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Black Swan Race Team is based in Boston running an SLS AMG GT3 in the SCCA Pirelli World Challenge series this year. Black Swan Racing Team owner and driver Tim Pappas is a long time AMG customer and enthusiast, and runs a top notch Team operation. They are committed to the SLS AMG GT3 Customer Sport program in the long run which might include the new IMSA United Sports Car Racing series launching in 2014 which is a merger of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series and the American LeMans Series and will include such world class endurance racing events as the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Sebring 12 Hours, Watkins Glen 6 Hours and Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta, along with a full slate of shorter races around the US.
Our own Will Vetter from AMG Product Management spent some time with the Tim and the Black Swan Team at the recent race at Lime Rock Park.
Pricing for the 2014 Mercedes-Benz models is out…for everything except the S-Class. Here you go!
I was driven on the test track at Untertürkheim (4:30 in the video above). It is as exciting and unreal as it looks in the video! I think Jay likes it too!
Last Wednesday I was able to attend the 1-Day Basic Training at the AMG Driving Academy at Road Atlanta. It was even better than I remembered from last year! The vehicles we unbelievable – C63 AMG, E63 AMG, SLS AMG, SLK55 AMG – the staff was world class and the track was thrilling! All day the instructors encouraged me to accelerate faster, brake harder and be more aggressive. In addition to having a great time, I think I also became a better driver. Here is the video I made during the event. Please pardon all the giggling…it is just so much fun!
There are still openings for the rest of the dates!
You can visit the website to contact the staff or book your dates. If you have an AMG you should go to see what your car can really do. If you are considering an AMG you should go to get REAL test drive! Everyone should go – AMG owner or not!
Thank you AMG Driving Academy for an unparalleled experience!
If you have a DVR be sure to check out the current episode of Ticket to Ride on Speed TV. The main goal of the episode is a comparison between the 300SL and the SLS AMG.
The reason to watch is the portion of the show that takes place at the Mercedes Benz Classic Center in Irvine, CA. They are showing this episode next on March 5th at 11:30am ET. You can check the current schedule here.
Mercedes-Benz introduced us to the newest members of the family during the Super Bowl this year. For more information about the C-Class Coupe, SLS AMG Roadster, SLK-Class and CLS-Class you can visit the Future Vehicles section of MBUSA.com and sign up for updates!
If you keep up with Fifth Gear, a couple episodes ago they visited the Isle of Man where David Coulthard was piloting the SLS AMG. This 2D trailer is for the 3D movie that they were shooting.
Having spent some time on the track in the SLS, I can certainly vouch for how well this car handles even with an amateur behind the wheel. I can’t imagine what someone like Coulthard can make it do. The rumor is that you may see this as a store demo for new 3D TVs – Keep an eye out!
Not that I would expect any Mercedes owner to the consider buying a Lexus LFA but since they have announced that you can actually purchase one here is a comparison from Automobile magazine to explain why you should stick with the SLS.
“While the high-pitched voice of the Lexus is a constant threat to tired windowpanes, the densely packed roar of the Mercedes puts loose plaster to a real test.”
“In the SLS, the balance between steering and throttle is more natural and better weighted. At very high velocities, the Gullwing needs fewer corrections to maintain a steady line”
“The SLS is a powerboat for the road, a mighty mauler that evokes fond memories of a brand’s glorious past, a surprisingly practical and highly visible tool for the dedicated driver.”
“The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, on the other hand, establishes a credible link to its maker’s F1 and DTM racing efforts. And it proves, fifty-six years after the original Gullwing and only weeks after the final production run of the SLR McLaren, that Mercedes still knows how to make a supercar.”
Since it was just released last week most people haven’t even seen an SLS AMG in person. Last weekend at the AMG Driving Academy at Road Atlanta we were able to do way more then just look at it. They had 6 SLS AMGs for us to run on the track. I’ll tell you that this is an amazing vehicle and almost 150 mph feels like nothing for this car.
We arrived at Road Atlanta early Sunday morning and were greeted by a parking lot full of AMGs. After breakfast and a quick driver meeting we broke into groups of 10 drivers and two instructors.
Our first exercise was practicing inducing understeer and oversteer in SL63s on the wet skidpad. With that much power, no ESP, and wet pavement it’s pretty easy to put in a little too much throttle and spin all the way around.
Next, we switched to the SLS for high speed braking and corning exercises. For this we accelerated the SLS as fast as we could from our start point down the hill into turn 10a. Arriving at the corner at just over 80mph we worked through using full ABS braking to stop in the shortest distance, then braking with the correct modulation to stop at the apex of the corner, and then finally doing the turn 10a and 10b combination.
Our next activity was a slalom run and drag race in the E63. For the drag race portion we were racing another student full out down the pit lane but we had to figure out the braking point that would stop our car first within a set of cones without overshooting. Then we switched to the C63s for the high speed braking and avoidance drill. The video below is from one of my runs. They had the instructors radio wired to broadcast through our cars all day so they could give us tips and instructions. Our instructor was really fun.
After lunch it was time to run the full track. We started out in the E63. In groups of 2 or 3 we followed an instructor around the track. They placed cones around the track to show us the ideal turn-in, apex and track-out points. It was really humbling to see how fast the instructors could go while giving us instructions over the radio and watching us in their mirrors. Later they took us on a high speed taxi ride in a C63. Hopefully powersliding and using the curbs the way they did is covered in the two-day advanced class. Between taxi rides, they put us by ourselves in a CLK63 Black Series that was setup with cameras and data acquisition. I’ll be sure to post my video in a few days when the send it to us.
Then it was time to run the track in the SLS. We had great luck and were in a group with just one other car meaning that we had more time in front (behind the instructor). They really let us push pretty hard. On the back straight we were above 140mph before braking for turn 10a. Our group was fast enough that we caught and passed the other half of our larger group that were also in the SLS.
We ended our day with a flat out timed run in the SLK55 on the autocross course. I put in a respectable time but didn’t manage to win the Helmet or iPad that they gave as prizes. It was a great day and I highly recommend that you sign up for this event if you really want to see what Mercedes-Benz and AMG are capable of. To sign up just go to www.AMGacademy.com