2013 Mercedes GL63 AMG Debuts at LA Auto Show – Pricing Announced

The GL63 AMG will start at $116,925 (excluding D&D) and goes on-sale during the first quarter of 2013

by  Jim Davis  | 

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The high-performance Mercedes GL63 AMG sport utility is making its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, open to the public from November 30 to December 9, 2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The latest model to join the award-winning newgeneration GL-Class family, the 2013 GL63 AMG features a 5.5-liter biturbo V8 engine that produces a breath-taking 550 horsepower and 560 lb.-ft of torque and a raised top speed of 174mph as well as an AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission with the highefficiency ECO start/stop system.

The 2013 GL63 AMG features all the standard equipment of the generously-equipped GL550 as well as standard Driver Assistance Package, Panorama roof, designo interior and surround view camera. The GL63 AMG will start at $116,925 (excluding D&D) and goes on-sale during the first quarter of 2013.

Standard AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with AIRMATIC – air suspension, automatic level control and special shock absorber struts with ADS adaptive damping – works with an ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM that provides active stabilization of body lean. This AMG-designed system uses active front and rear stabilizer bars to reduce body lean during cornering.

The new GL63 boasts a special transfer case for the 4MATIC full-time four-wheel-drive system that distributes engine power 40:60 to the front and rear wheels. This rear-biased torque distribution helps provide the SUV with sports car handling as well as impressive allweather traction.

The GL63 AMG driver can choose between two suspension modes at the push of a button – Comfort or Sport. AMG electro-mechanical speed-sensitive steering features variable power assist, depending on the suspension setting. The new steering also helps save fuel, because it uses energy only when the steering wheel is being turned. In addition, the air suspension automatically lowers the body at higher speeds or when in Sport mode to improve aerodynamics and driving stability.

A Distinctive AMG Look

The GL63 AMG is fitted with flared fenders that increase body width by nearly two inches, which make room for 21-inch AMG alloy wheels shod with tires that are nearly 12 inches wide. Its special front apron features large air intakes and a border of LED daytime running lights in the side air intakes. Matte silver trim along the lower fascia and a gloss black grille complete the new look. “V8 BITURBO” badges are mounted on the front fenders, and aluminum-finish running boards under the doors are illuminated. The rear fender flares blend into an AMG rear apron which incorporates eye-catching matte silver chrome trim and two pairs of sport exhaust outlets.

In addition to AMG RIDE CONTROL, AIRMATIC, and the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM, standard safety equipment on the GL63 AMG includes ATTENTION ASSIST, Crosswind Stabilization, a 360-degree camera system and Bi-xenon headlights. Other standard equipment includes KEYLESS-GO, panorama sunroof, power EASY-ENTRY for the rear seats and a power tailgate.

The 2013 GL Lineup

The new high-performance GL63 AMG joins an award-winning GL-Class line of full-size sport utilities that also features the fuel-sipping GL350 BlueTEC (240 hp, 455 lb.-ft.) with a V6 turbodiesel. Between these two contrasting models are the popular GL450 (362 hp, 406 lb.- ft.) and GL550 (429 hp, 516 lb.-ft.), both equipped with new direct injection biturbo V8 engines.

Electromechanical Rack-And-Pinion Steering

All four GL models come with new electrically-assisted rack-and-pinion steering. Not only does the electric steering provide built-in speed-dependent power assist, but it also offers fuel savings. The engine no longer has to turn a hydraulic power steering pump, and the new steering only uses electrical power when the wheel is being turned. Mounted ahead of the front wheel center, the steering gear unit has a variable mechanical ratio that operates more directly, or slightly faster, in the center position, which enhances agility and handling.

Active Parking Assist with Surround View Camera

The electric steering assist also makes other innovative systems possible, such as Active Parking Assist (standard on the GL63 AMG and GL550, optional on other GL models), which makes parallel parking a stress-free cinch. Below about 20 mph, a “P” icon appears in the dash to show that an electronic search for a parking space is active, and whenever an adequate-size parking space is found, an arrow appears next to the “P” icon. When reverse is engaged and the driver confirms Active Parking Assist is desired, the system initiates automatic steering as the driver controls acceleration and braking at speeds below seven
mph.

ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM

Standard on the GL63 AMG and optional on other GL models, the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM (not to be confused with Active Curve Illumination) is a semi-active suspension that uses electronic sensors, an engine-driven hydraulic pump and electronically controlled hydraulic valves to reduce body lean. Instead of conventional torsional stabilizer bars at the front and rear, the stabilizer bars in the ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM are essentially split in the center and connected to rotary hydraulic actuators.

Whenever the vehicle is in a curve, the actuators counteract lateral pitching, reducing the natural tendency of the body to roll and lean in curves. Lower side forces means increased stability and driving pleasure, especially at high speeds, as well as less shifting of occupants.

ATTENTION ASSIST Cautions “Time For A Rest?”

Among the many life-saving features on the GL-Class is the innovative ATTENTION ASSIST system that can alert the driver to the first signs of drowsiness, a factor that causes more than 100,000 accidents a year in the U.S. A steering sensor is coupled to smart software that uses 70 parameters to establish a unique driver profile during the first 20 minutes of driving. Between 50 and 112 mph, the system identifies the erratic steering corrections drivers make as they begin to get drowsy and triggers an audible warning, and a “Time for a Rest?” message with a coffee cup icon appears in the instrument cluster.

More Safety Systems Assist the Driver

Other examples of trailblazing safety innovations include: Active Lane Keeping Assist, which alerts the driver by simulating rumble strip vibration in the steering wheel if the car drifts from its lane without the turn signals on. It operates at speeds above 37 mph via a system that recognizes lane markings, thanks to a small camera in the windshield and a computer that analyzes the video images. Active Lane Keeping Assist incorporates an intervention feature, in which ESP braking automatically helps correct the car’s course if the driver doesn’t heed the initial warning.

Active Blind Spot Assist monitors both blind spots behind and to the side of the vehicle. Whenever a turn signal is activated with a vehicle in the blind spot, the driver gets visual and audible warnings. Active Blind Spot Assist also incorporates the ESP intervention feature, which automatically helps correct the car’s course if the driver doesn’t heed the initial warning.

PRE-SAFE® Gives The GL-Class Reflexes to Protect Occupants

Standard on the new GL, PRE-SAFE® is a revolutionary safety system that can actually sense an impending collision before it happens and take measures to protect occupants during those valuable seconds before impact. The PRE-SAFE system automatically tightens the front seat belts before a possible impact, and, on some models, the front passenger seat moves to a position that can provide better protection. Side windows close to provide better support for the curtain air bags, and if the system senses an impending rollover, the sunroof also closes.

The Mercedes-Benz Alabama Plant

Along with the M-Class, the GL-Class sport utility vehicle is produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which began production in 1997 with the first-generation M-Class. The facility is in the midst of a $2.4 billion expansion to prepare for future products. Starting in 2014, the Tuscaloosa plant will also produce the successor generation of the
current C-Class for the North American market.

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