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Newly-redesigned 2005 ML coming in many engine configurations. A tempting slightly modified 500HP+ AMG ML63 version (Stock ~465HP) will be here to play in the German HP wars.

http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=101205

"New four-valve-per-cylinder engines will supplant Mercedes’ three-valve-per-cylinder V6 and V8 gasoline engines. All boast continuously variable camshaft timing to wield more power and torque. North American sales kick off next year with the ML350 using the new four-valve 3.5-liter V6 with 272 hp. At first it will be joined in the lineup by the existing three-valve 5.0-liter, 292-hp V8 in the ML500; however, Mercedes will replace this engine with the four-valve 4.6-liter V8 making 325 hp in a new mid-range ML450. A level higher will be a four-valve 5.5-liter V8 packing an impressive 410 hp in an ML550.

Crowning the lineup will be the ML63 AMG. Planned for introduction at the Frankfurt motor show in September 2005, the ML63 will be one of the first Mercedes models with AMG’s normally aspirated, four-valve 6.3-liter V8 engine. Conceived as a replacement for today’s three-valve 5.4-liter V8, in the ML63 the 6.3-liter is likely to make about 465 hp, say Stuttgart insiders."
 

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The current MLs are behind in quality, technology and ergonomics even by the Mercedes' standard compared to any of their passenger vehicles. You know the old , cheap ladder frame, too much plastics, etc. The only ML ever worth the name of Mercedes was the 2002+ ML55 AMGs which I owned. Still, I don't hesitate to say that other than exclusivity, great V-8 NA, and beautiful NAPPA leather everywhere, the FX45 is still a much better vehicle all-around. Now the new MLs may actually be class-leading in luxury as they should be for the price and brand, not to mention highly competitive in performance.
 

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I saw a black one driving up 3rd avenue on Sunday. It was covered heavily in black vinyl. The only reason I took notice was because I couldnt recognize the headlights. The headlights (on) looked very aggressive, much like the FX's. Overall size of the car was close to the FX. It does have a much more aggressive stance and an overall sportier look than the current ML.... cant comment on much else because it was all taped up.
 

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I saw that piece in Autoweek and paid no attention...so much for grab you styling!
 

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still looks like a minivan...even more like a minivan in fact

im sure its really luxurious, but when you are performance oriented like me, you cant beat the looks and drive of the FX
 

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Seeing quite a few of these on the streets now. I couldn't really tell from the pics, but in person, the ML grill looks like a cheap rip-off of the FX's.
 

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Finally got a closeup look last week.

It looks better than it did. Visually they've done things with the cladding and some of the other lines to make it appear that it's dropped in the front and raised in the back.

Still it's a sheep in Wolf's clothing.
 

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New MLs look better than before but still too blendy. I like its interior better. Maybe AMG version would attract FXers more.
 
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