• G550 swaps V8 for inline six with more power but less torque
  • Both G550 and G63 feature 48-volt mild hybrid tech
  • G63 gets optional adaptive suspension with hydraulic roll control

Though the Mercedes G-class, or G-Wagen, doesn’t look like it’s changed much in 45 years, the iconic SUV was comprehensively overhauled in 2018, getting its first major refresh in 30 years. Fortunately, we haven’t had to wait that long for the next update, which makes its debut this week and brings some important advances including electrified powertrains.

No, we’re not referring to the long-awaited all-electric EQG, which is due to be unveiled later this year, but mild hybrid technology, which now comes on both the Mercedes G550 and the AMG-branded G63. The G550 loses its V8 and gains a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six whose integrated starter generator produces 20 hp (20 PS) and 148 lb-ft (200 Nm) of torque for a total of 443 hp (450 PS) and 413 lb-ft (560 Nm).

Those numbers compare with 416 hp (422 PS) and 450 lb-ft (610 Nm) for the old V8, so the new G550 wins the power war but loses out a little when it comes to torque, though there’s still plenty on hand and the revised 9-speed automatic transmission, three diff locks, and low range function will help make the most of it.

Related: Mercedes Says Old G-Class Approves Of The Upcoming Electric EGQ, But Will Customers?

But promising even more performance both on the road and off it is the also updated G63. It gets the same 20 hp ISG as the G550 but here it’s working with a 4.0-liter bi-turbo V8 and propels the boxy SUV to 60 mph (97 kmh) in 4.2 seconds, or 1.1 seconds faster than the 550.

The hybrid boost doesn’t actually enhance the G63’s on-paper power figures, which at 577 hp (585 PS) and 627 lb-ft (850 Nm) are no different from last year’s. But the ISG claims to improve low-end response and should have a positive impact on fuel economy – though not as positive as the G550’s switch from eight to six cylinders.

Active suspension for G63

Only G63 buyers have the option of ordering the G-wagen’s new Active Ride control suspension, whose hydraulic roll control hardware removes the need for traditional anti-roll bars, improving wheel articulation in the rough, and handling on ordinary asphalt. But those settling for the G550 also get the Offroad Cockpit digital control layout and the “transparent hood” feature borrowed from the EQE SUV that uses cameras located under the car to help the driver see what obstacles are directly beneath him as if the hood wasn’t there.

But given that most G-Wagens spend their lives in city streets, there’s one facelift bonus that’s going to prove more useful than any of those gadgets, and it’s that the infotainment system finally has touchscreen functionality. Other additions include climate-controlled cupholders, wireless phone charging, and a fancy rear-seat media setup including two 11.6-inch touchscreens.

Mercedes has also widened the scope of the Manufaktur personalization program for buyers who think the facelifted G’s subtly reworked bumper and grille won’t be enough to make their new SUV stand out from last year’s model. Mercedes hasn’t released prices, but don’t expect much change from $150k for the G550 or $190k for the G63.