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Topic: AMG
US AMG Driving Academy at Road Atlanta!

Road Atlanta AMG GTS

The AMG Driving Academy was at Road Atlanta this week. I was able to attend the BASIC training and I am now a certified Race Car driver! Ok, that might be a stretch but I did improve my skills and get to see a lot of amazing AMG vehicles!

Mercedes AMG at the track

The day consists of training modules designed to improve your skills as well as lots seat time doing hot laps in a variety of AMG vehicles. There was a wet skid pad to improve oversteer and understeer reactions. The not-yet-released Mercedes-AMG E63 was used in an ABS stopping exercise that will really make you appreciate how well the cars stop. A small autocross course used the CLA45 for a timed lap.

C63 AMG

There was also a huge stable of AMG vehicles on display! The GT-R, GT C roadster and the GLC63 were all at the track, despite being weeks from a US release date. That was very exciting for me! It’s a track day and a car show!

GTR Hell Green

I was able to do hot laps around Road Atlanta in the GTS coupe, E63 sedan, C43 sedan, C63 coupe and the SL63. Top speed on the back stretch was just north of 120 mph, which felt fast until I rode with the professionals. I did a few taxi rides in the GTS and a very fast lap in the SLS black series and I know we were a little over 140 mph!

Driving Academy

The AMG Driving Academy Instructors are awesome! They are both very skilled and very patient with my lack of skill. They can coach you to be being a better driver while still keeping the race line and gong 120 mph!

The AMG Driving Academy still has 2017 dates remaining at Leguna Seca, Lime Rock Park and Circuit of the Americas. If you purchased an AMG vehicle in the last 12 months you are entitled to a free BASIC training session. I highly recommend you take advantage of this perk! If you are thinking about an AMG or are a motorsports enthusiast, this event is for you! It is an incredible amount of driving time in a lot of very expensive AMG vehicles.

 

FAQs:

  • What car do I drive?

All of them! In 8 hours I drove 10 different cars ranging from the 4-cylinder CLA45 up to the new 603 horsepower E63. You will rotate out of all of the vehicles for the skills sections and for track laps.

  • Can I drive my car?

No! And you don’t want to! Track conditions are hard on your brakes and tires. Use the ones that AMG provides and feel good that your car stays safe on the sidelines!

  • Is it worth it?

Uh, yeah. Even as a dealership employee I never get a chance to drive these cars the way they are meant to be driven. Experiencing the acceleration, braking, cornering and poise of the AMG vehicles can only be done on the track. The combined value of the vehicles and the instruction is a value at twice the price!

  • How do I sign up?

Website. New AMG owners provide their VIN to use the credit.

Next year, I’m thinking Advanced Class at COTA!

The Mercedes-AMG GT R in Magno Green Hell!

I was incredibly lucky to get a sneak peek at the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT R today! It is a monster for the streets and looks perfect in Magno Green Hell. This is the second vehicle that Mercedes-AMG has developed from the ground up. You can feel the track intentions!

AMG GTR

The matte paint really shows off the long lines! The GT R has a wider body than the other GT siblings and it really shows.

Mercedes GTR

The impact of the Magno matte Green Hell paint cannot be overstated. You think you have seen green cars before but you have not. This car is GREEN!

GT R Aero

Every part of the GT R has been aerodynamically perfected. The rear wing is fixed but is manually adjustable for your preferred track settings. The front of the vehicle has active AirPanels and AirCurtains to move air for both cooling and aerodynamics.

Mercedes GTR grille

The Panamericana grille is my new favorite, displacing the silver diamond grille. The 15 vertical slats are incredibly dramatic, emphasizing the size of the air intakes.

Mercedes GTR

The GT R designers were careful to be efficient without tacking on a bunch of flips, wings and other ugly aero elements. The scoops and louvers that are included are both attractive and functional. Estimated 0-60 is 3.5 seconds and the top speed is 198 mph.

Mercedes-Benz GTR

The GT is supposed to be the daily driver. The GT S is a little bit faster. The GT C wears 50% of this body kit and the GT R is a full on track ready street car. With a base price of $157,000 I think the GT R is going to become the attainable dream car. I can’t wait to see a Green Hell GT R in the wild!

Here is a quick walk-around of the vehicle. It still can’t show you the incredible color! You must see one in person as soon as possible!

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Visits Atlanta Classic Cars!

Cardinal Red E63 AMG

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S came to visit this week! This was my first look at the vehicle and it is impressive. I think it was made even more impressive by the gorgeous Cardinal Red Paint!

Mercedes-AMG E63 engine

The 4.0L V8 birturbo engine is impressive in both specs and looks! It has 603 horsepower and 627 lb/ft of torque and is rated for 0-60 in 3.3 seconds! It has the new AMG Speedshift MCT 9-speed sports transmission and the AMG performance 4matic+. The “+” in 4matic is for the new Drift Mode that makes it rear-wheel drive for more fun!

E63 4matic +This particular vehicle was equipped with the Carbon Ceramic brakes, Premium 3 Package and matte black wheels. Sharp! I was able to go for a short ride in the car and it everything you would expect. It was very quiet and controlled in comfort mode yet wild and loud in Sport+.

E63 interiorThis E63 is equipped with the standard seats, not the sport seats. It was very deeply bolstered and supportive without being too tight. I think this is the right choice if you plan to put a lot of miles on the E63.

E63 grilleThe nose on the E63 is my favorite part! I love the new vertical slats around the star and the functional intakes at the bottom are impressive.

Cardinal red 2018 E63

The 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 is currently in production and we are hoping for a US release date late this summer. Pricing is not yet available.

Key Highlights

  • AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine
  • Two twin-scroll turbochargers
  • 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque
  • 0-60 mph in 3.3 seconds; governed top speed of 186 mph
  • AMG Cylinder Management cylinder deactivation system
  • AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT (Multi Clutch Technology) nine-speed sport transmission
  • AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive
  • AMG sport suspension based on AIR BODY CONTROL
  • AMG DYNAMIC SELECT drive programs
  • Rear differential lock for optimal traction
  • Extended wheel arches for greater track width
  • New grill with chrome louvers, vertical black struts, and AMG lettering

Here is a little video I made of the E63 while waiting for my training class to start! Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel for more!

AMG Driving Academy – The Fleet Includes This Freightliner!

AMG Driving Academy

The 2017 AMG Driving Academy is underway! The first sessions at Leguna Seca Raceway have wrapped up and they are headed to Road Atlanta in a few short weeks! When they arrive they’ll be picking up this awesome new transporter from Atlanta Classic Cars! It is currently empty but I can almost hear that GT S revving up!

This Freightliner is finished in Iridium Silver paint and is powered by a 15 liter Mercedes engine and DT12 transmission. Nice rig! It was customized by Daimler Trucks North America specifically for the AMG Driving Academy. Freightliner is a part of the Daimler Trucks family. The GT S is obviously finished in Solarbeam yellow!

If you want to see more of this hot rod and all of the other AMG vehicles you can register for the AMG Driving Academy here. If you purchased an AMG vehicle this year you may be eligible for a free seat during the BASIC Program. The AMG Purchase Reward is a great perk for new AMG owners! It is also a great gift for prospective owners. You’ve never been on a test drive this thorough!

I have attended the BASIC program at Road Atlanta twice over the years and loved every minute of it! You really can’t appreciate the AMG vehicles without pushing their limits on the track. The accelerate faster, brake harder and corner better than you have ever considered trying on the road. The driving skills they teach will also make you a better driver. Handling a car that is on the edge is a skill that takes time to develop. The AMG instructors are top notch and give excellent guidance.

Look for the AMG Driving Academy of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for excellent pictures of the vehicles and events. Their preferred hashtag is #atthetrack if you are looking for pictures from attendees.

Rally North America – I Need Your Help!

First: Watch this hilarious video by a Rally North America Team from last year!

Next: Visit my team website to donate to Hope For the Warriors and support me on my rally!

 

Donation LinkEvery dollar helps! My team goal is $2000 and I am about 25% of the way there. Thank you!

Finally: Envision my new car in a Rally Wrap!

rally north america

Do you have any great ideas for my car? I will use logos from my sponsors, Instagram or Twitter handles from individual donors. I am leaning heavily towards some racing stripes so the car is faster! I am open to your suggestions! Who out there is great with photoshop? Send me an image and I’ll try to incorporate your ideas! jcw@atlantaclassiccars.com

The event starts at the Virginia International Raceway and ends on the track at Talladega Super Speedway! There are 70 teams registered to participate in Rally Appalachia this July. It is going to be an amazing four days with other enthusiasts on some of the best roads and tracks on the east coast! I can’t wait! This is my first ever rally and I want to make it a good one. I’m obviously going to have the perfect car for this kind of thing. I would love to make a good showing on the fundraising side as well. Please consider clicking on the link above to donate online.

This event is a scavenger hunt style rally as well so I will be looking for certain checkpoints along the way. I will likely reach out via Instagram, Twitter and Facebook if I need help along the way. Do you live in this area or have knowledge of these mountains? Let me know and I’ll make sure we are connected! I’m really good with my navigation system but I have some studying to do on the area.

Stay tuned! Just 90 days from the starting line!

Atlanta International Auto Show 2017 – Featuring Mercedes-Benz!

The Atlanta International Auto Show is this weekend at the Georgia World Congress Center. I stopped by to see what was on display.

Mercedes-Benz brought the big guns this year! The not-yet-released GT C Roadster is absolutely perfect! It’s like they knew I would be there and brought my favorite color combo! The lines on this car are so elegant and sporty. It could not be better!

AMG GT C

The G550 4×4² is the star of any show it attends. I think this one is designo Manufaktur Paprika and it brought the crowds!

Paprika 4x4 Mercedes

The Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet is expected to be limited to 30 units for the United States! This looks very much like the S550 or S63 cabriolet but turned up to 100. The extra diamonds in the interior and the exterior trim make it extremely special.

Maybach S650 cabriolet wheels Maybach S650 cabriolet

The soon-to-be-released 2018 E400 coupe Launch Edition in Magno Matte Cashmere White was one of my favorites. It looks tremendously different from the current body style and distinct from the C-Class coupe.

2018 E400 coupeThe 2018 GLA45 AMG was showing off some yellow trim and a major roof spoiler. This is a refresh for the GLA-Class.

Mercedes GLA45 AMG

The 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Cabriolet launch edition was present! This is the car I call S’more because of the marshmallow exterior and the chocolate and graham cracker interior. It really is a knockout!

Mercedes C63 Cabriolet Launch

The GLS63 AMG looked aggressive in white with black trim. I don’t get to see nearly enough of these at the dealership.

Mercedes GLS63 AMGThe SMART car display was getting a lot of attention. We have been selling quite a few of the plug-in electric version on our pre-owned lot. It really is fun to drive!

Mercedes Smart

The E400 Wagon has arrived! I was hoping for the AMG variant but it is always good to see the wagon on display.

Mercedes E400 wagon

Electric cars are starting to become more common for Mercedes-Benz and this S550 electric showcases the classic looks with new technology hiding inside.

Mercedes S550 electricThere were definitely some other vehicles at the auto show but only one will stick with you. For me it was the GT C Roadster! Look at that face!

GT C Roadster Special thanks to my colleague Michelle for additional photography! It is always hard to get a good image when there are crowds!

Mercedes-Benz Unicorns – You Have to Order!

Benz wagon

In the world of Mercedes-Benz there are common vehicles and then there are Unicorns. These mythical beasts can be new or pre-owned, modern or classic but what they share is rarity. If you are looking for a black E350 sedan with Premium Package I can show you 20 right now. If you are looking for a E350 wagon with Lighting Package and Distronic? Unicorn! You have to plan ahead to get that kind of equipment!

E63 wagonMost wagons in the US market are a little bit of a unicorn but the ultimate is the AMG wagon! These sleepers were almost always special order and rarely make it back to dealer inventory. This 2013 E63 wagon was originally sold in California. Now it is here in Georgia proving that you have to travel far and wide to catch up to a unicorn!

CLK63 AMGThe E-Class cabriolet has not been gifted with an AMG engine in a number of years. It is a rare person that wants to go that fast with the top down! However, when you catch a glimpse of this unicorn it is mystical. This particular cabriolet looked great inside and outside! If you are going to own a unicorn you must take care of it!

G550 4x4

Some unicorns are bigger than others. When Mercedes-Benz makes a special version of the classic G-Wagen you know it is going to be snapped up! The famous 6×6 is rarely seen in the wild but always photographed. The Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet version is currently making waves in Geneva. The 4×4² just arrived in the US and is the biggest unicorn on the lot! We’ll see a very limited number in the US and probably just one year of production.

The moral of the unicorn story is that if you know what you want, you have to get it fast! Colors, options, engines, body styles and production volume are all changing all the time. If you love something, order it!

BenzBlogger at Rally North America – Support Hope for the Warriors!

rally north americaI have signed up to participate in the Rally North America tour of the Appalachians in July 2017! This is my first official rally!

Rally North America is a scavenger hunt style multi-state road rally that visits different parts of the country each year. The summer 2017 trip happens to be in my area. Rally Appalachia will take me from Christiansburg, Virginia to Rome, Georgia and visit several racetracks along the way. There are 70 teams signed up and several on the waiting list. Countdown: The start is July 10th, just four months from now!

Now, I need help! Rally North America uses this event to raise money for charity. The charity for this event is Hope for the Warriors, a Veteran Service Organization. Hope for the Warriors provides support for veterans, family members and active service members. The focus is health and wellness, community involvement and transition from military to civilian life. Here is a chart about how they use donations.

Hope for the Warriors

There are a couple of ways you can donate to both help Hope for the Warriors and to help team @BenzBlogger meet our fundraising goals!

1 – You can visit the online donation area a donate as an individual. Click here, choose your amount and you’re all set!

  • $10.00 Provides a meal to a service member at a hunting or fishing trip
  • $25.00 Covers meals for a spouse visiting a wounded service member in the hospital
  • $100.00 Provides childcare for a service member attending standing Dr. appointments
  • $500.00 Covers books/supplies for a scholarship recipient
  • $1,000.00 Travel/lodging to a brain treatment facility

2 – E-mail me at jcw@atlantaclassiccars.com to set up a sponsorship. I plan to wrap my car with my donor info! I would be happy to use your Instagram or Twitter handle or a company logo. We can work together on placement and look. The higher the donation the bigger the placement! You’ll still donate through the website like a private donation and get the receipt for tax purposes.

My team fundraising goal is $2500. Can you help me reach this goal and support a worthy charity? Would you like to see your name on my new convertible and get exposure on all of my social media channels? I hope so!

Regular updates to come. Thanks in advance!

 

2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4² at Atlanta Classic Cars!

Giant G-Wagen

The iconic G-Class now has a monstrous brother! The 4×4² stopped by today for a moment and I took all of the pictures! This beast is essentialy the famous G63 6×6 minus one axel. It is tall, looming, beefy, wide, and very cool.

G550 4×4²This particular vehicle is destined for another dealership but it was briefly unloaded and it is amazing! I saw it pull in and my first though was “Why is there no wheel on the back?” My second though was “it’s gigantic!” and then I realized that it was the first 4×4² that I had seen in real life!

Mercedes G550 4x4 axels

This vehicle uses the series production G-Class body, variable chassis and all-wheel drive powertrain including portal axels from the G63 6×6 to create a unique off roader with so much presence!  dinamicaThere are almost no choices to be made when ordering the 4×4². Paint color is the only variable. All of the interiors will be the Black Dinamica with white contrast stitching. Can you see the diamond quilting on the doors and seat inserts? The trim is carbon fiber both on the inside and outside of the vehicle. Most of the advertising has featured the Electric Beam yellow paint. This one opted for the more subdued designo Mystic White.

Mercedes G550 4x4 Mystic WhiteThe extra-wide stance is intimidating! Look at the extra carbon fiber width added to the fender flares to accommodate the giant wheels and tires! The front roof spoiler with lights is almost exactly the same as that of the G63 6×6. The sticker quoted fuel economy at 11 mpg for both city and highway.

Mercedes G550 4x4I can’t find the details for this vehicle on MBUSA.com but here is a link to the European specs. This vehicle is now available for sale in the US with a base price of $225,000. I am expecting my first unit in April/May.

Here is a video of the formerly big G550 being unloaded from under the enormous G550 4×4². Enjoy!

designo Magnolia Flowing Lines Trim in the Mercedes-Benz E43 AMG!

E-Class Magnolia TrimThe 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class started arriving earlier this year but we’ve only been getting the “normal” configurations. These are good looking cars…but we all know what Burl Walnut Wood looks like! Some of the ordered cars have recently started to arrive with exciting colors and options!

E-Class Wood trim

This Mercedes-AMG E43 features a new trim – the designo (say duh-zin-yo) Magnolia Flowing Lines Trim with the Macchiato Beige Leather. What a beauty! I have seen the flowing lines trim in the S-Class before and it really compliments the sweeping lines of the dashboard. It also looks like art deco furniture detailing to me and I love it! The Flowing Lines look is also available in Piano Black rather than the Magnolia which would be incredibly dramatic!

Mercedes Striped Wood

The Macchiato Leather is lighter than Silk Beige but not as light as Porcelain. Having it paired with the dark carpet is a life saver in the maintenance department! I often kick the bottom of the door with my shoes as I exit the vehicle and a light door is my nemesis. This is a good combination of light seats with black accents.

Mercedes Magnolia Flowing Lines E-Class

The center console in the 2017 E-Class will always be the high gloss piano lacquer. That is the area from the central command controller, around the cupholders, up to the air conditioning controls. If you like your interior more matchy-matchy then the Paino Lacquer Flowing Lines would be the way to go! Also, you will need a small microfiber cloth to keep the center console dust free.

Mercedes Magnolia Wood

Look at that detail! You can see the wood grain of the Magnolia and every perfect join on the Flowing Lines. I can’t tell what material the Flowing Lines are made of. Is it metal? Wood? Plastic? Maybe someone out there knows? Please do e-mail me if you know!

Try something different with your next order! The designo Flowing Lines Wood trim would be an attractive addition to any new Mercedes-Benz!

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