Isn't it nice to be Mercedes-Benz? With oil near $140 a barrel, most of us are focusing on practical matters, like getting more miles out of an old pair of New Balance walking shoes. In Stuttgart, they've fretted for months wondering if 507 horsepower is enough for the 2009 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG.
Designed originally for the Shah of Iran's military, the G-Class is fast enough to impress, we think, the tie-less enigma that is Iran's current president. For the new model year, it's not just the upgrade to 507 horsepower that makes the G55 something new and hot (trivia quiz: it was 500 horsepower last year).There's also the 0-60 mph time of 5.5 seconds, and a better controller for the stability control system. Hill descent control's included, too.
The grille's been tweaked, and new 19-inch lightweight wheels are obvious from these pictures, right? Inside, the G55 AMG wears new "designo" leather upholstery and wood and leather trim, along with a dark grey Alcantara headliner. Techno buffs will applaud the upgraded COMAND system, which now has voice control of the navigation, audio, and cell phone functions, along with a 4GB resident memory for music, an SD slot for others to bring the noise, and a USB port that accepts jump drives and iPods alike.