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Who’s the Boss?
Nate Chapnick | Photo: Courtesy Images | March 5, 2013
Give your domestic life a double shot of turbo power with Mercedes-Benz’s 2013 GL63 AMG, the world’s fastest seven-passenger SUV.
Trading in your sporty two-seater for something more amenable to family life has traditionally been all about heavy-hearted compromise. But life in 2013, family or otherwise, is all about performance: So leave it to a team of autobahn-obsessed engineers at Mercedes’ in-house tuning division, AMG, to conceive the world’s fastest seven-passenger SUV. Whether you’re shuttling the kids to canoe practice in Kailua or towing your boat to the harbor in Hawai‘i Kai, the 2013 GL63 AMG spices up your errands in rare fashion.
So, how fast are we talking here? A throaty 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine develops 550 horsepower, good for a 4.8-second sprint from 0 to 60 mph—that’s Porsche 911 territory, folks. Paired to the powerful engine is a quick-shifting seven-speed automatic with Mercedes’ acclaimed ECO start/stop system, which shuts off the engine when idling, thus lowering carbon emissions. Hold the pedal down and this bad boy brute becomes impossible to catch with a top speed of 174 mph.
Remaining stable and glued to the road with this kind of power demands serious engineering. The GL63 employs a semiactive suspension that works to counteract roll when the vehicle leans in corners. The system works flawlessly, making you feel as if you’re piloting a sporty sedan when you’re really behind the wheel of a nearly 17-foot-long SUV.
While the GL63 AMG is a star on the racetrack, it also manages to impress with its everyday functionality. Access to the third row is a breeze with the power second-row seats that flip up and out of the way at the press of a button. Parking couldn’t be easier thanks to Mercedes’ Active Parking Assist, which takes over the steering wheel when you’re trying to squeeze into a parallel parking spot. And Mercedes has gone above and beyond with its attention to interior details, from the leather-trimmed dash to the Bang & Olufsen sound system that will satisfy any audiophile.
Riding on 21-inch alloy wheels with red brake calipers and “V8 BITURBO” badging, the GL63 is one of the most visually distinctive rides in its class. And when it comes time for your exit, its deep, menacing rumble lets everyone know in no uncertain terms who’s the boss of this carpool lane. Intrigued? Look for the GL63 AMG at Mercedes-Benz of Honolulu (818 Kapi‘olani Blvd., Ala Moana/Kapi‘olani, 888.526.6820, mercedesbenzofhonolulu.com).
2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG
Base Price: $116,925
Engine: 5.5-liter Twin-Turbocharged V8
Horsepower: 550 hp @ 5,200 rpm
Torque: 560 lb.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm
Transmission: 7-Speed Automatic
0 to 60 mph: 4.8 seconds
Curb Weight: 5,490 lbs. est.
Fuel Economy City/Highway: 12/16 mpg est.
Fuel Tank: 26.4 gal.
Top Speed: 174 mph