Published on April 20th, 2020 | by Hammer0
Mercedes-Benz GLS63 AMG with S-Class refinement
This is in effect a direct rival to the Bentley Bentayga, Aston Martin DBX and maybe even the Cullinan from Rolls Royce. Yes, the good people at Rolls Royce will say that we are totally ‘nuts’ to compare their brand new SUV to a product from Mercedes-Benz, but we are not a fan of the Cullinan design at all and only its super luxury no compromise interior takes top marks.
PRESS RELEASE: The “S-Class among SUVs” meets AMG Performance Luxury: The new Mercedes-AMG GLS63 4MATIC+ is more dynamic and versatile than ever before. Emotive design, exclusive appointments, plenty of space for up to seven people and further improved driving dynamics make the GLS63 an unrivalled package in the luxury SUV segment. Superior driving pleasure is guaranteed by the powerful 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine with 450 kW (612 hp) and an integrated EQ Boost starter-alternator. The 16 kW (22 hp) ancillary unit supplies the 48-volt electrical system, and its boost function provides assistance at low engine speeds. Mercedes-AMG GLS63 4MATIC+ also meets higher dynamic expectations thanks to its fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed automatic transmission and the AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL air suspension with active roll stabilisation based on the AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension system.
The exterior: expressive, dominant and sporty
The unmistakable design idiom of the new Mercedes-AMG GLS63 4MATIC+ indicates the sheer power of the Performance model. The AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical louvres in high-gloss chrome is larger than in other AMG models. It characterises the front view in conjunction with the expressive bonnet, the heavily contoured powerdomes and the MULTIBEAM LED headlamps included as standard. The look is reinforced by the newly designed AMG front apron with an integrated jetwing in high-gloss black, the front splitter, the jetwing trim strip in silver chrome and the striking, sporty side air inlets.
The flared wheel arches, side skirts and exterior mirror housings are painted in the vehicle colour, while the window surrounds are in high-gloss chrome. The newly designed, width-emphasising AMG rear apron with a sporty diffuser dominates the rear view in conjunction with the AMG exhaust system with two rectangular, characteristically corrugated twin tailpipes.
The Mercedes-AMG GLS63 4MATIC+ is shod as standard with 21-inch 10-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in tantalite grey with a high-sheen finish. For further individualisation, six further wheel variants with diameters of up to 23 inches are available.
The GLS is given an even more expressive and distinctive character by the optional AMG Night package. Striking exterior features in high-gloss black, e.g. the jetwing trim strip and front splitter, the exterior mirror housings and the trim strip in the AMG rear apron, exude sporty elegance. Anodised window surrounds and thermal insulation glass from the B-pillar to the rear, the black-chrome twin exhaust tailpipes and the optionally available AMG light-alloy wheels painted in matt black round off the expressive look.
Interior: high-quality, spacious and authentic
The interior of the GLS63 is spacious, displays outstanding quality and has plenty of space for up to seven people. An authentic AMG atmosphere is ensured by the AMG sports pedals in brushed stainless steel with rubber studs, illuminated door sill panels with “AMG” lettering, black floor mats with “AMG” lettering and ambient lighting. High-quality materials for the dashboard and door beltlines in ARTICO man-made leather, plus high-gloss anthracite limewood trim elements, accentuate the high-end ambience.
For state-of-the art operating convenience, the Performance SUV has the modern Widescreen Cockpit, the instrument display and the media display under a glass cover as a visual unit. The multimedia touch display is generous in size and has a high resolution. The AMG instrument cluster with specific content such as the RACETIMER and AMG start-up menu has a choice of four display styles – “Modern Classic”, “Sport”, “Discreet” and AMG-specific “Supersport”.
The AMG seats for the driver and front passenger ensure optimum lateral support and have an AMG- specific seat upholstery layout – with an “AMG” badge in the front backrests. These are in black AMG nappa leather as standard. There is a choice of seven further colour and material variants. For first-class comfort, the multicontour seats for the driver and front passenger feature seat climate control and the Memory Package. The second-row seats are heated as standard. This is also optionally available for the third seat row.
Other model-specific appointments and controls such as the 3-spoke AMG steering wheel variants combine the sporty and precise handling with optimum ergonomics. These steering wheels have a flattened lower section and impress with touch-control buttons, aluminium shift paddles and a facing with “AMG” lettering. The optional AMG steering wheel buttons help to ensure fast and precise operation of dynamic functions.
Even more space, optional comfort features and outstanding sound
The new GLS63 has a significantly longer wheelbase than its predecessor. The resulting increase in space particularly benefits occupants in the second seat row. Legroom here is increased by 87 mm when the seats are in their rearmost position, which also makes it easier to get into the vehicle. As standard for the European market, the second row has a 40:20:40-split folding rear bench seat with adjustable backrests. Alternatively, customers can order the American standard configuration with two individual seats and armrests, with easy access to the rear between them.
Optional comfort features reinforce the claim to be the “S-Class among SUVs”: the AIR-BALANCE package, ENERGIZING package or ENERGIZING package Plus, the Warmth Comfort package and various packages for the rear raise the level of luxury in the interior to the highest level. The standard-fit Burmester® surround sound system or the optional Burmester® high-end 3D surround sound system guarantee an emotive listening experience.
Ready for top performance: the AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine with integrated starter-alternator
For the first time the AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine of the Mercedes-AMG GLS63 4MATIC+ is equipped with an integrated EQ Boost starter-alternator. It combines a starter motor and an alternator in a single, powerful electric motor compactly integrated between the engine and the transmission.
The briefly and additionally available 16 kW (22 hp) of output and 250 Nm of torque allow particularly fast sprints from a standstill and intermediate sprints, e.g. when overtaking. Moreover, this innovative component not only supplies the 48-volt electrical system, and is not only used as a power generator, but also performs hybrid functions. These include boost, recuperate, load point shift, gliding and the virtually imperceptible restarting of the engine with the start/stop function. For the first time, the EQ Boost starter-alternator is also responsible for idle speed control. This allows fuel savings that were previously reserved for high-voltage hybrid technology.
Furthermore, the sophisticated 48-volt electrical system allows the use of new technologies – it reliably supplies the on-board electrical consumers (e.g. active stabiliser bars or heating elements) with energy, while still ensuring full driving power.
Other characteristic features of the AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine: the two turbochargers are positioned not on the outside of the cylinder banks, but inside the cylinder “V”. The main advantages of this design are the compact engine construction, optimal response and low exhaust gas emissions. In the GLS63 it develops an output of 450 kW (612 hp). The performance of the V8 biturbo engine is enhanced by a further 16 kW courtesy of the integrated starter-alternator – resulting in impressive torque of up to 850 Nm. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 4.2 seconds, while the top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited). 280 km/h is possible with the optional AMG Driver’s package.
Comfortable and dynamic: AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9-speed automatic transmission (TCT = Torque Converter Transmission) ensures highly dynamic acceleration with short shift times, and allows a comfortable and fuel-efficient driving style. The transmission is optimally configured for the engine and promises hallmark agility when moving off along with speedy gearshifts – either automatic, or manual via the steering wheel shift paddles. Upshifts or downshifts are implemented instantly. Especially in the “Sport+” drive program and in manual mode, the transmission is very responsive. Another strength of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G are the fast multiple downshifts. For example, on kick-down, the transmission can shift directly from 9th to 5th gear or from 5th to 3rd gear.
Equipped for all critical limits: the air suspension with continuous damping adjustment
The standard-fit AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension with special spring/damper set-up and adaptive adjustable damping ADS+ (Adaptive Damping System) combines outstanding driving dynamics with high ride comfort. It forms the basis for a driving experience that is characterised by a high level of agility, neutral cornering behaviour and optimum traction. The damping characteristics can be preselected in three stages – “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport+”, allowing a much more obvious distinction between high long-distance comfort and sporty vehicle dynamics.
Thanks to pneumatic self-levelling, the GLS63 4MATIC+ maintains a constant vehicle level regardless of the vehicle load. The ride height is generally lowered by 10 mm in the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs “Sport” and “Sport+”. In the “Comfort” drive program, the vehicle is not lowered by 10 mm until the speed exceeds 120 km/h, and is raised back to normal level when the speed falls below 70 km/h. This reduces aerodynamic drag and therefore fuel consumption. In addition, handling stability is improved thanks to a lower centre of gravity. To increase ground clearance on poor surfaces or on ramps, the ride height can be raised by up to 55 mm at the touch of a button when the engine is running – both when stationary and when driving at a speed of up to 70 km/h.
Intelligence and convenience: AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL roll stabilisation
A new feature makes a significant contribution to the AMG-specific tuning for high levels of driving dynamics: the active roll stabilisation system AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL on a 48-volt basis with two independently operating, electro-mechanical actuators at the front and rear axle. It precisely compensates body movements and ensures precisely controllable, direct handling even at the critical limits.
When cornering, active electro-mechanical stabilisers at the front and rear axle generate a fully variable control moment that counteracts rolling movements and allows optimum self-steering and load cycle characteristics. In addition, it increases ride comfort when driving in a straight line because stimuli by one-sided road bumps are balanced out, for example. Movements in the body can be actively and optimally adjusted to the driving conditions. This means that the hallmark AMG form of the driving characteristics regarding dynamics, precision and response can be even more intensively experienced by the driver.
Another benefit compared with the usual hydraulic-based systems is the significantly faster response. The AMG control system can adapt the driving status to the conditions within milliseconds. There is also the low weight of the components compared with the usual solutions.
High traction: AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive
For maximum traction and dynamics, the new GLS63 is equipped with AMG Performance 4MATIC+ fully variable all-wheel drive with fully variable torque distribution from 0:100 to 50:50 and an AMG electronic rear-axle locking differential. The intelligent control links the permanently driven rear axle variably with the front axle and continually calculates the optimum torque distribution – depending on the driving situation and the driver’s wishes. The driver therefore benefits from the advantages of a traction-oriented all-wheel drive system, as well as those of pure rear-wheel drive, and from excellent handling characteristics on any surface. As well as traction and lateral dynamics, the all-wheel drive improves the longitudinal dynamics.
Even more safety and comfort: the driving assistance systems
The latest generation of Mercedes-Benz driving assistance systems for cooperative support of the driver is also available for the new GLS63 4MATIC+. These systems further enhance the level of active safety. As standard these include Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adjustment, which uses information from LiveTraffic to recognise tailbacks or slow-moving traffic at an early stage and respond accordingly. With the Driving Assistance package Plus, Active Stop-and-Go Assist is substantially able to perform the tasks of keeping in lane and maintaining the safety distance with a high level of availability at speeds up to around 60 km/h. Moving off can be automatic up to one minute after coming to a stop. Once the tailback clears, the GLS accelerates back up to the speed preset for Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC with route-based speed adaptation.
Even better day-to-day suitability: the MBUX infotainment system with AMG-specific displays
The innovative operating and display concept MBUX features as standard in the GLS63 4MATIC+ and includes numerous AMG-specific contents. With the Widescreen Cockpit, the instrument cluster and touchscreen multimedia display optically combine into one unit. Whether it’s operated with the touchpad, Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel, by voice control or gesture control: the control concept is both versatile and flexible. Numerous functions can also be activated via the intelligent voice-operated control “Hey Mercedes”. The optional MBUX Interior Assist also allows intuitive, natural operation of different comfort and MBUX functions by movement recognition and gestures, creating an even closer connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers.
The instrument cluster has its own specific details such as the AMG start-up menu and the four selectable styles: “Modern Classic”, “Sport”, “Discreet” or “Supersport”. When the AMG-specific DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs “Trail” and “Sand” are activated, off-road-specific settings such as slope, incline and level can be selected and displayed on the instrument cluster.
The newly designed visualisations in the multimedia display enable further vehicle functions to be experienced even better, e.g. with an animated presentation of the driving assistance, vehicle and communication systems, and the drive programs.
Variable driving experience: AMG DYNAMICS and AMG DYNAMIC SELECT
AMG DYNAMICS has the intelligent control electronics for all vehicle-specific functions that enhance agility, for example steering, torque distribution, all-wheel drive and active stabilisers. This control allows widely variable driving dynamics, and therefore a highly variable driving experience – from moderate to sporty right up to extremely dynamic. AMG DYNAMICS provides the basis for the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes. The driver either selects the preconfigured mode using the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT switch, or defines the vehicle configuration himself/herself in “Individual” mode.
An overview of the six driving modes:
- “Comfort”: comfortable and fuel-efficient driving, e.g. thanks to early upshifts. Suspension and steering are set up for an emphasis on comfort.
- “Sport”: Sporty characteristics thanks to more agile response to accelerator pedal input, shorter shift times and earlier downshifts. More dynamic suspension setup.
- “Sport+”: Extremely sporty characteristics thanks to an even more agile throttle response, selective torque control for upshifts with cylinder suppression for optimum shift times. Increased idle speed for faster pulling away. An even more dynamic setup for suspension, steering and powertrain.
- “Individual”: individual adjustment of the drive system, transmission, AMG DYNAMICS, suspension and exhaust system. In addition, the gliding function is available in the “Reduced” and “Moderate” drive settings.
- “Trail”: safe driving at maximum performance on soft, muddy or slippery ground. The suspension is raised to a higher level (55 mm more ground clearance). From 70 km/h the suspension is automatically lowered again.
- “Sand”: the adjustments to the suspension and the 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive are made for sporty driving on loose, sandy surfaces. The suspension is raised to a higher level (55 mm more ground clearance). From 70 km/h the suspension is automatically lowered again.
- The drive modes are linked to the AMG DYNAMICS agility control, which means that the handling characteristics can be even more closely matched with different requirements and driving conditions. Behind the umbrella term AMG DYNAMICS are the agility functions “Basic”, “Advanced” and “Pro”, whose functions are automatically selected by the respective driving mode. The further “Traction” and “Slide” levels come into effect in the off-road “Trail” and “Sand” drive programs when the ESP® is deactivated.
Irrespective of the selected drive program, the driver can use the buttons in the centre console or the optional AMG steering-wheel buttons to directly select manual transmission mode, the preferred suspension level and also the exhaust system mode, for instance.
AMG speed-sensitive sport power steering and AMG high-performance braking systems
The electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering has a variable ratio. It impresses with its direct steering action and precise feedback. The steering power assistance is assigned to the various stages of the AMG DYNAMICS system. The configuration in “Basic” and “Advanced” is comfort-oriented. “Pro” has a configuration that supports a sporty driving style and gives more surface feedback.
Great tractive power, large brakes: the correspondingly dimensioned high-performance braking system reliably slows down the performance SUV even with heavier loads, and with short braking distances. 400 x 38 mm internally ventilated and perforated integral brake disks are used at the front axle, with 6-piston fixed callipers painted in grey with white AMG lettering. At the rear, the internally ventilated integral brake disks measure 370 x 32 mm and have a 1-piston floating calliper.