The story of the G-Wagen is a lot like a war veteran, reminiscing about his days on dusty battlefields, now fashioned to enjoy the spoils of war. Commissioned to be a brave-it-all before tempest and treacherous trails, this behemoth of an icon has come a long way. Like a soldier, it has adapted to the times but has kept its discipline intact. From times when it seemed a natural on unpaved surfaces, fending off the elements, to becoming the stately, unweathered mascot that it is today. And all of this, across four decades.
But then again, a legend like the G-Wagen, which is now called G-Class (and rightfully so), hails from the house of Mercedes.
This one’s made for the day and age but begs to be owned by a heart of old. Only six components in the 2018 model have been borrowed from its predecessor. Such has been the magnitude of the overhaul. The model has retained the exposed door hinges, vertical windscreen, and the trademark front, to keep with the traditions of the G-Wagen. It’s so well-etched in the annals of automotive design that the boxy design is more revered than ridiculed.
The 2018 G63 clearly looks a lot more premium than its predecessors and to good effect. One wouldn’t invest as much as a thought in the G63 if a fuel economy-centered design was a priority. So, let’s just keep that aspect tucked away for now. The round headlights can be complemented with the optional Multibeam LEDs to show off a flamboyant personality of the car. The tail-lamps are placed low as they’ve always been, but this time they sport LEDs as well.
Most importantly, it’s huge! On Indian roads, it could intimidate anything and everything that is, well, not a G-Wagen. Compared to the previous rendition, this one’s 2.1 inches longer and 4.8 inches wider. The matte black paint makes it look meaner than it tries to be. The red pin-stripes that outline the AMG's attitude are just the accents you need to be edgy, with class. You can spoil yourself with the 22-inch wheels and eat the pesky road bumps for breakfast. Speaking of getting spoilt, you will never get enough of the rumbling melody the V8 spits out from the chrome pipes that peer out gracefully from under the rear doors. With a ground clearance of 9.5 inches, you can be assured that no speed bump will bother your chassis. The tailgate swings open, occupying ample room for the angle it traverses. This means you'd better negotiate the best parking spaces if you’re out shopping because you wouldn’t like crushing the bonnet of an unfortunate car behind you.
Stepping into the G63 is nothing but a rush of power. The steering wheel is thick and adds to the bigness of the experience of driving this giant. The new model offers more lift to your position while also being generous with legroom for the driver. There is a fair bit of pampering too as the front seats now come with cooling, heating, dynamic bolstering and a host of fancy massages. The back seat has also been blessed with more legroom than in previous versions. You could describe the driver’s seat to be more of a mount because you truly are hoisted up there to command the streets. You’re welcomed by twin 12.3-inch infotainment screens, which for some reason haven’t yet been promoted to touchscreens. Other tech additions include a 64-colour ambient lighting and a 15-speaker, 590-watt Burmester sound system that will spin the heads of pedestrians (if they’ve somehow managed to not catch the visual delight that you’ve been driving around). The rhythmic consistency of leather seats and heavy metal dials and panels makes for an organic fit. And you have two cupholders. Clearly, the interior designers of the car seem to have been a lot more adventurous with their exploits than those with the exterior disciplines.
The 2018 G63 is endowed with the hand-built 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine that produces 585 bhp. Sounds powerful, doesn’t it? With a colossal torque of 850Nm, the G63 is more like the last word when it comes to powerful 4x4s that ply on our roads. The huge torque makes manoeuvring through crowded city streets a lot more manageable. Mercedes employs its nine-speed automatic transmission to good effect here, while the four-wheel drive on this one has been tested through time and terrain, successfully. The G63 offers locking front, centre and rear differentials via three large buttons on the dashboard. A button-controlled, low-range transfer box has also been introduced for when the car is in neutral. The impressive 360-degree cameras with dynamic guidelines make solo tripping a lot safer with minimum navigator dependency.
In terms of performance, the G63 is rather nimble for its size and form. It can go from stationary to 100kmph in just 4.5 seconds. Did I tell you that the car weighs a whopping 32,600kg. And just like a soldier, the 2019 G-Class G63 Mercedes will make sure that it serves you loyally. It’s been like that since it was first commissioned, and it continues to be so today. The price may put a Range Rover Sport to shame but its style, legend and unfailing machismo are attributes that will be hard to match. It’s the kind of thing that rolls into your garage if you’ve never bothered to inquire what fuel prices are. It's for you if you want everyone on the road look up. And more importantly, if you have a taste for unsurpassable class.
Engine: 3998 cc,4.0-litre V8 biturbe petrol engine
Power: 585 bhp @5500 rpm
Torque: 850 Nm
Transmission: 9-speed, automatic
0-100 kmph: 4.5 sec
Top speed: 220 kmph
City fuel efficiency: 4 kmpl
Highway fuel efficiency: 6 kmpl
Safety: TPMS, ABS, ABD, and ESP
Price: 2.5 crore (ex-showroom Mumbai)
Ground clearance: 9.5 inches
Wheel: 22 inches
Screen: 12.3 inches
Ambient lighting: 64 colour
Sound system: 15 speakers, 590 watts