2016 Mercedes Benz G-Class boosts power and handling

By Bob Nagy on May 4, 2015 11:14 AM

Having shown the new range-topping 2016 Mercedes-AMG G65 last month in New York, Mercedes has now announced changes on the rest of the G-Class lineup. In the U.S., that will consist of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz G550 and the Mercedes-AMG G63. 

While cosmetic changes to the 2016 G550 - sold elsewhere as the G500 - are confined to new bumper treatments, body-colored AMG flared wheel arches and new exterior colors, the real news is what's under that G-Wagen's iconic angular bodywork. For openers, the current 5.5-liter/382-horsepower naturally aspirated V8 in the G550 gives way to the new Mercedes-AMG 4.0-liter twin-turbo 8-cylinder used in the Mercedes-AMG GT and Mercedes-AMG C63.

More performance, better efficiency

For G550 duty, this new force-fed motivator cranks out 416 horses and raises torque output from 391 to 450 lb-ft. In addition to that added muscle, the engine boasts numerous new high-tech touches - including an advanced piezo direct injection system, friction-reducing Nanoslide technology and ECO stop/start circuitry -- which increases fuel efficiency. Although the 2016 Mercedes-AMG G63 will continue to pack the 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8, the pony count has been bumped from 536 to 563 while the peak torque remains at a healthy 560 lb-ft. Here too, focused tweaks and the start/stop upgrade promise to up the mpg stats. 

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To elevate the dynamic character of the 2016 G550, Mercedes engineers retuned its basic chassis bits to deliver a more controlled but more comfortable ride. They also revised the ESP/ASR stability/traction control programming as well as the ABS braking system to improve traction and shorten stopping distances. The 2016 G550's option roster has been expanded to include a new adaptive damping that incorporates Sport and Comfort settings. M-B says it will reduce body roll in corners while providing "significantly more agile on-road performance in Sport mode."

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The 2016 Mercedes-Benz G550 and Mercedes-AMG G63 arrive here this November along with the range-topping V12-powered G65 model. Pricing, packaging and EPA stats for these two V8 G-Class models will be announced closer to the on-sale date. 

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