Go-fast grocery-getter: Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG 4MATIC

Beause there's no such thing as too much power, regardless of vehicle type (see G55 AMG), Mercedes has unleashed their AMG minions on the swanky R-Class MPV (yes, that's what it is). For moms and dads who can foot the bill, the R63 AMG 4MATIC all but ensures that late arrivals to soccer practice will be a thing of the past. And when it's over, the 510-horse R63 is all but a lock to get the holeshot in the mad dash to exit the school parking lot. (If one of the other parents happens to have a Cayenne Turbo S, you may have to put some effort into it.)

By now, the AMG storyline is well-known: more power, more tech, sportier looks, sportier interior. The R63 is no different. In addition to AMG's 6.2L normally-aspirated V8, it gets extra traction thanks to Mercedes' 4MATIC permanent AWD system and improved ride courtesy of an AMG-specific AIRMATIC suspension. Outside, all the AMG body mods you've come to expect are right where they should be, and 20" alloys take up residence in the wheel wells. Numerous AMG upgrades give the interior a different look and feel. The car's AMG Menu display in the instrument cluster comes equipped with the company's RACETIMER, which allows the driver to record lap times on a closed circuit. In this case, we hope that "closed circuit" means "route to and from the supermarket," otherwise, it'll likely be one of the most underutilized accessories ever. As capable as it is, we don't see the R63 being a track-day fixture.

Naturally, the car can be pimped even further with optional gadgetry like in-car DVD entertainment, reverse camera, iPod compatibility, navigation, panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlamps, and more. If you want it, it's pretty much available.

In the R63 AMG, high style, high performance, and high price (not announced yet) converge to create one of the more unlikely performance vehicles you'll see on the road. Even if the styling doesn't work for you, the performance credentials are not up for debate. MPVs with a 5-second 0-62 time aren't exactly commonplace, and we're betting that this one's pertty fun to take out on errands.

(More pics and MB's detailed press release after the jump)

[Source: Mercedes-Benz]



R 63 AMG 4MATIC: New combination of dynamism, power and comfort

* 6.3-litre V8 engine with 375 kW/510 hp and 630 Nm of torque

* Acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 5.0 seconds

* 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic with AMG SPEEDSHIFT

* High-performance AMG braking system and AIRMATIC air suspension

* Striking appearance with AMG bodystyling; exclusive range of standard equipment

Stuttgart, Aug 02, 2006
The new R 63 AMG 4MATIC offers sporty driving pleasure, a spacious interior and first-class comfort for up to six people in an unparalleled combination. This particularly dynamic interpretation of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class is powered by the new AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine. In the R 63 AMG 4MATIC, Mercedes-AMG once again demonstrates its expertise in designing unique high-performance cars.

The 4+2-seater is a dynamically sporty trendsetter, featuring cutting-edge technology, an avantgarde look and a sumptuous interior, offering a high level of versatility (load capacity of up to 2385 litres in the long-wheelbase version), exemplary safety, comfort and a high-class appearance. The R 63 AMG 4MATIC thus meets the wishes of today's leisure-orientated individuals looking for a car that is both versatile and agile.

A newly developed, high-displacement AMG eight-cylinder engine with 375 kW/510 hp and 630 Nm ensures drivers will enjoy excellent performance and a dynamic ride. The short-wheelbase R 63 AMG 4MATIC accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.0 seconds (R 63 AMG 4MATIC long: 5.1 s.); the vehicle's top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.

Thanks to its large displacement of 6208 cc, the AMG V8 provides around 20 percent more torque than other naturally aspirated engines in this performance class. The unique combination of a high-revving design and a large engine displacement brings together the best of two worlds: excitingly high engine speeds and at the same time powerful torque at low engine speeds. A high level of agility and dynamic responsiveness at all engine speeds brings home to the driver of the R 63 AMG 4MATIC the emphatically sporty character of the new AMG V8 engine.

Aluminium V8 naturally aspirated engine packed with racing technology

Manufactured completely out of high-strength aluminium, the AMG V8 naturally aspirated engine features a number of technologies borrowed from motor sports, thus impressively documenting the motor racing tradition of AMG. The vertical arrangement of the intake and exhaust ducts as well as the use of a new variable intake manifold with two integrated throttle valves ensures that the cylinders are optimally charged. Bucket tappets in the cylinder heads permit a stiff valve train and therefore high engine speeds.

Variably adjustable camshafts, a particularly rigid closed-deck crankcase and cylinder bores with the revolutionary new TWAS coating are just some of the other prominent features of the cutting-edge V8 engine made by Mercedes-AMG. The electronically controlled fuel supply system with newly developed components operates at a pressure of 3.8 to 5.0 bar depending on requirements. The fuel pressure adapts immediately to the desired performance level and external temperature. Following a command from the accelerator pedal, it takes just milliseconds for the vehicle electronics to adjust the pressure accordingly. This control system guarantees a spontaneous response and sporty thrust at any engine speed and load range.

Patented oil and water cooling system with its own heat exchanger

The cooling system of the R 63 AMG 4MATIC was completely redesigned as well. A high-performance water cooler ensures effective cooling in all driving situations. Large-sized engine and transmission oil coolers help effectively cool the relevant lubricants. In addition, a technology that Mercedes-AMG has registered for a patent ensures the system is as efficient as possible. Through the intelligent interconnection of the water and oil cycles, the performance of the two systems can be coordinated in a variable manner. At the heart of the system is a direct current heat exchanger that connects the two circuits to each other. When the engine oil temperature rises dramatically under extreme operating conditions (such as during dynamic driving on a mountain pass), the engine's electronic control system activates an auxiliary water pump to increase the throughput rate of the coolant in the heat exchanger. The difference in the temperature of the engine oil and the coolant water forcibly reduces the temperature of the motor oil in the overall system. At high external temperatures, the water cooler is assisted by a large 850-watt suction-type fan regulated by back-pressure valves.

AMG sports exhaust system with enlarged pipe diameters

When accelerating, the driver of the R 63 AMG 4MATIC hears the thrilling sound produced by the vehicle's high-revving design and the enormous power of the eight-cylinder naturally aspirated engine. At the same time, the sports powertrain with its smooth running characteristics ensures motorists can enjoy the kind of relaxed cruising typical of a Mercedes. To meet these demands, AMG has developed a completely new sports exhaust system which, along with sophisticated engine technology, guarantees that the exhaust gas is purified effectively. As a result, the new AMG high-performance car complies with both the EU4 standard and the even more stringent US limits that are either already in effect or will be implemented in the future.

A major contribution to efficient exhaust gas treatment is provided by the fully adjustable camshafts. The AMG engineers used a trick known as valve overlap to achieve two goals; the decreased losses from the gas cycle processes help reduce both the engine-out emissions in the exhaust gas and the fuel consumption. The secondary air injection puts the exhaust gases through an afterburning process which, in turn, generates higher exhaust gas temperatures that help support the heating process. This intricate system helps reduce the amount of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons in the exhaust. The composition of the mixture is continuously monitored by oxygen sensors, which transmit the data to a computer that readjusts the mixture.

Sophisticated exhaust gas technology with four ceramic catalytic converters

The AMG V8 engine in the R 63 AMG 4MATIC is also equipped with an appropriate oxygen sensor control system. The system can precisely regulate the composition of the intake mixture under all operating conditions, so that the catalytic converters will not be damaged. This approach also boosts fuel efficiency under full load, because the mixture is not as rich as in engines lacking this intelligent control system. Four oxygen sensors are used to monitor and regulate the exhaust gas system. The two front sensors ensure the engine remains in an optimal control range, while the two sensors downstream of the catalytic converters are responsible for the process known as On-Board Diagnosis II.

The exhaust gas treatment process commences in the air-gap-insulated manifolds with walls only 1.0 millimetre thick. As a result, the exhaust gas temperature can reach 280 °C only ten seconds after a cold-start - a precondition for the fast activation of the close-coupled bulkhead catalytic converters. All of the four ceramic catalytic converters are equipped with thin-wall substrates. Thanks to their large surfaces, they not only provide optimum conditions for effective exhaust gas purification, they also help boost performance because of their low exhaust gas backpressure. This process is also assisted by large exhaust pipes with diameters of up to 70 millimetres. The two sets of chromed, oval twin tailpipes in the AMG sports exhaust system serve as a striking feature whose appearance and sound are unmistakeable.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission with steering-wheel controls

Power is transmitted in the exclusive R-Class flagship model by an AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission and a DIRECT SELECT gearshift lever close to the steering wheel. The seven gears can be shifted by means of buttons on the AMG ergonomic sports steering wheel. Three driving programs specially tailored to the sporty power delivery of the AMG V8 engine allow the driver to take full advantage of the output available. Accessible via a switch in the centre console, the driving programs "S" (Sport), "C" (Comfort) and "M" (Manual) each have different gearshift characteristics. Gear-changing time in "S" mode is about 30 percent faster than in "C" mode - and in "M" mode it's up to around 50 percent quicker. If manual mode ("M") is selected, the driver also benefits from the V8 engine's immense pulling power, since automatic downshifts are prevented, even at full load or when the kickdown position is reached. In other words, the driver can be sure that the selected gear will remain engaged. Selecting manual mode also prevents AMG SPEEDSHIFT from performing an automatic upshift when the engine speed limit for a particular gear is reached, thus enabling sportier drivers to make the most of the considerable power at their disposal.

Permanent all-wheel drive with asymmetrical power distribution

The permanently engaged all-wheel drive of the R 63 AMG 4MATIC was also designed to be emphatically sporty. In the interest of maximum agility and cornering dynamics, the power of the AMG V8 engine is distributed asymmetrically to the front and rear axles at a ratio of 40 : 60 respectively. The newly developed transfer case of the permanently engaged four-wheel drive is flanged directly to the 7G-TRONIC transmission. Drive shafts transfer the engine's power to the front and rear differentials, while a bevel differential is responsible for governing the speed in the axles.

A strengthened powertrain guarantees optimum power transmission and typical Mercedes reliability. The front hub carriers, wheel bearings and lower supporting ball joints were made larger. At the rear axle, strengthened components were used for the wheel flanges, the drive shaft joints and the differential cage.

Traction control in the R 63 AMG 4MATIC is taken care of by the proven electronic traction system 4ETS, which now provides additional functions that make it even more capable than before. 4ETS controls the distribution of the drive torque by applying brief braking forces. To do so, 4ETS uses the wheel sensors of the ABS system. Should these sensors, which detect the rotational speed of the wheels, report that one or more wheels are suffering from tyre slip, they are automatically braked. At the same moment, the distribution of power changes: The drive torque at the wheels with good traction increases to the same degree that the spinning wheels are braked, so that the vehicle can continue to move on loose or slippery road surfaces.

Newly developed AMG sports suspension based on AIRMATIC package

In addition to making it possible to take bends at high speeds, the AMG sports suspension based on the AIRMATIC package provides precise steering response, low body roll and, simultaneously, a high comfort level during long-distance trips. The air suspension has AMG-specific spring struts and the newly retuned ADS Adaptive Damping System. Both the suspension and the shock absorbers have been significantly stiffened. In addition, changed characteristics for the three stages of the AMG shock absorbers mean that body movements are reduced. The torsion bar stabiliser on the front axle has been made larger to reduce body roll when taking bends at higher speeds.

The system reacts to the speed of the vehicle and automatically lowers the body by five millimetres at speeds above 140 km/h, to the "Comfort" mode. This also reduces wind resistance and improves driving stability. When the vehicle is slowed to 70 km/h, the body is raised to its normal level. In the "Auto" and "Sport" modes, the level of the body is generally lowered by five and 12 millimetres respectively from the level of the "Comfort" mode.

Another feature of the air suspension system is the automatic all-round level control, which ensures that the spring travel remains constant, even under heavy loads. To provide sufficient ground clearance when needed, the level of the body can be raised at the push of a button by as much as 50 millimetres, depending on the mode set.

Adaptive Damping System compensates rolling and pitching movements

The AMG sports suspension works with the ADS Adaptive Damping System. ADS continuously controls the damper forces as needed in accordance with the road surface, the driving style and the payload on board. Adjustable solenoid valves in the dampers make it possible to adjust the compression and rebound as appropriate to the situation, which significantly reduces the movements of the body.

Speed-sensitive power steering system with variable servo power

Thanks to its direct steering, the vehicle's standard-fitted speed-sensitive power steering system ensures precise handling in all driving situations. At speeds below 100 km/h, power assistance is automatically increased to reduce the amount of steering effort required. Above this threshold, power assistance decreases, which helps to ensure optimal contact with the road. A newly developed and enhanced cooling unit for the steering system guarantees that the power steering functions reliably even under the most demanding conditions. The cooling unit is installed behind the AMG front apron and is integrated into the cooling package to save space.

20-inch AMG light alloy wheels and AMG high-performance braking system

The car is shod with five-spoke, 20-inch AMG light-alloy wheels, 8.5 inches wide. Equipped with wide 265/45 R 20 tyres all around, the wheel/tyre combination not only makes for a brawny appearance but also ensures optimum contact with the road surface. As an option, AMG offers 21-inch AMG light-alloy wheels painted in sterling silver and the five-spoke design with wide 265/40 R 21 tyres. The new AMG high-performance braking system minimises stopping distances, ensures optimal sensitivity and ensures high resistance to fading. Internally ventilated and perforated brake discs (390 x 36 millimetres in the front and 365 x 26 millimetres in the rear) ensure the shortest braking distances and the best possible heat resistance.

All of the dynamic handling control systems, such as the Electronic Stability Program (ESP®), 4ETS, ASR and Brake Assist, have been newly configured with the R 63 AMG 4MATIC's outstanding driving dynamics in mind. The ESP®-based tyre pressure loss warning system is standard equipment. If pressure loss is detected in a tyre, the warning "Tyre pressure, check tyres" appears in the central display.

Exterior and interior featuring typical AMG exclusiveness

Sporty AMG bodystyling sets the tone for the powerful design of the high-performance AMG vehicle. The redesigned front apron with its pronounced arrow shape and large cooling apertures makes a lasting impression. This feature is complemented by the AMG rear apron with a black insert and the impressive AMG sports exhaust system with two sets of chromed oval twin tailpipes. The tinted tail lights lend a sporty look that expresses pure dynamism, and the "6.3 AMG" lettering on the front wings announces the dynamic qualities of the R 63 AMG 4MATIC loud and clear.

The vehicle's interior is impressive thanks to its roominess, high level of versatility and flexibility, exclusive appointments and top-class feel. Standard equipment includes fine nappa leather - in a choice of black, alpaca grey or cashmere beige - on all six seats, the armrests and handles in the doors, the front armrest and the armrest of the optional rear centre console. In addition to featuring a multicontour function and seat heating, exclusive AMG upholstery piping layout, AMG logo and colour-coordinated double top-stitched seams, the AMG sports seats in the front have more pronounced contouring and Alcantara inserts at shoulder level - two features that ensure excellent lateral support when taking bends at higher speeds. The second and third row of seats also come with Alcantara inserts.

AMG main menu with RACETIMER fitted as standard

The ergonomic, leather-covered AMG sports steering wheel features gearshift buttons, a more heavily contoured rim including moulded thumbrests, and leather-covered lower steering wheel spokes. The car's dynamic, sporty character is also expressed by the AMG door sill panels, stainless steel sports pedals with rubber studs, and the AMG instrument cluster with its distinctive lettering, red needles, 320 km/h speedometer scale and aluminium panel with the AMG logo.

A very special feature of the R 63 AMG 4MATIC is the AMG main menu display in the instrument cluster: The menu shows the selected gear including an upshift prompt in the manual ("M") mode, as well as either the engine oil temperature or battery voltage and the RACETIMER. This new function enables the driver to record lap times on an enclosed circuit. RACETIMER also stores the time of the fastest lap, the average and top speeds as well as the lap distance.

Other standard equipment features of the R 63 AMG 4MATIC are black aluminium trim and windscreen wipers with a rain sensor. Optional extras include:

* Bi-xenon headlamps with active cornering light function, headlamp cleaning system, dynamic headlight range adjustment, and cornering lights with integrated fog lamp function
* COMAND APS with DVD navigation system
* Crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints in the first row of seats
* DISTRONIC proximity control system
* EASY-PACK SYSTEM for cargo space management
* Entertainment system in the rear, with DVD player and video screens in the second row of seats
* iPod® Interface Kit
* Multi-zone THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control
* Panoramic sliding sunroof
* Reversing camera
* Surround sound system
* Trailer coupling with removable ball neck

Safety systems that meet the high Mercedes standards

The R 63 AMG 4MATIC also meets the highest standards when it comes to Passive Safety systems. In combination with outstanding restraint systems that adapt themselves to the accident situation, the vehicle's cleverly designed body structure ensures that occupants enjoy the very best in crash protection. Standard equipment here includes adaptive two-stage airbags for the driver and the front passenger, front sidebags and windowbags, a child seat recognition system for the front passenger seat, and belt tensioners and belt force limiters for all seats. The PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system, winner of a number of awards, is available as an option.

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