2012 Mercedes ML63 AMG is a 516-HP Super Ute: LA Auto Show Preview


Adding some serious grunt to its new M-Class SUV, Mercedes has just revealed the high-performance ML63 AMG model ahead of its official debut at the LA Auto Show later this week.

Based on the all-new ML, this super-ute now features Merc’s new twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 engine rather than the old 6.2-liter unit, delivering an extra 15-hp and 44 lb-ft of torque for a total of 518-hp and 516 lb-ft. Plus, with an optional AMG Performance Package, output can be increased further to 550-hp and 560 lb-ft. Combined with the brand’s 7-speed AMG Speedshift Plus automatic transmission, acceleration to 60 mph takes just 4.7 seconds (4.6 seconds with the AMG package).

In addition, the AMG package adds on a carbon fiber engine cover, red painted calipers, premium leather, an AMG Performance steering wheel and raises the top speed from 155-mph to 174 mph.

The new turbo engine helps improve fuel economy by 33 percent. As a sign of just how much fuel the old model required, the new ML63 is rated at 16-mpg average. Along with “S” Sport and “M” Manual driving modes, the ML63 also gets a “C” Controlled Efficiency mode that helps improve fuel economy by starting the car in second gear and by engaging a start-stop function.

To maximize performance the ML63’s body has been widened by 0.4 inches on each side to fit larger 20-inch wheels with 265/45/20 tires, or optional 21-inch wheels with 295/35/21 tires. And of course, there’s an AMG braking system and more direct steering system.

Power makes it to the ground in a 40/60 front to rear split, with an Airmatic air suspension system with adaptive dampers used to offer a comfortable yet sporty ride. Further improving handling performance is a new Active Curve System, with active stabilizers front and rear to held reduce body roll in cornering.

And of course there’s a refined cabin with plenty of luxury, not to mention details like AMG illuminated door sills, a power liftgate, a color 7-inch Comand display screen and 4.5-inch instrument cluster display.

GALLERY: 2012 Mercedes ML63 AMG

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Click here for AutoGuide’s complete 2011 LA Auto Show Preview

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