The AMG Driving Academy is coming back for 2021! Obviously it was suspended for 2020 so there is going to be a lot of pent up demand. They will be honoring AMG Purchase Rewards from last year as well so I think you'll need to book quickly! Don't let your favorite track fill up while you think it over!
You can visit the site to sign up to be notified as soon as the dates and tracks are announced. I expect to see that info the week of April 12th. Normally the event runs for more of the year so this may be a compressed or limited schedule.
For those of you not in the know, the AMG Driving Academy gives you the opportunity to drive almost the entire AMG fleet on some of the best tracks in the US! The are modules to learn about specific things like braking and cornering as well as full track driving. The instructors are top-notch professionals with awesome racing experience. The event itself is incredibly well run and could really appeal to all types of Mercedes enthusiasts. Sometimes they even bring sneak peek vehicles that aren't at the dealerships yet!
So, if you have an AMG Purchase Reward coming your way, or you are looking for a fun event after a year of staying home, the US AMG Driving Academy is coming back!
Have you ever wondered how a Mercedes-AMG would handle itself around Road Atlanta? Are you an owner of a Mercedes-AMG vehicle? Are you a member of the AMG Private Lounge?
On May 19, 2018, from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Mercedes-Benz USA and the AMG Private Lounge Team would like to welcome Mercedes-AMG owners and their guests to an afternoon of all things AMG at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA.
Don’t miss what will be one of the largest gatherings of Mercedes-AMG vehicles in Georgia, e.g. part car show and part AMG experience. Mercedes-AMG owners will have a chance to try our cars on the autocross track plus an opportunity to hot lap Road Atlanta with AMG Driving Academy Pro drivers!
There is no cost to attend the event but you must be an AMG Private Lounge member and you must register for the event by Friday, May 11, 2018 at 12 PM EDT.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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 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.
Atlanta Classic Cars invited a small group of AMG owners to Atlanta Motorsports Park to see what their cars could do on the track! You simply can't appreciate your AMG when following the rules of the road!
Here is a video I made from the porch on the clubhouse. AMP is a great facility and I would highly recommend you go whenever the opportunity presents itself! Thanks to ACC and AMP for a great day!
If you purchased an AMG in the last year you are eligible to go for free! If you did not buy an AMG last year, pay for a day on the track and then you'll buy an AMG for sure and then you can go for free next year!
Here is the link for the 2016 schedule. Coming back to Road Atlanta for my convenience!
Last week a select group of dealership employees and members of the AMG Private Lounge were invited to Palm Beach for an exclusive look at the upcoming AMG GT S. This new vehicle is the second creation of AMG (following the SLS AMG) and is entering the Sports Car segment in spring of 2015.
Two representatives from Atlanta Classic Cars attended the employee event and can share first hand impressions. Doug Strong, far left, and Nash Solanki, third from left, spent two days racing around the track and the hills of California and have come back excited about this new vehicle!
"Hot Inside V" Turbocharger configuration. The exhaust manifolds are on the top of the engine, rather than the bottom, which makes for shorter runners. It eliminates the turbo lag and also makes the engine more efficient. Emissions are lowered because the catalytic converters are on top to treat the exhaust sooner.
Active Electromechanical Engine and Transaxle Mounts: This feature uses electricity to change the viscosity of the oil for a comfort or sport ride. This allows for very distinctive differences between a cushy street set-up and a very stiff track set-up.
Carbon Fiber Drive Shaft: The drive shaft is only 8.8 lbs! The lower weight is obviously a benefit and it also has less drive line losses for more power.
The sound of the vehicle is incredible. It has throatiness that is usually missing from a turbocharged engine. This sound can be turned up or down with the exhaust flap button to have the best of both worlds.
The handling on the car is laser sharp. Point the wheel and it will go where you are asking. The suspension is stiffer than the SLS and responds perfectly.
Race mode makes this a perfect race car. It will hold the car at 5000 rpms for a very aggressive track experience.
On surface streets the car is surprisingly comfortable. Most sports cars in this category are much stiffer and would not be ideal for daily driving.
Solarbeam Yellow was the star of the show! It glows in the sun.
The large intakes on the front with the intercooler is a balance of style and performance.
The hatchback is a little retro, very practical and great looking!
Jaguar F-type R - 5 litre supercharged V8, 7-speed. Good sound but lacks power and torque compared to the GT S. Not as fun to drive. The interior was not as intuitive and lacked polish.
911 Carrera 4S - All-Wheel Drive, wide body. Stunning car, handles well. Seems a little dated. Not as thrilling in the mountains because of the rougher ride. Not as comfortable all around.
This is Nash's new favorite car! It is a technological marvel. It is exhilarating to drive. It is an emotional experience! The handling, the braking, the comfort, the race experience - it does it all well! The styling is a work of art. This is destined to be a classic and the best of both worlds - a race car and a daily driver.
Thanks for sharing your impressions Nash! Order early...with the amount of great press this car is getting the order banks will fill up well before the car is launched!