Mercedes-AMG

Mercedes-AMG A45 S

First drive in the Mercedes-AMG A45 S 4MATIC+

Gone are the days when the only time you saw crazy performance figures were in massive V8 cars sporting hefty price tags. The hefty price tag remains, but the engine sizes have changed drastically. The new Mercedes-AMG A45 S is taking things to a whole new level, a level we have never seen before. And damn it is exciting. LEVELS OF INSANITY Having spent a week in this beast I cannot for the life of me understand why you would buy one, and I also cannot understand why you wouldn’t?! This hotter-than-hot hothatch is almost too much for our roads to handle. Mainly because whatever you want to do with it would be deemed illegal. With 310 kW and 500 Nm on hand, can you just imagine the fun at your fingertips. This will get you to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds. That is faster than a Porsche 911. Do you see what I mean, people? It is a beast! The 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is a piece of genius engineering. What it can do is unreal. In a straight line, with the Race Start function, you’re able to get off the line with minimal tyre screeching or smoke, blasting down a straight in the most composed of fashions. But it is not just in a straight line where this car is fun, it is also what it can do in the twistys. Because of the setup, there is minimal understeer and the grip is going to keep you exactly where you want to be…which is on the road at all times. No matter how fast you chuck this in to a corner, it seems to come out the other end without having broken a sweat. The line from Pretty Woman, “Man, this baby must corner like it’s on rails,” was in my head the whole the time I was driving this through a mountain pass. COCKPIT CRAZY The cabin is as modern as they come with Mercedes’s IMBUX infotainment system taking centre stage. While easy to use, it offers a lot! You could spend hours getting lost in it, finding new things to play with. Which I guess, like with any new gadget, it adds to the excitement. But with so many options, for example which combination of dials and displays, it can be a bit overwhelming. The important stuff is easy enough to find, but like I say, you can go deep in to the caldron and get rather swept away. It is all very sophisticated inside the A45 S and one thing I am so grateful for is that fact that the air conditioning is still manually controlled and not a part of the touchscreen system…which is a pet hate of mine. SHOULD YOU BUY ONE? Look, like I mentioned in the beginning, buying one is something I want and don’t want to do at the same time. It doesn’t come cheap so you would really need to be sure. At a cost of around R1.15 million, you are throwing a lot of money at an impractical hatchback. But it is a hothatch after all and who cares about practicality? I recently reviewed the A35 and I think that some might find it a bit more appealing, if only from a price point of view. It is still a fun car to drive, but I am afraid that nothing can quite match this A45 S in all its beastliness. And that’s exactly how Mercedes-AMG want it to be! For more info, head to Mercedes-AMG.

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Mercedes-AMG A 35 Hatch

First drive in the Mercedes-AMG A 35 Hatch

The words “entry-level” and “AMG” never go in the same sentence. This is for obvious reasons. But what if I told you that there is now an entry point in to the AMG world? The Mercedes-AMG A 35 hatch is the model I am talking about. Now, don’t go thinking that because it doesn’t cost what other AMGs cost that it is in no way an AMG, because after having driven it for the past week, I can confidently say that this is very much an AMG through and through. You all know that I am no petrol head, contrary to what my website might have you believe. Don’t get me wrong, I adore performance cars. I love driving on a track. And there is nothing quite like the pop and gurgle coming out of a V8 exhaust pipe. However, I have come to accept that as I age (gracefully I like to tell myself), so I become ever more practical. So when I got handed the keys to this A 35 I wasn’t expecting to be overly impressed. I was sceptical about its performance but also worried it was just another impractical hatch. I am not going to now tell you all the ways that it is, in fact, practical because we all know that this is not the reason you are reading this review. All you need to know is that you could quite easily live with this car on a daily basis. That for me scores massive points. THE OOMPH But let’s get to the real reason you’re here; the performance. Under the bonnet sits a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbopetrol engine. It puts out 225 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque. The power is directed to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual clutch transmission and you’re going to get to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds. Basically, it is flipping fun to drive! Put it in to Sport+ mode and it opens this car up to all the pops and splutter I spoke of earlier. Throw it in to a corner and its grip will give you a boost of confidence, gifting you the chance to really put pedal to the metal and sprint out of the corner with a massive grin spread across your face. ENGAGED Many might feel that with a car that exudes such confidence, you will lose out on the engaging drive so many petrol heads are after. I can assure you that this is not the case with the A 35 hatch. It really allows you to have the most fun you can have in a performance hatch, without the worry that you’ll end up in a ditch with a face full of mud (and humiliation). As Mercedes-AMG puts it, “Because the development of the A 35 4MATIC was integrated into the development process of the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class from the start, it was developed at the same time as the A 45 S 4MATIC+, making it possible to inject the AMG DNA into every relevant detail. The result can certainly be experienced by the driver in the form of authentic driving performance.” MERCEDES-AMG A 35 HATCH PRICE With the A 35 hatch coming in at R874 000, it is not exactly budget-friendly, but for those who are desperate for the spirit and charm of something like the full blown A 45 but can’t afford it, this makes for a very good argument. I think Mercedes-AMG has done an incredible job at making a performance car that, although comes in under R1 million, doesn’t compromise on…well…performance! Now to get behind the wheel of the A 45. Keep your eyes out for my video review of the A 35 coming soon.

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Mercedes-AMG

Mercedes-AMG track day! Prepare to be jealous

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. AMG BABY 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. C63 S 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

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Mercedes-AMG

Mercedes-AMG track day! Prepare to be jealous

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. AMG BABY 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. C63 S 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

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