All these luxury cars are low slung and this makes it difficult to drive in the city or on the highway that are filled with potholes. The idea to have a sports car makes it even difficult to drive due to further reduced ground clearance. Hence, several car buyers are moving towards luxury SUVs and even the performance edition vehicles are also SUVs. The latest entrant is the fastest SUV in India at the moment, the ML 63 AMG— the performance edition of the Ml-Class. We share our detailed review of this new performance SUV.
The new generation of the ML-Class follows the Mercedes-Benz design language that we have seen on the latest generation products from the German manufacturer. The fascia resembles the other Mercedes-Benz products with the similar new Avantgarde grille with the large central star and sharp styling for the headlamps. The ML 63 AMG doesn’t get any major changes on the front when compared to the ML 250 or the ML 350.
The side profile has some differences. To begin with, larger size wheels and tyres fill the wheel well. The alloys on the AMG spec SUV look a lot more stunning and even the disc brakes are larger for fade-free experience. Then of course there is the V8 Bi-Turbo badging on the front fender. The rear has some difference in its design. What it gets are quad-pipes and AMG badging.
The interiors of the ML 63 AMG are no way the same like the outside. The ML 63 AMG’s instrument panel has been given several AMG touches. To begin with, it has the AMG gear knob, steering wheel and even the instrument panel. The seats are also more bucket-like, which cocoon around you for better side support. The ML 63 interiors are far more superior than that of the conventional ML-Class.
In terms of bells and whistles, the AMG-spec SUV gets features like 360 camera, push start-stop, seat warmers for front and rear seats and two LCDs for the rear passengers. Only we wish, they even had seat AC.
The space in both the rows is sufficient for tall people. The ML out has two rows of seats, it is only the GL that has three rows. The boot too is large to gobble luggage for the weekend for four people with ease. The ML-Class has AC vents on the B-pillar too, which cools the cabin a lot faster. Then there is also the panoramic roof too.
Engine and Transmission:
Mercedes-Benz has plonked in a 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 petrol engine. This is the new AMG engine that we had driven on the GL 63 AMG, producing 557bhp of power and 760Nm of peak torque. Imagine the same ferocious engine on even a smaller body of the ML. The power produced by this V8 monster will not just push you back in your seat, but even create a bellow in your chest. Push the start button and the cranks up to engine as the V8 engine roars and wakes up to life.
The exhaust note has the grunt like other AMGs and so is the acceleration. The 5.5-litre V8 bi-turbo engine has the brutal acceleration and the seven-speed dual clutch transmission ensures that the performance of this engine isn’t blunted as it shifts quickly. In the sport mode, the throttle response is better and the shifts are quick. The comfort mode too is good enough unless every milli second matters like on a track. To our dismay, this doesn’t get the AMG mode until the sedans.
The ML 63 AMG comes with low profile tyres, despite this the ride quality of the SUV is sublime. It irons out most of the potholes and bumps from the road. The road shocks are absorbed well by the suspension and the occupants get a pliant ride. Even in the sport mode, the ride isn’t very stiff.
The handling of the GL 63 AMG was mind-boggling. The ML has a lower ground clearance and even lesser height, not to forget that it is shorter in length than the GL-Class. The handling even in the comfort mode is just what you expect from an AMG sedan. In the Sport mode the suspension stiffens and the tyres obey each and every command of yours. The ML 63 AMG never feels like an SUV when in the Sport mode.
The ML-Class is a practical SUV, as it is spacious and also a capable off-roader. It isn’t gigantic and the size is just perfect for city or even the highway till the time it is used to commute four people. Putting a 5.5-litre V8 engine might not seem to be a wise idea until you drive it. We loved each and every moment we spent behind the wheel. You just cannot stop smiling when you drive the ML 63 AMG. It is one of the most powerful that is sold in the country at the moment and we love how it performs.