• The new ML63 will start at $95,865.
  • The SUV will feature a 518-horsepower V8.
  • The ML63 goes on sale in March.

The recently redesigned high-performance Mercedes ML63 AMG will be priced from $95,865 including destination when it goes on sale next month. That's the latest from Mercedes, who unveiled the wild SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

The ML63 AMG's near-$100,000 base price makes it one of the most expensive SUVs on sale, beating out rivals like BMW's similarly maniacal X5M and X6M and even the supercharged version of Land Rover's luxurious Range Rover. But for buyers looking for one of the ultimate high-performance SUVs, the stratospheric price tag won't matter.

That's because Mercedes is backing up the ML63 AMG's high price with high performance. Under the newly redesigned SUV's hood is a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 518 horsepower and a whopping 516 pound-feet of torque. The monstrous motor gives the ML63 AMG more power than every one of its rivals, including the ultra-high performance Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and propels the people-mover to 60 miles per hour from a standing stop in just 4.7 seconds.

Mercedes can also satisfy buyers who want even more performance. For an extra cost expected to be over $6,000, customers can equip their ML63 with the optional AMG Performance Package, which turns up the boost to raise power to 550 horses and torque to an incredible 560 pound-feet. The upgraded engine shaves a tenth of a second off the ML63's 0-to-60 time, yet still keeps fuel economy constant at around 16 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving.

But the ML63 AMG offers more than just a powerful engine and tremendous acceleration. The SUV's luxurious standard appointments include Mercedes' COMAND navigation system, a Harmon-Kardon surround sound system with HD radio, 10-way heated and ventilated power front seats and a power rear hatch.

The ML63 AMG is based on the all-new, third-generation M-Class, which went on sale late last year with a starting price of just under $50,000. The new model has proven popular with buyers during its first few months on the market, with more than 5,300 units sold in December - a year-over-year increase of more than 40 percent over the outgoing model.

What it means to you: Mercedes' new ML63 one-ups its rivals in performance, power, and price.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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