Destined for Obscurity - Mercedes R63 AMG
When it comes to Mercedes AMG cars, does it get any more random than this?
Cast your mind back to 2006, a time when SUV's were uncool, boybands were still cool and if you needed a vehicle to carry people, you bought an MPV. But what if you wanted to ferry the family around in something premium, stylish and powered by one of the greatest engines ever made? Enter the Mercedes R63 AMG.
Mercedes built the R Class to corner the upmarket MPV sector, which by the way didn't exist. Marketed as an alternative to an SUV, it claimed to blend the space of an SUV with the driving dynamics of an Estate car. AMG for some unknown reason decided to enhance those dynamics in the most AMG way ever.
The mid 2000s AMG engine of choice was the spectacular M156 6.2 litre V8. A thunderous lump of German muscle that defied a generation of AMG. By shoehorning a 510hp variant into the R Class it became the fastest mpv ever, with 0-62mph dispatched in 5.0 seconds and a delimited top speed north of 180mph.
Critics loved it, enthusiasts loved it, but no one, literally no one bought them. Around 200 were produced and the R63 was culled after just 1 year. Why? Well it was expensive (£74,115), had woeful MPG (17.3 combined) and the Co2. ahem 387 g/km, (that's more than most period supercars).
As a used car they're expensive to run and good luck trying to sell it on again, they rarely come up for sale and they don't make great money, they're a niche of a niche. Something we're never going to see again, but give it 10 years and I reckon this is a future collector car. Its a piece of historical automotive commentary, from a time when someone thought the world needed a 6.2 V8 MPV.