Merc’s pocket rocket

2014-08-30 00:00

MERCEDES-BENZ this week added new editions to its dream car range and surprised the motoring media with the GLA 45 AMG 4Matic “Edition 1”.

Car manager at Merc, Selvin Govender, said all Mercedes-Benz coupés, convertibles and roadsters are called “dream cars”, adding the 45 AGM has earned the right to the Gee-badge.

This soft ute can claim two firsts in the Merc stable — the smallest AMG engine yet; and a go-faster wing on the back, which blended perfectly with the historic Hesketh race track in Pietermaritzburg.

The two-litre engine lays claim to being the most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine in the world, making 265 kW and 450 Newton metres on the road. This all-wheel drive pocket rocket sells for R740 100, not including R75 000 worth of kit on the models I was privileged to push into holes and up inclines where no sane AMG owner will ever willingly go.

I also took it to the Hesketh track, where the 45 AMG presents the driver with a feedback that feels sinuously alive from the constantly adjusting drive­train that sends power to the wheels where traction is needed most.

The entire dream car range of SL models were given a chance to show what Govender called “their superior handling and the Mercedes-Benz’s hallmark of practicality and safety in everyday use” around the tricky Hesketh track.

Motor Sport South Africa had in fact called Witness Wheels last week to state, for the record, it does not consider this historic venue safe for high speed events, due to the proximity of trees and houses on dangerous corners.

None of the dream cars was put out by those dangerous corners, including the two flagship models in Merc’s dream car range — the SLS Coupé and SLS AMG Roadster super sports cars.

“Following the successful introduction of the SLK 250 AMG Line early in 2013, we are now adding the new SL 400 AMG Line and the E 250 CDI Coupé to our wide range of dream cars,” said Govender.

Prices for these cars — well … you know that saying about having to ask?

Suffice to say the AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system — with composite brake discs and red, brake callipers with a bit of writing on it, is an optional extra costing R120 900 on the SL400 AMG and SL500 AMG. But you really don’t need it in these two sumptious sedans.

Let the driver worry about the brakes.

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