Mercedes-Benz recently decided that its 33-year-old G-class was in need of a facelift. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-class needs to look its best for April’s Beijing Motor Show, and the German automaker wants to put its best grille forward when the military-grade consumer SUV goes on sale in Europe in June and by the end of 2012 in North America. One of the biggest surprises is that the new G65 AMG model will feature a beast of a V12 engine.
Redesigning the square
Mercedes-Benz’s G-class line is known for its square exterior, and while the 2013 model doesn’t break the mold, it does add stylistic touches. The front grille is restyled and the normal seven slats have been pared down to three more prominent ones. New headlamp inserts, new horizontal LED running lights and mirror housings contribute to a greater sense of style and function. Altered tail lamp graphics and alloy wheels seen in spy photos of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-class prototype indicate that the automaker is thinking out of the box.
The G-class facelift will reportedly not change the two wheelbases Mercedes-Benz offers for the line, 94.5 inches standard and 112.2 inches in long form.
Standard and not-so-standard
While none of the leaked details regarding the engine of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-class line of SUVs have been officially confirmed by the automaker, the automotive press has confirmed with anonymous inside sources that the standard G-class engines will remain the same in the 2013 model year. That means that the 383 hp, naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V8 would return, as would the 208 hp, 3.0-liter V6 diesel for the European market.
Reaching into the more exclusive end of the G-class lineup, the G55 AMG’s 500 hp supercharged 5.4-liter V8 will be replaced by a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 with 536 hp. That engine will appear in the new G63 AMG. The big news when it comes to Mercedes-Benz G-class engines is the G65 AMG. It will reportedly run the same kind of twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 that was recently confirmed for the SL65 AMG. This will make the G65 AMG the first G-class model with V12 power. With 621 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque, sources claim the 5,500-pound-plus G65 AMG will go 0 to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph.
Fuel savings for the road
All 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-class models will feature a seven-speed 7G-tronic gearbox that will translate into fuel savings over the old 5G-Tronic unit that had been in place since 1979. According to Autoweek, this new gearbox will also offer automatic stop/start with brake energy recovery in the G63 AMG model.
Newly designed controls at your fingertips
A fresh instrument cluster design borrowed from the the third-generation M-class line will feature prominently in the new G-class. A 4.5-inch color touchscreen will serve as the consumer’s interface for a variety of Internet-based functions.