• Ahead of the 2018 launch of the new G-Class, Mercedes-AMG releases two limited edition versions of the current model

  • A unique grey finish and new interior style separate them from the purely functional standard models

  • A fitting send-off for the purest luxury SUV ever built

Luxury SUVs seem to be the car of the moment, with more and more cropping up to put their ten-cents (or litre) into the ring. The Mercedes AMG G-Class scoffs at them all. It’s hard not to when, in a world of halfway houses that don’t know what ‘sports utility’ actually means, you tower over them, bigger, better and far, far more utilitarian.

The current version of the G-Class however might not have all that longer to live. It might be the all-terrain car to beat all others, but even it has a life-span which, with all these pretenders cropping up everywhere, isn’t all that long.

Don’t worry though! There will be no G-shaped hole in your life as, come the Detroit Motor Show next year, you’ll probably have a new, lighter, more powerful edition of AMG’s phenomenal 4X4 to feel superior from.

In the meantime, though, the G63 and G65 deserve a proper send-off. They’ve been working hard their entire lives, it’s about time to give them a little bit of pomp and ceremony for their trouble – hence the G-Class Exclusive Editions.

First off it has to be said that performance-wise, these models are exactly the same as the previous. It might be a bit of a disappointment, but I for one am happy that AMG have spent more of their time developing the replacement than re-hashing old ground.

It’s not like the pair were particularly lacking either. The G63 is powered by a twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 producing 563bhp and 560lb ft. of torque (something more important in an all-terrain vehicle than anywhere else), while the G65 runs a twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 with 621bhp and 737lb ft. They are still military grade off-roaders and without a complete overhaul don’t really need to be touched.

Looks-wise though, there’s always room for improvement, especially on something so purely functional as the G-Class. The original would look at home being chased by a T-Rex in a defective theme park and to be honest so would the Exclusive Edition. The only difference is that you’d want even less to be caught; teeth marks would ruin that lovely finish.

‘Grey’ might not be the kind of unique finish you expect from a limited-edition AMG, but in the case of the G-Class it works. Part of that is what it works with: a stainless-steel kick plate integrated into the bumper, AMG racing stripes and dark aluminium protective covers. It gives the whole thing a look bordering on the militaristic, serious yes but incredibly cool as well.

Inside, things are more luxurious than other G-Class models. The sports seats are covered in diamond-quilted two-tone leather, as is the dashboard and pretty much every other surface. You might not get much choice in exterior styling, but with six different choices on the inside at least here you can give it a splash of colour. Given the grey, brighter may well be better here. If you did want to keep the stealth look though, you can also get carbon fibre or black piano lacquer trims.

It’s not the most spectacular limited edition ever released but then that would be at odds with what the G-Class is. The car has always been a militaristic, utterly functional four-wheel beast. These limited editions take that to the extreme. The 2018 version has a lot to live up to.

Words by: Sam Kessler