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  1. #1
    rickquattro's Avatar
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    Mercedes Benz World... Weybridge..

    I was working down there for the day and managed to get a free hour in one of their cars. All the ones that they use as demo's are AMG spec, I got a AMG CL63 and a driver called Ed, in the passenger seat. 6.3 litres, 525 bhp which is almost as much as my 1.9 TDi Quattro.... also I had never driven a RWD car before so I guess I had to start somewhere. We actually I do have a RWD Smart Cabrio, but I also have a rice pudding with skin on , so it doesnt really count.

    My car time..
    Its a neat set up, and while I never saw beyond 80mph, it was a good indication of what car electronics can do as much as anything else. Obviously they are trying to demonstrate to sell, but at 76k for the one I was driving, I wasn't buying today.

    The track is built into a section of Brookland circuit and "heritage" is important to Merc as it is to the site. There is a wide straight, twisty handling course and a circular skid pan soaked with water.

    Ed twiddled the electronics, all I had to do was drive. We went through sport and comfort modes and the ESP, on and off, especially fun on the water soaked sections. As you can imagine (unless you have this car..), booting it spins the wheels up nicely. Mashing the brakes from 80mph gives an impressive demo of the ABS. I guess most of us have had this system working at some stage but this really hammered it. Doing the same, mashing the brakes and steering round cones was equally impressive though it took a bit of bottle to keep going before Ed said BRAKE and STEER. Disturbingly close to the cones before he called it.

    The skid pan, hilarious. 2nd gear and as much fun as you can handle. ESP off and around (and around, and around, and around), you go. I was well pleased to do a complete 360 with the rear hanging out and wheels spinning, in both directions. First time in a RWD car too. As well as many out of control 360's learning to feel the balance point and steering with the throttle. How would my car handle this I wonder?

    What was also impressive was the fact that this was a big, wide and heavy car that felt quite tight and nimble. I mentioned to Ed, my take on the Merc image being cardies, elbow patches and slippers, a Merc is just not an aspirational brand for me. This car however changed my thinking quite a lot though (but I did say that for the same money I would be after an RS4....).

    Over all a very impressive showcase for Merc products, slickly and genuinely presented without being rammed down your throat. I think the initial hour is fine as confidence was beginning to bump up against competence limits. I cam away with a greater appreciation of ABS and ESP functions as much as anything. Also the skid control section was very insightful too.

    If your in the area, well recommended. I am back with work there in a couple of months, there was a neat AMG E 63 Estate that really took my eye for next time.....

    So thats me, now where is the Audi Driving Experience for the quattro take on all the above for comparison?
    Coming back to Audi with an A3 Tdi Sportback Quattro... but the 220bhp T5 was epic....

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  3. #2
    Onlyme's Avatar
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    Try a Aixam for true quality

  4. #3
    SamDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickquattro
    If your in the area, well recommended. I am back with work there in a couple of months, there was a neat AMG E 63 Estate that really took my eye for next time.....
    Nice write-up!

    A reminder of my visit: Here
    A4 2.0TDI S Line (2008)
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