2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG which comes with the three-row and seven-seat will be offered later.
Best of the ML Powertrain
Since the ML and GL so closely related, it’s fitting that much of what you’ll find in the ML63 AMG is carried over to the GL63. The AMG V-8 of the present age, a direct-injected 5.5-liter V-8 with two turbochargers, offers the GL63 with 550 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque. This fits the higher of the two outputs available for the ML63. All-wheel drive is standard, as is a seven-speed automatic transmission coming with Comfort, Sport, and Manual settings.
A Controlled Efficiency program—which defaults to on when in Comfort and is disabled in other modes—activates an engine stop-start function, deadens throttle-response, and shifts to higher gears earlier. Pointless for an AMG driver? Yes. But not pointless as far as government regulators and CO2 measurers are concerned.
All GL63s will be sprung with what AMG calls its Ride Control suspension. It’s the same setup we see on other Benzes: the Airmatic air suspension works in concert with active anti-roll bars. Drivers can select either the Comfort or Sport setting.
An ML63 for Seven
Much like Hollywood celebrity Kim Kardashian, the regular GL’s selling point mostly is its large caboose. Kim and the 6 women in her immediate family could ride comfortably in the three rows of a GL, and the GL63 is no exception.
Few cosmetic modification have been made in building the GL63 from a non-AMG GL. The fenders are flared a bit for the AMG version, and the lower part of the front fascia is different from that of a standard GL—although it looks nearly identical to some of the Euro-spec GLs equipped with the optional body kit. “V8 BITURBO” badges adorn the front fenders, and 21-inch wheels are standard. At the back, the GL63 gets chrome-tipped quad exhaust finishers.
Interior changes are equally limited, with AMG sport seats in the front and some special stitching around the dash and doors and unique trim. Virtually all of the safety and convenience features you’d expect from a Benz—replete with funny names like Adaptive Coffee Consumption Assist—are standard on the GL63.
The whole motif is far more subtle than what we’ve come to expect from some of AMG’s other colorful—even enjoyably profane—styling jobs, like the C63. But we figure that, even as an AMG, the GL63 will be pitched to One Percent families, and they want something more restrained in a family truck.
Mercedes hasn’t yet announced pricing for the GL63, which goes on sale early in 2013, or the rest of the GL-class range. The ML63 stickers for $95,865 so a tag of at least $100,000 is a good bet for the GL63, and even at that price it’ll be the least-expensive seven-seat, 500-plus-hp SUV available in the U.S. It’ll also be the only one.