Nothing shouts excess quite like an AMG G-Class. Sure, you can spend several million more on a supercar or a hypercar, but there’s something about taking Mercedes-Benz’s utilitarian 4×4 and turning it into V8-powered, leather-trimmed rocketship that still boggles the mind.

In truth, we’re quite glad that this institution has survived the test of time, as proof that the automotive industry still has a sense of humour. It’s even better news that an Affalterbach-fettled version continues to be made even as the geländewagen enjoys its first roof-to-tyres makeover since it was introduced back in 1979. Say hello, then, to the new Mercedes-AMG G 63, which you can now buy for the princely sum of RM1,464,888.

Despite being an all-new model, the G-Class retains its trademark rough-hewn design, all flat sides and boxy arches. You still get an impossibly upright face that absolutely exudes road presence, what with its signature round headlights and a massive grille topped with the characteristic three-pointed star.

This effortless cool is ramped up even further on the AMG model, which gets even broader arches to fit the fat 22-inch cross-spoke alloy wheels. The trapezoidal AMG Panamericana grille has been rather controversial in its implementation across the range, but here it looks entirely appropriate, the shiny vertical slats looking like fangs that have been bared. And of course, who can forget the mean-looking side-exit exhausts?

While the period-correct exterior has been largely maintained, the interior is where you really see the car’s newness, the dashboard dominated by a flatscreen panel with twin 12.3-inch displays, plus 64-colour ambient lighting and turbine-style air vents. Classic touches remain, such as the passenger-side grab handle and large switches for all three locking differentials.

Those switches hint at the off-road prowess underneath, and true to its roots the new G-Class still uses a hardy body-on-frame construction, albeit one that is now 55% stiffer and up to 170 kg lighter than before. The suspension has been completely redesigned with the help of AMG itself, ditching the live front axle for double wishbones; while the solid axle remains at the rear, it now features a Panhard rod for better control.

A car this outlandish needs the firepower to back it up, and happily one of AMG’s famed hand-built engines can be found under the bonnet. It’s the latest 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8, and in this application it makes more torque than the flagship AMG GT R sports car – 585 hp at 6,000 rpm and a whopping 850 Nm from 2,500 to 3,500 rpm, sent through a nine-speed AMG Speedshift Plus automatic gearbox.

Stay tuned as our man Hafriz Shah tells you – in great detail – why he loves the G 63 so much in our video review, which will be coming soon. In the meantime, you can read our written review from France – an experience that has already earned it the top spot on this writer’s Top Five list last year.

Last but not least, a big thank you to our photographers at Driven Studios, Sherman Sim and Patrick Seow, for shooting the gorgeous photos that you see here.