’

Evo rating
Price
from £80,000

Full marks to AMG for not blinking. While the world economy slams into reverse and the performance SUV – arguably already the most despised vehicle category on the planet – is hit with another wave of public derision, Merc’s go-faster division not only sticks its hand up for inventing the monster-motored 4x4 (1998’s ML55 AMG) but also, just to rub it in, unveils two special editions of its current ballistic behemoth, the ML63 AMG, to celebrate the boss ML’s ten years of unfeasible haste. 

Both the ‘10th Anniversary’ and the ‘Performance Studio’ are essentially design, trim and equipment packages, AMG reasoning that the 503bhp developed by the naturally-aspirated 6.2-litre V8 that serves across several model lines is enough to be going on with. It’s an output that keeps the most muscular M-class just ahead of the Porsche Cayenne at the top of the SUV power table.    We opted for a leisurely morning run along California’s Pacific coast in the marginally more opulent Performance Studio, so named to highlight the cosmetic dimension of AMG’s high-end operation. And, to be frank, it’s all a bit bling. The 21in alloy wheels are very shiny, and so are the numerous applications of chrome strip to the bodywork. 

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

The slightly over-wrought character doesn’t let up on the inside, the porcelain-coloured Nappa leather upholstery featuring a quilted diamond pattern on the seats and door panels. The same pale hide covers the lower part of the facia, while stark relief is provided in black: predominantly the leather that covers the upper part of the facia, the seat piping and the piano lacquer wood trim. The sole paint option looks black, though it’s called metallic Peridot Brown. 

What it all means, of course, is that the world’s most powerful SUV is even easier to spot than before. If you’re comfortable with that, prepare for the stares. Otherwise, stick with the mechanically identical ML63 AMG, which is an equally pleasant way to travel – commanding visibility, M3-humbling performance, great refinement, secure handling, fine ride – and considerably less conspicuous.

Specifications

Advertisement
Advertisement

Have You Considered

Visit/mercedes/gle/201748/2019-mercedes-gle400d-review-a-worthy-original
Mercedes GLE

2019 Mercedes GLE400d review – a worthy original

12 Sep 2019
Visit/porsche/porsche-911-carrera-4/201744/2019-porsche-911-carrera-4-and-carrera-4-cabriolet-detailed
Porsche 911 Carrera 4

2019 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4 Cabriolet detailed

12 Sep 2019
Visit/mercedes/201726/mercedes-amg-electric-car-to-target-porsche-taycan-and-tesla-model-s
Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG electric car to target Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S

10 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/18328/2020-volkswagen-id3-revealed-vws-electric-revolution-is-here
Volkswagen

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 revealed - VW’s electric revolution is here

9 May 2019

Most Popular

Visit/best-cars/201772/best-v8-cars-past-and-present-our-favourite-eights-and-the-cars-theyre-found-in
Best cars

Best V8 cars past and present – our favourite eights and the cars they’re found in

Whether it’s smooth and sophisticated or motorsport-like in its aggression, the V8 remains one of our favourite engine types, warts and all
20 Sep 2019
Visit/spy-shots/201770/porsche-cayman-gt4-rs-spied-718-to-receive-rennsport-treatment
spy shots

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS spied – 718 to receive Rennsport treatment

More power, more aero and less weight are already on the cards for Stuttgart’s fastest Cayman
19 Sep 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can evo magazine’s Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to f…
20 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019