I wanted to use my usual launch headline which starts with, “First drive in the …” but I drove a number of cars at the Mercedes-AMG track day and I couldn’t fit them all in. Also, I wanted to make you jealous with that track day headline.
I kicked off my Monday in the new Mercedes-AMG 53-series models of the CLS, E-Class Coupé and E-Class Cabriolet. And then after lunch I took the unstoppable Mercedes-AMG 63 S for a little track time. Not a bad way to start the week, right?
DID YOU KNOW?
But before I tell you about these cars, I wanted to inform you of a few cool facts. Did you know that in the Interbrand 2018 survey, Mercedes-Benz was voted as the number 8 most valuable brand? It sits just ahead of Facebook and one behind Toyota. Taking the number one spot is Apple, but Mercedes-Benz can be very chuffed with itself to be sitting ahead of BMW which got 13th place. And in terms of sales, Mercedes-Benz is sitting ahead of BMW and Audi.
Did you know that the AMG story started back in 1967 and it was only in 1990 that Mercedes-Benz signed an agreement with AMG which went on to become Mercedes-Benz’s performance brand? And perform these cars do.
The Mercedes-AMG 53 models is the first step of Mercedes-Benz going in to a hybrid future. The AMG CLS 53 4Matic adds to the successful range of CLS which launched in 2004. The second generation hit our shores in 2011 and since that initial launch we have seen over 350 000 units sold.
The new 53 model boasts a new 3,0-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine which features twin turbocharging by means of an exhaust gas turbocharger and an electric auxiliary compressor. That means you get 320 kW and 520 Nm of torque. The EQ Boost starter-alternator momentarily provides an additional 16 kW and 250 Nm. Basically, this engine makes for a flippen fast car. It will get you to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds.
THE FUN STUFF
Ok enough of that technical stuff, how did it drive on the track. Well, just as you can expect, really. It was f***ing fantastic. We started with a few obstacles to showcase the dynamic handling and impressive tech these cars have to offer. And then we were let loose on the track. I gave it everything I had and by the third lap I think the poor instructor just gave up on me, knowing that I was going to take this opportunity by the horns and run with it. And no matter how I thrashed these cars round the track, they stuck to the road like sh*t to a blanket.
Something to point out is the interior of the E53. Holy smokes! If you’ve ever pictured the dream yacht you will one day own, this is certainly what that dream is based on. Just look at it:
You have a choice of 64 ambient lighting colours and just about everything can be personalised. Even the colour changes on the air vents when you change the temperature. It’s a hoot! The cabriolet suited me in every way, I cannot even explain. I can just picture myself, cruising along the coast, getting looks from everyone. As much as I would hate the attention, I think I would also secretly love it.
We also got to put the bedrock of Mercedes-AMG, the C63, through its paces. This AMG best seller will no doubt continue its success story with its 4.0-litre V8 biturbo which produces 375 kW and 700 Nm. And depending on body style, the C63 S can get you to 100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds.
We got to test out the new C63 with traction control off, drifting it around a traffic cone in the centre of the track. Let me just tell you, this car enables a little too much fun to be had. The launch control also proved to be a highlight of the day as we drag raced each other down the long straight. Not to brag or anything, but I won every race. EVERY RACE! Ok except one, and that was because I was still figuring out the launch control, but let me tell you, there was no looking back after that…well except to see the look on the losers faces.
Just brace yourself for the pricing of the new C63 S, in fact, close your eyes when you look at the Cabriolet price.
For more videos and pics from the track day, check out my Instagram stories.
PRICING OF MERCEDES-AMG C63 S
Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Sedan: R1 546 600
Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupé: R1 609 100
Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Cabriolet: R1 728 700
PRICING OF THE 53 MODEL RANGE
Mercedes-AMG CLS 53 4MATIC+: R1 491 600 (add R184 000 for the Edition 1)
Mercedes-AMG E 53 4MATIC+ Cabriolet: R1 430 600
Mercedes-AMG E 53 4MATIC+ Coupé: R1 311 700
If this hasn’t wet your appetite enough, take a look at the potent Mercedes-AMG CLA45 S