Speed is defined by the rapidity of movement. When I looked it up in the dictionary, I wasn't surprised to find a photo of Mercedes' new ML63 AMG. With 550 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque from the bi-turbo V-8, the AMG version of the 5,170-pound SUV will forever alter the way your body and mind sense going fast. The procedure is always the same: strap into the bolstered, leather-covered seats, push the starter button, listen to the burble from the quad exhaust tips, and prepare yourself for the explosion of torque from the twin-turbos forcing air into the hand-assembled V-8. You'll never grow tired of it. Imagine rolling over every morning and finding Kate Upton. It's that good.
Beautifully executed, the white designo perforated leather with black contrast stitching l
Mercedes-Benz has long been acclaimed for superior build quality, expert craftsmanship, and performance, but for the ML63, the fanatics over at AMG took things to the next level. After the valet has pulled this SUV up for you, you'll appreciate the large front bumper with air ducts for the turbo intercoolers, LED daytime lights, and optional 21-inch AMG five-spoke wheels with red-painted six-piston calipers. Thankfully, the handsome looks don't end once you've climbed inside. Immaculate perforated leather with contrast stitching, black piano lacquer wood trim, and dinamica handgrips on the AMG-specific steering wheel are just a sample of the luxurious appointments you'll find upon opening the doors.
During my two weeks behind the D-shaped steering wheel, I couldn't stop myself from shaking my head every time the accelerator was applied for more than a few seconds, resulting in the speedometer quickly shooting past triple digits. On a closed road with a professional behind the wheel, the ML was continuing to propel itself at 154 mph. Simply incredible. Performance hyperbole aside, the ML is actually a very good everyday SUV. With a remote-operated powered liftgate, rear cargo is easily accessed, and with 80.3-feet of cargo space, we had no problems loading up five guys and their luggage. Despite the low-profile Continental tires, the ride was comfortable, quiet, and deceived the mind into thinking speeds were much less than reality.
Our tester was loaded with safety and convenience goodies as well, including Distronic Plus active cruise control, blind spot detection, active lane keeping assist, and Parktronic parking assist. A 13 speaker Harman/Kardon LOGIC7 digital sound system with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound technology provided impressive audio playback, and the ML had direct plug-in control for an iPod/iPhone.
If money grew on trees, we'd have an ML63 AMG in our garage. Sadly, money doesn't grow on trees, so we had to give our tester back, but what an incredible machine from the gearheads over at AMG. Job well done.
2013 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG
Base Price: $94,990
Price as Tested: $107,725
Type: 5.5L V-8 DOHC 32-valve bi-turbo
Displacement: 333 ci
Compression Ratio: 10:1
Horsepower: 550 at 5,250 rpm
Torque: 560 at 1,750 rpm
Recommended Fuel: Premium Unleaded
Layout: Front engine, 4MATIC AWD
Transmission: Seven-speed auto AMG SPEEDSHIFT
Brakes: AMG 15.4-inch front with six-piston calipers/ 13.6-inch rear disc
Wheels: AMG five-spoke 21x10-inch
Tires: 295/35R21 Continental Cross Contact
Tow Capacity: 7,200 pounds
0-60: 4.3 seconds
1/4-mile: 12.4 at 111.3 mph
60-0: 107 feet
Observed Gas Mileage: 15.7 mpg