Merc’s released details of its uber-sporty GL 63 AMG to take S-Class comfort off the beaten track, but sees performance bolstered by the use of a 5.5-litre V8 biturbo. Image galleryThe GL 63 AMG is the latest performance offering presented by Mercedes-Benz and promises – along with potent power and driving dynamics – an exhaustive range of equipment and space for up to seven people. Ola Källenius, chairman of Mercedes-AMG, said: "The new GL 63 AMG completes our performance-orientated all-wheel drive offering. In addition to the ML 63 AMG all-rounder and the recently unveiled, characterful G 63 AMG and G 65 AMG models, the GL 63 AMG places particular emphasis on dynamism and style. "Combining the first-rate comfort of the S-Class with the performance of an AMG sports saloon, the GL 63 AMG is unique in its segment.”CRACKING POWERAt the heart of this GL is an AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo using spray-guided direct petrol injection, an all-aluminium crankcase, variable camshaft adjustment, alternator management and Eco start/stop. The V8 has 410kW from 5250 to 5750rpm and 760Nm from 2000 to 5000rpm on tap and, while its top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h, it can streak from 0-100km/h in a startling 4.9 seconds. It consumes fuel at an average of 12.3 litres/100km and emits 288g/km of CO2. Power is transmitted to all four wheels via an AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic transmission with three driving modes and an automatic double-declutching function for sportier downshifts. It is complemented by AMG’s Ride Control sports suspension with a roll stabilisation function, air suspension, special damper struts and an adaptive damping system to provide top driving dynamics, despite the GL’s size and ride height. TAKE YOUR PICKThe driver is able to choose between three suspension modes – “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport Plus” – although the speed-sensitive air suspension lowers the GL’s body at higher speeds to increase stability and reduce drag. Of course, essentially being a sports car masquerading as an SUV, this GL comes with the requisite AMG features that include peed-sensitive sports steering, high-performance braking and athletic styling elements. Similarly, the sumptuous leather-clad cabin features AMG sports seats, a four-spoked, flat-bottomed steering wheel and sport pedals with rubber studs.Safety features, as expected, include active parking assist, attention assist, collision prevention, an intelligent light system with a new off-road function, crosswind assist, a 360-degree camera, active lane keeping and blind spot assist, and trailer coupling with electric unlocking. The Mercedes-Benz GL 63 AMG is scheduled for its European launch from November 2012.