U.S. Dealer Spurs Speculation Surrounding 2013 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Ladies and gentlemen, start your rumor mill. The Internet was abuzz after a revised Mercedes-Benz G-Class “accidentally” appeared in a GLK press shot, but a U.S. dealer seems to have sparked even further speculation over forthcoming AMG-tuned G-Class models by way of a short press release.

The release, which was published across PR Newswire late Wednesday afternoon, was issued by Mercedes-Benz of New Orleans, a Benz dealer located on the in the suburb of Metairie, and at first glance, appears to confirm the addition of the long-rumored G63 and G65 AMG models to the 2013 G-Class lineup.

According to the release, the G55 AMG will be replaced with a new G63 model, which utilizes AMG’s 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, and should offer close to 536 hp. Conversely, the dealer also notes the G65 will pack a 6.0-liter V-12 good for 621 hp and 737 lb-ft of torque.

Predictably, several sites are pointing to this release this as official confirmation that both vehicles exist, and in some cases, confirmation that both models are destined for North America. However, the release strikes us as suspicious: information on both models is fairly limited, and largely echoes the speculation that has previously circulated online. Further, there’s no mention as to when a customer might be able to purchase a G63 or G65 from Mercedes-Benz of New Orleans – only that the dealership “sells a wide variety of new Mercedes and Smart models, as well as used cars.”

Attempts to gain comment from the dealership before our deadline proved unfruitful. A spokesperson from Mercedes-Benz USA – the outfit that actually handles importation and distribution of any and all Mercedes-Benz models in our country – was somewhat surprised to hear of the press release, but refrained from explicitly confirming or denying either vehicle. He did, however, indicate that the AMG brand will grow to 16 models by the end of 2012, and to 17 by the first quarter of 2013.

That seems to leave room for at least one AMG-tuned G-Class model here in the U.S. If one counts each bodystyle of the C63 (coupe, sedan, and Black Series), E63 (sedan and wagon), and SLS AMG (coupe and roadster) as individual models, AMG’s current North American portfolio consists of 15 vehicles. Add the recently announced SL65 AMG roadster, and that figure grows to 16, leaving room for yet another AMG-tuned model — perhaps one of the two G-Class models mentioned in the release.

Much as we’d love the insanity of a 12-cylinder G-Class, we think the safer bet – based on emissions and CAFE requirements — would be that the G63 – not the G65 – is the one model to make it to our shores. If so, the G65 could perhaps be targeted to wealthier corners of the globe with larger fuel reserves on tap.

As for the press release? If it was merely a ploy to get the Mercedes of New Orleans name out in the news cycle, then it’s time to hang a banner: the mission was indeed accomplished.

Source: PR Newswire