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2025 Mercedes-AMG G 63 First Drive: The Laugh Factory

577 horsepower and a trick suspension make the AMG G-wagen more hilarious than ever

2025 Mercedes-AMG G 63 driving
  • The Mercedes-AMG G 63 returns with styling updates and a fantastic new suspension.
  • A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 puts out 577 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque.
  • No other performance SUV is as ridiculous as this one.

I am pleased to report that the new Mercedes-AMG G 63 keeps an incredibly important Fast G-wagen quirk intact. When you activate Race Start and launch this bad boy, the 577-hp G 63 shoots forward with such intensity and ferocity that the manual sunroof shade slides open. Thank God; test passed.

Yes, the updated AMG G 63 is somehow even more rowdy and ridiculous than before. And considering the fact that the AMG G 63 is already the best-selling version of the Mercedes-Benz G-wagen by a long shot, that's a very good thing indeed.

2025 Mercedes-AMG G 63 interior

So, what's new for 2025?

Visually, not much. Like other G-Class models, the G 63 has a few teensy-tiny exterior tweaks, all meant to somehow improve the aerodynamic profile of this almost anti-aerodynamic brute. The front fascia is a little bit smoother and there's new windshield pillar trim. You really have to squint to notice the changes, but I will say, the G 63 is noticeably quieter inside, with less wind noise harshing the vibe at freeway speeds.

A quieter cabin means you don't have to crank the volume quite as high on the Burmester stereo, which will now let you stream music wirelessly via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The updated smartphone projection is just one of the tech improvements that comes via the switch to Mercedes' MBUX software. The updated multimedia interface means the G-Class even has a touchscreen now. (Finally.)

2025 Mercedes-AMG G 63 engine

How about the powertrain?

It's the same as before, not that I'm complaining. The AMG's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine makes 577 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, plus there's a 48-volt integrated starter-generator that can add 20 hp and 148 lb-ft for brief bursts.

Accelerating to 60 mph takes 4.2 seconds, but jeepers creepers, the G 63 feels so much quicker than that. Turn off the traction control, put it in Race Start, plant your left foot on the brake, floor the throttle, and let go. Launching the G 63 is a total thrill, and if the ground is wet (like it is during my test drive), you can get all four tires to spin, no problem. What a fantastically absurd machine — and one that's a bit more special than it used to be since you can't get the V8 in the G 550 anymore.

2025 Mercedes-AMG G 63 driving

Isn't there a trick new suspension?

Yep, and it makes a massive difference. Called AMG Active Ride Control, this setup uses hydraulic roll stabilization and adaptive dampers — powered by the 48-volt mild hybrid system — to better sort out the G 63's body motions both on- and off-road. Does this turn the G 63 into a lithe sports car? Nah. But you'll be shocked at how much faster you can go through corners, and how much the SUV's forward/backward motions are reduced during hard acceleration and braking.

Active Ride Control really lets you make the most of the G 63's powertrain; now you can really make the most of that 577 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque on paved roads. Put the G 63 into Sport or Sport+ mode and the steering gets properly heavy and the dampers stiffen up, nicely communicating what's happening beneath the 22-inch tires at all four corners. For an SUV never really known for its crisp handling, the extra suspension magic makes a massive difference.

The only caveat: AMG Active Ride Control does not come standard. If you want it, be prepared to select the AMG Performance Package or AMG Offroad Package Pro. Even so, it's worth it.

2025 Mercedes-AMG G 63 driving

How's it work off-road?

Honestly, it turns the G 63 into a rally-ready tank. OK, maybe I'm a little biased because Mercedes-Benz let me loose on a muddy-as-heck off-road course up in the hills outside of Montpellier, France, but at high speeds sliding through corners, the G 63 is nothing short of a riot.

The AMG Active Ride Control comes with two unique off-road features: Traction Pro and AMG Active Balance Control. The former unlocks seven different levels of traction control intervention, letting the G 63 slip and slide as little or as much as you desire. But the latter is really impressive — it has Low, Mid and High settings that adjust the roll stiffness. In Low, you get more wheel articulation at each corner, which gives you more body roll but a softer ride over harsh surfaces. On the other end, High keeps the body nice and stable, and really makes the G 63 feel crisper during turn-in, but the trade-off is a rougher ride.

Overall, the combination of these technologies means you can more accurately (and comfortably) tackle high-speed off-road courses — like dirt tracks or sand dunes. At the same time, the G 63 has the same off-road hardware that makes every version of the G-wagen a champ, like three locking differentials and a low-range four-wheel-drive system. Of course, you'll want to spec the Offroad Package Pro (we get it, you're a pro) and opt for the G's smaller 20-inch wheels and all-terrain tires if rough roads will frequently be in your future.

2025 Mercedes-AMG G 63 driving

How much does this radness cost?

No clue; official pricing and fuel economy data won't be available until closer to the G-Class' on-sale date later this year. But considering the current AMG G 63 starts around $185,000 — before options, natch — a base price in the $190,000 to $200,000 range isn't out of the question. Yeah, that's a heap of money, but no other SUV at this price point will knock your socks off like a G 63.

Edmunds says

The Mercedes-AMG G 63 is already the volume leader of the G-Class lineup. We look forward to seeing them hard parked at every valet stand near our Southern California HQ.

2025 Mercedes-AMG G 63 driving