Category: Mercedes-AMG

New Mercedes-AMG C43

Mercedes-AMG

New Mercedes-AMG C43 First Drive

For those not in the know, the Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes-Benz range can become quite confusing. Walk into a dealership and ask for a “fast Mercedes” and you will most likely find yourself presented with a myriad of models and a vast range of numbers – such as 65, 63, 53, 45 and 43. Fortunately, it’s articles like these that’ll hopefully provide a little insight – so that if you do go looking for a “fast Mercedes”, you’ll have done the math and know which number you’re looking for. Or at least have an idea.

Mercedes-AMG C43

 

Today we’re talking about the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It’s a facelift, so it’s not entirely a new vehicle, but they call it new – so let’s roll with it. To start the launch off, we embarked into some countryside areas around the outskirts of JHB, to sample these new models in a quiet setting. The model I focused on was the C43, naturally.

The 43 range offers a 3.0l V6 Twin Scroll Turbo, which produces 290kW and 520 Nm – reaching 100km/h in approximately 4.7 seconds. Driving not only a C43, but the “43” motor in general, was a first-time affair for me. While this vehicle could be classed as a “baby” AMG when compared with the mighty C63, it certainly doesn’t sound like it. In a good way.

This V6 purrs like a Cheetah being scratched by a very large garden rake. Again, in a good way. There was never really a time when I wanted to turn the Active Exhausts off, as chasing this noise through the higher rpm range through a total of 9 gears was becoming just short of addictive. Plus, it’s also slightly quieter than its V8 older brother, so when pottering around town you can leave the active pipes on and not get a headache. Do I prefer it? I haven’t yet decided.

Mercedes-AMG C43

While I could bark on about this all day, it’s time to discuss some of the new features found on the C-Class in general. While snapping at the gears and chasing that sweet V6 sound, you’ll find yourself holding onto a new steering wheel – one which was first found on the S Class and E Class. I love the finish, styling and premium feel it gives you, as it features metal, leather and these hi-tech thumb touch-pads for scrolling through various menus on the digital display. It’s also a standard feature across the whole range, not just the AMG models.

Turn you attention to the fascia and you will also notice the new 12.3-inch instrument cluster. As common as they are becoming on new premium vehicles, each manufacturer has their own take on these digital consoles. Through this system, the driver can browse and adjust most settings and features on the vehicle. AMG variants provide a striking yellow design with a layout that simulates the classic round dials that we all know and love. The display can show you pretty much anything the heart desires regarding the vehicle and while live tyre pressure and the ambient temperature is…cool? Viewing live power, torque and boost levels were something that interested me more.

Mercedes-AMG C43

From the outside, a new redesigned front bumper and diamond grille differentiate the C43 compared to other models. The new 84 LED multi-beam headlights add subtle changes too. With the option of the Ultra Range system, these provide light for up to 650m and also feature the blanking out technology which means Hi-Beam can be selected all the time without dazzling other road users. New tail-lights are also apparent, as well as various rear bumper designs – depending on the package you select.

So, what’s it like then driving the face-lifted C43? Apparently, it’s just like the pre-facelift variant, only prettier and faster. Even though it’s an “AMG”, the vehicle is pretty comfortable when the driving modes are relaxed and set to comfort, dial in the sport modes and the C43 comes alive and provides the sharp AMG driving feel. There is more power on tap, which means the trees blur quicker on a straight line. The car still features Mercedes’s 4Matic system but this time sending 69% of the power to the rear wheels which improve the vehicle dynamically. This provides a nice balance as the power is still accessible all the time, unlike it’s older brother the C63, which likes to wiggle around corners. This is actually a good thing, because only those who know how to do the “AMG dance” should try going toe to toe with one, should they be brave enough. The C43 then is the safe bet among the fast C-Class variants, so if you want to just get on it, this may be the one you should ask for at a dealership.

The new Mercedes-AMG C43 Vehicle Pricing in South Africa:

Sedan                       Coupe                                  Cabriolet

R948,500                  R983,500                             R1,100,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Driven

A mid-sized family orientated SUV with 375kW and 700Nm may sound quite preposterous, in fact, it can be likened to those superhuman toddler gymnasts you see on YouTube. At the age of four, their biceps are bigger than their little heads, causing you to ask, “why?”

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

Many may ask the same question when it comes to the new Mercedes AMG GLC 63 S. Personally, I didn’t ask why when learning about this car, because I’m a fan of speed and power in any shape or size. I can imagine many motorists share the same sentiments as me as well. What may seem like just a statement from Merc, is actually more than that, it’s a shift based on consumer behaviour. The reality is that many consumers who drive sedans are now changing their buying behaviour toward SUV’s, such as the GLC. Reasons such as safety, size and presence are all factors leading to this change. Then there are those who drive the performance variants of popular sedans, such as the burbling Mercedes AMG C63 or BMW’s M3. These guys need a replacement for the performance they’re used to, if they decide to do the SUV jump. The new GLC 63 S seems to be an answer, but can it provide the same thrills? Can an SUV provide as much fun, performance and driving experience as a sedan AMG, such as the C63 S? Let’s find out…

An early flight navigated me from Durban to Lanseria, where we jumped into a van and arrived at Zwartkops Raceway, which would be the base for our testing. The first few hours including a high speed “brake and steer” test, a slalom and drag races. While all this is was fun, it also showed us what we could expect from the GLC 63 S, when we would begin our full laps. Not only that, it showed us how much confidence Mercedes-Benz has in their vehicle. For example, our slalom runs started with ESP on, as we progressed we eventually were encouraged to switch of the car’s ESP system, allowing us to feel how the limited slip differential works when the vehicle is unencumbered by the safety systems.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

It’s worth noting, the ESP system on the GLC 63 S is very sensitive, with good reason too – it’s still a family car. One with a lot of power. This vehicle also carries quite a bit of weight. In the wrong hands, it could lead to some not so desirable outcomes should an overenthusiastic overcook it. Back to the story.

So here we are, on the track and ready for some laps. We started with ESP on and gradually went through the modes until everything was off. Not half off, but “off off off” as we call it in the office. As you can imagine, with ESP in full force, throttle output is easily hampered coming out of corners, especially when power was applied sharply. From a safety perspective, it made sense but on a track, it can be annoying. Which sounds like a pointless statement because a track day in a GLC 63 S is more a treat for journalists, as opposed to a reality for an owner. Sport, Sport + and Race modes were also tested, which give you more freedom, more slip and more AMG noise on each mode – which by the way is fantastic. AMG have a whole division focused on exhaust sound – a great division if you ask me. I digress however…After a few laps toggling between various modes and even with ESP off, I became very frustrated with my track experience.  I wasn’t getting what I expected out of the vehicle and quite frankly, I was unhappy with my laps. At each apex, when I wanted to power out of the corner, the car was cutting power quite abruptly – arrghh. This is not what I expected from a car that uses the 4Matic + system, the same one that is in the highly regarded Mercedes AMG E63 S, less the drift mode.

All is not lost.

On our slow down lap, I discussed with Francisco and the AMG Driving instructor. I explained that perhaps my driving style is wrong for this extremely powerful SUV. The instructor agreed and like a good coach during half time in a bag game, he gave me a few pointers to get the most out of a car of this size. So, after pumping myself up, we headed back onto the track. The aim? Turning in later, getting more steering into the corner before the apex, allowing me to unwind the lock before accelerating out of the corner.  This would allow the GLC to not panic, causing the “fail safe” safety systems to activate even when they’re meant to be off off off. Again, a necessary measure for a family SUV.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

The result? Pretty brilliant. The limited-slip diff worked well, sending power to the front when needed and pulling the GLC out of corners. After the little teething issues we began with, due to my driving style, the vehicle became the dynamic, fast and precise track weapon I wanted it to be. Not the words you expect to hear about an SUV – Merc is onto something with this setup.

So can an AMG SUV provide as much fun, performance and driving experience as a sedan variant, such as C63 S? Well, regarding performance,  the head of the AMG driving academy told us that he could probably set similar laps times in the AMG GLC 63 S as he would in an AMG GT S, which is quite the statement to make. The question of fun and driving experience still needs to be answered however. I may be a young journalist, but over the past few years I’ve done my fair share of driving on and off the track. Honestly, driving the AMG GLC 63 S fast around a racetrack was one the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had to date. You may not be able to do tyre smoking drift sessions in the car, but the reality is even most who own C63 S’s can’t either – even though their vehicles can. So there’s not much to miss in that department. That being said, the GLC does allow for a fair bit of a movement, since it sends its power mostly to the rear tyres.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S

I probably enjoyed this track experience as much as I did, because I wasn’t really expecting the car to be as good as they say it is, it is an SUV after all. Or perhaps it was due to the fact that I had to work harder for cleaner laps. Either way, it was exhilarating and a good glimpse of the future of smaller performance SUV’s.

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Pricing in South Africa

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S SUV: R1 572 602

Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S Coupe: R1 689 067

 

 

 

Mercedes-AMG GT 4 door coupe – Practicality meets performance.

Bring the kids along: Mercedes-AMG GT 4 door coupe on the way.

If the upcoming CLS is not sporty enough for you, the Mercedes-AMG GT 4 door coupe may just be what you’re looking for. Based on the E-Class chassis, this vehicle is aimed at the likes of the Porsche Panamera and Audi’s A7 model – a niche segment for an eccentric buyer. Despite bearing looks similar to that of the AMG GT, the Mercedes-AMG GT 4 door shares more similarities with the Mercedes-Benz E Class (so we’re told). Having seen the blistering results of vehicles such as the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, one can only imagine what’s in store for the GT 4 door coupe.

Engine speculations:

At this point, all we know is the fact that the vehicle is undergoing testing “around the world”, with a few vehicles doing the rounds in specific areas. We can only imagine a unit or two running around the heat infested Upington region – an area often used for hot weather testing. In terms of engines to be offered, it’s all speculation – but judging by Merc’s push into electrification, we can expect EV technology to present itself. The recent announcement of inline 6 cylinder “53” engine variants is a telltale sign regarding where the brand is going. Publications such as Autocar have also reported on an apparent upcoming high powered 4.0 litre V8 turbocharged engine, integrated with EV systems – providing epic performance (800hp+) and electric range too. All we can do for now is wait for the official announcement at the Geneva Motor Show on the 6th of March. Tobias Moers, you have our attention…

The hypercar of all hypercars: Mercedes-AMG Project One

Mercedes-AMG Project One

Mercedes-Benz AMG Project One

At one time or another, we have all fantasized about driving a Formula1 racing car on the road, I know I have. The sheer noise, brutal acceleration, and damn right craziness is something that would really drive the neighbors crazy. and set your hair on fire, in a good way.

Of Course, we know that driving a literal F1 car on the roads would be practically impossible, so let’s jump to the next best thing, the Mercedes-AMG Project One. Mercedes have been teasing us recently for what feels like an eon with very obscure images, but promised great things,  and low and behold, great things have been delivered.

The AMG Project One features a 1.6-Litre V6 enginethe difference here, though, is that this 1.6L-litre motor is derived directly from the 2015 Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car, plus an additional four electric motors, one situated on the turbo to eliminate lag and provide better throttle response than a naturally aspirated V8, another connected directly to the engine and two further electric motors to power the front wheels. The result? Staggering performance.  

Total power output is somewhere around the 1000 bhp mark (740 kW) with the two front motors producing 240 kW just on their own. Here is our favorite fact though, 0-200 km/h is said to be completed in just under 6 seconds, with a top speed eclipsing 350 km/h.

Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a new, madefromscratch, hydraulically activated 8-speed gearbox which can be operated in automatic mode, or manual via the shifter paddles. The AMG Project One does feature different driving modes which range from a full electric drive (with a range of 25 km) to highly dynamic for the most outright performance characteristics.

To make sure all of this power is put down effectively, the AMG Project One will be fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, specifically designed for the Project One. The front tyres will be 285/35 ZR 19 with the rears being much larger at 335/30 ZR 20. The forged wheels these tyres will be mated with are also unique and feature carbon fibre semi-covers for increased aerodynamic efficiency and carefully placed ventilation slots for more effective cooling of the weight-optimised ceramic high-performance compound braking system.

We can see from the images that the MercedesAMG Project One is a truly stunning car. Large, wide air intakes dominate the front end and give it a very aggressive look, and as the car slopes around, many Mercedes-Benz design cues come into play with large, bold wheel arches and a streamlined appeal. The rear-end houses long, thin aggressive rear lights and is very much dominated by the rear diffuser and a central, single exhaust, just like that of a F1 car. We can’t forget that unique roof scoop either, which draws massive amounts of air into the engine and also looks pretty awesome!

The interior is very minimalistic, but also very futuristic. You will not find one component in this car that is there just for visual purposes, every part has a function. The Formula 1 like steering wheel is adjustable, as well as the pedals and the backrests so the driver can achieve their most preferred driving position. Two digital screens also feature, but apart from that, a host of carbon fibre, small storage areas and A/C controls, power windows and the Mercedes COMMAND system, there is not much else to it.

Mercedes-AMG Project One Pricing

Pricing is said to be over $2.5 Million Dollars and all of the 275 models to be made are already spoken for. You will have to take yours into AMG every 50 000 km’s for a full engine rebuild, if you plan on driving it to that extent.

The Future Of Mercedes-Benz Design: A-Class Sedan Concept

South African Car News: A-Class Sedan concept

The A-Class Sedan Concept was shown off at the latest Automotive show in Shanghai recently. It gives us an insight into the future design language of Mercedes-Benz.

Straight off the bat, the A Class Concept looks very much like a smooth and streamlined CLA. It’s not that much different in terms of size either, at 4750mm long 1870 wide and 1462mm high, this concept A-Class is a little shorter than the current CLA but also wider and taller.

Mercedes Chief Design Offer, Gordan Wagener says that “ The time for creases is over” which means we can expect all Mercedes-Benz vehicles to follow a very similar design theme. The compact vehicle segment for Mercedes is proving to be a vital part of their business having sold over 2 Million compact cars since 2012.

Personally, I think the front end of the vehicle looks great. Its striking, streamlined and aggressive. The rear on the other hand is definitely much smoother but it’s still very “CLA”. I would expect a little more imagination for a concept vehicle. Overall, the proportions of the A-Class Concept look much better and I’m sure an AMG version of this would be very mighty and an absolute stunner on the road.

We would love to hear your thoughts, head over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think. 

 

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Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe Driven Review

We Drive The Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe in South Africa

If Thor had a car, it would be the Mercedes-AMG C63 S. Nothing more, nothing less. You could imagine him driving to his local Starbucks in Asgard, indulging in his “delicious cuppa” smashing it on the floor, bellowing for another and climbing into his C63 S for his daily rounds. This would be before he activates the exhaust flaps from the console, and uses lighting to propel himself to our “green” planet.

That just gives you a taste of the C63 S’ personality. Its loud, it’s in your face, it wants to eat all the children in your neighborhood and I just love it, to a point… From a pure presence perspective, you’ll struggle to find anything this side of R2 million and if you are a hooligan like me, it’s the perfect vehicle for scaring little dogs and their people in Parkhurst or at your local farmer’s market.

 

What you get in this beast of a car is 4.0 liter bi-turbo V8 with those lovely turbos nestled within the V. This is called a “hot V”. From this configuration, this compact engine churns out 375 monstrous kilowatts with a healthy thud of 650 N.m. This is because we had the S version on test, you know, for the people who find the “normal” C 63 lacking in poke with its miserly 350 kW and 600 N.m. Here though, is where it gets tricky.

I have never spent time with a vehicle that constantly has an ESP light flashing at you. It becomes such a normal fixture within the cabin that when you don’t see it flicking, you think there is something wrong. That orange light right in the middle of the well lit display is accompanied by the fuel reserve light that also likes to make a guest appearance more often than appreciated. The massive torque being sent to the 285 section nineteen-inch wheels at the rear all but struggle to the point where you decide to engage Sport Handling mode which allows for a little bit of slip from the rear axle, but not enough to make you change your underwear. Speaking about underwear…

When the C63 S arrived at our offices, it coincided with the test of the year, being the Mercedes-AMG C63 S sedan, the BMW M3 Competition Pack M-DCT and the new kid on the block, the Alfa-Romeo Giulia QV and as tempting as it would be to reveal those test results, those will be kept for another article and feature. What surprised me was the nature of the C63 S. As much as it’s a fully accomplished sports coupe, it felt nervous at the limit and when you sat back and thought about it, the biggest downfall of the C 63S is its weight.

 

The vehicle is just not as nimble as its competitors through the twisties, a fact that reared its head while attacking a couple of S-bends. The vehicle then decided to fight back with what can plainly be described as the most violent tank slapper I have ever experienced. This came about when we found that even though the ESP can be ‘deactivated’, there comes a point where the control module feels like the angle that you have decided to adopt is too lary and therefore gives the inside wheel the slightest of grabs, mid-power slide! Then weight transfer happens and boom, the fight of your life happens with that steering wheel, right foot and sphincter actuating in sync. I know we are nitpicking here, but this is just in comparison with its competitors and something to note granted that this is the cream of the C-Class crop.

Other than that, the C63 S, with deep pockets, is a lovely beast to live with. It’s thirsty, very thirsty, despite Merc’s claim of it being the most fuel-efficient high-performance eight-cylinder motor but it has all the modern conveniences that you would expect from a vehicle of this calibre, and in my opinion, it looks the best in its class, along with that addictive noise. I’m glad the ladies and gents from Affalterbach decided to employ Thor to come up with the noise from those exhausts. It was a very expensive week but man, what a week! The C63 S will be sorely missed.