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First look: R-class gets AMG muscle

Family strength: With 375kW and 630Nm on tap, the Vision R63 AMG can catapult six people to 100km/h in a claimed five seconds.

Benz to unveil R63 AMG concept alongside ML63 hyper-SUV at Frankfurt

8 Sep 2005

MERCEDES-BENZ may well shudder at the suggestion its Vision R63 AMG is the world’s wildest people-mover, but that’s exactly what its latest concept will constitute when it debuts at Frankfurt next week.

Yes, Benz has given its forthcoming R-class six-seater (not due on sale here in mid-2006) the same AMG treatment that will grace the second-generation M-class launched here last week.

However, while the Vision R63 AMG is a near-production concept, it will debut at Frankfurt alongside the production ML63 AMG five-seater SUV.

Both are powered by AMG’s bristling new naturally-aspirated 6.3-litre V8, which produces 375kW and a stonking 630Nm of torque – up from the 255kW/510Nm outputs of the outgoing ML55 AMG.

Combined with an AMG Speedshift auto, a permanent AWD system with ML-style

4 center image 40/60 front/rear torque distribution and Airmatic suspension with adaptive damping, it’s enough to propel the Vision R AMG to 100km/h in a claimed five seconds.

The high-performance people-mover is based on the long-wheelbase, 5.2-metre-long version of Benz’s new R-class, while the short-wheelbase R will make its production debut at Frankfurt.

Benz says a number of items from the concept will make in into production, including front and rear bumpers, bi-Xenon headlights with titanium-coated reflectors and twin chromed tailpipes.

The jury is still out on the 21-inch five-spoke alloys with 265/40-section rubber, however.

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