The return of an icon

I didn’t know I was going to become a motoring journalist until I was about 21 years of age. It wasn’t something I even knew existed when I was at school. It’s moments like last week where I am eternally grateful that I found this career path. I attended the Mercedes-AMG Performance Tour where not only were the biggest and baddest beasts revealed, but also the brand new Mercedes-AMG SL was unveiled.

We’ve seen 70 years of this racing machine, as some would call it. It has curves in all the right places and now marks another milestone in the model’s history. It combines the distinct sportiness of the original SL with the unique luxury and technological excellence of the modern Mercedes-AMG models.

I hit the track in the SL 43 and it is instantly obvious that this is a driver enthusiast car. It is engaging in every way. I had just before that been in the also newly revealed AMG A45, which while lightning quick and fun as hell, doesn’t quite engage you in the old school way the SL does. The 2.0-litre in-line four-cylinder turbo, with its 280 kW and 480 Nm, ensures it packs a real punch. It will get you to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds. There is also an additional 10 kW of burst from the electric motor.

This newly developed AMG RIDE CONTROL steel suspension with particularly powerful aluminium shock absorbers and lightweight coil springs. The new SL is the first production vehicle ever from Mercedes-AMG to feature a multi-link front axle with five links arranged entirely within the rim. This significantly improves the kinematics. At the rear axle, a 5-link design likewise controls the wheels. This car allows you to run out of confidence before the car does. It’s a blast and one you will walk away from with only a the biggest smile on your face.

That could be said about most of the models on display this past weekend. We even got to feel up the AMG GT 63 S E with its 4.0 V8 bi-turbo that produces an outrageous 620 kW and 1 400 Nm of torque. Yes, you read that correctly. You will get to 100 km/h in a staggering 3.3 seconds. If only we got to drive this model, but I fear we would be writing a few more obituaries than reviews.

There were more AMG models on display and guests were able to sample most of them. There were sprints, gymkhanas, braking tests, track driving, and more. This will certainly not be the last AMG Performance Tour we see and I hope that next year I get to spend more time in each of the models. In fact, I would like for everyone else to go home and to leave me to my own devices on the track…ah a girl can dream.

Stay tuned for more AMG video goodness as soon as I get a few of the new models on test.

I’m Julz, South African motoring journalist with a passion for cars and a questionable sense of humour. I am not your average motoring journalist, and this is not your average motoring website.

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