Mercedes-AMG G63 (2012-2018) review - Engine and gearbox

Modern AMG power and an archaic chassis. What could possibly go wrong?

Evo rating
Price
from £131,675
  • Occasionally hilarious handling characteristics
  • Often terrifying handling characteristics

Engine and gearbox

The G63’s engine and gearbox are ones we’re used to in the S63, SL63 and E63 amongst a few others. It is not however the newer hot-V V8 that’s in the C63 and AMG GT. The G63’s engine might well be lazier than AMG’s fresher engine, but it does suit the off-roader well.

> Click here to read our review of the Mercedes-AMG SL63

As you fire it up the entire car rocks, then when you rev the engine the momentum of the engine’s internals work against the soft suspension causing the driver’s side to dip, it’s pure muscle car behavior. The engine revs nicely, and sounds great when doing so, but the G63 doesn’t suit an aggressive driving style so keeping the engine below 3500rpm feels most suitable.

Maximum torque is from 1750rpm, so you can keep the revs low and the gears high and glide around on a wave of torque. The gearbox is very eager to kick-down when in auto mode, so selecting manual mode and keeping the gears high feels best.

The multi-plate wet-clutch gearbox isn’t swift enough to deal with a full throttle change at the rev-limit and so delays the next gear by a frustrating long amount of time. Lights on the dash prompt you to use the wheel-mounted paddles to change up earlier than the red line. Gear changes may well be quicker but you don’t get to use the last 500-or-so rpm of the rev-range. However, this is a much bigger issue in other AMGs that use this gearbox than it is in the G63, because the other cars cope well driving quickly and the G63 really doesn’t. 

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