Talk to anyone at AMG, and he will tell you the target vehicle for the ML63 AMG is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Forget other sporty utes such as the Range Rover Sport, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8, or the BMW X5 4.8is: AMG focused on one truck, and one truck alone. The ML63 was even developed on the fearsome Nordschleife of the Nürburgring, where it laps the 12.9-mile circuit in "about 8 minutes, 40 seconds." Not so long ago, that was a good Porsche 911 time.
6.2-liter naturally aspirated V-8
The heart of the ML63 is, like every product that comes out of Mercedes-Benz's wholly owned tuning subsidiary in Affalterbach, the engine. In this case, it's a 6.2-liter V-8 that is the first engine to be designed and built by AMG, rather than being a tuned Mercedes unit. The engine features a bedplate construction, wherein the crankcase is split at the crankshaft center line, as well as four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, a variable intake manifold, and twin-wire-arc-sprayed cylinder bores, a new process that results in running surfaces for the pistons that are twice as hard as conventional cast-iron liners. The upshot is an engine that makes 503 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque — numbers that, coincidentally (or not), better those of the 5.0-liter V-10 used by arch-rival BMW's M division in the M5 sedan and M6 coupe.