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Looking back to 1979, the world was a pretty different place. Bo and Luke Duke were jumping the General Lee across our TV screens, Rod Stewart was singing about being sexy (ew!), and Mercedes-Benz introduced the Gelandewagen off-roader. Today, only the G-Wagen’s still making news, thanks to an update that keeps it fresh for 2013.
Later this summer Mercedes-Benz will deliver updated versions of its perennially bad-ass SUV in the form of the 2013 G550 and G63 AMG. Both will receive minor styling tweaks to the iconic G-class box on the outside as well as inside, not to mention the latest highly-efficient performance V8 powerplants.
Exterior telltales come down to LED running lights and newly fashioned exterior mirrors on both models, with the signature two-slat grille and large bumper-mounted air intakes calling out the AMG version. Inside, a new instrument panel houses a modern instrument cluster with a full-color TFT display. A large color screen in the center of the dash functions as the nerve center for the COMAND infotainment system.
The G550 gets a mildly boosted version of the 5.5-liter naturally aspirated V8, making 388 (up from 382) horsepower and 391 lb-ft, mated to a standard seven-speed automatic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive. The G63 AMG also uses a 5.5-liter V8, but with a pair of turbochargers bolted on to produce a ground-shaking 544 horsepower and 560 lb-ft.
The 2013 Mercedes G-class goes on sale in August, giving us several months to ponder why Land Rover hasn’t figured out how to sell us a Defender 110 since 1993.