New Mercedes SUV set for 2012
Mercedes has unveiled a brand new performance SUV called the ML 63 AMG.
Essentially aimed at a very niche market, the new Mercedes SUV is set make its debut in spring 2012.
Due to the niche market nature of this model, there aren't many models that can say they are 'performance based SUVs'.
However, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and BMW X5M both currently match premium with performance in the segment. These models will be the main competition for the Mercedes ML 63 AMG.
So what is the Mercedes ML 63 AMG?
It is a powerful SUV with a 5.5-litre V8 biturbo petrol engine which delivers 518bhp and a 0-62mph capability of 4.8 seconds. This engine gives it a top speed of 155mph.
This power output of 518hp can be upgraded to 549hp as an optional extra, but as always it's going to cost you.
The new Mercedes SUV has some new hi-tech mechanics which includes automatic double-clutch transmission and active roll stabilisation - all designed to improve performance of the powerful new model.
In terms of premium interior feel it includes standard features like heated leather sport seats, Bluetooth and a colour monitor display.
As CO2 emissions go, the Mercedes does not impress with emissions of 276g/km and miles per gallon figures of just 23.9mpg. But let's be honest, if you set out to buy a performance SUV, which will cost about £80,000, you're hardly going to be bothered about emissions.
How will it compete against the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and BMW X5M?
The fact is, the Mercedes and its competitors are performance SUVs, and therefore power and style is everything.
When it comes to pure power the 518hp Mercedes is more powerful than the 500hp Porsche but less powerful than the 547hp BMW. The Mercedes is however more powerful than the BMW with its upgraded power output of 549hp, but as mentioned earlier this is not standard and will cost you.
Acceleration wise the Mercedes does 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds, the Porsche does it in 4.7 seconds and the BMW also does it in 4.7 seconds. Although the Porsche and BMW beat it here, it's hardly a difference worth commenting on.
However when it comes to top speed the Porsche shines with its 171mph which beats both the Mercedes and BMW's top speed of 155mph - if you can find somewhere legal to do it.
Exterior styling of all three models isn't identical but adapts a similar sporty aerodynamic look all the same. Each of the models have very desirable looking body shapes and defining which one is the best would totally be down to your own personal preference.
Even though things like mileage aren't essential to these models it is still worth keeping in mind that out of the three the Porsche has the best, but just barely.
What about price comparability?
Prices for the Mercedes ML 63 AMG have not yet been announced but are expected to be around the £80,000 mark. The BMW X5M starts from £80,795 and the Porsche Cayenne Turbo starts from £86,896.
It is quite close when it comes to price, although the Porsche is obviously more expensive. The fact that the prices for the Mercedes have not yet been announced may cause a problem when deciding which one to buy.
However, if priced close to the BMW X5M, it could be an interesting battle between three premium car makers used to trying to get one up on each other.