Getting to know the latest AMG arrivals around Kyalami
There’s always an air of excitement when a leading manufacturer like AMG presents its premium luxury performance products at the world famous Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. That’s where Mercedes-AMG laid on its Power Tour to present a line-up of very special vehicles including the iconic reborn AMG SL 43.
A very chilly and overcast morning at the Gauteng venue failed to put a damper on proceedings. There was the opportunity to experience the cars around the high-speed racetrack, on a wet and dry gymkhana, do an emergency brake lane change, and a Sprint track too. Like the cars, the morning literally passed by in an adrenalin filled flash.
From the driver seat, there’s an amazing similarity across the entire range thanks to that familiar layout. The My Mercedes MBUX cockpit really stood out to me. The steering wheel, high-tech dashboard ergonomics and layout theme felt identical. In fact, I found that I was hard pressed to differentiate between the models. Until driven towards their limits, that is!
Something familiar inside all these AMGs
All feature large multi-function leather sports steering wheels, and bold, protruding silver air vents. The SL and C models’ larger, centrally mounted displays indicated their loftier interior specification. The electric AMGs on offer were noticeable by their silence and massive torque as they pulled with urgency.
The lightning quick acceleration sprint of the all-wheel drive electric AMG EQE 43 was a whole new experience. Keeping up with the thunderous AMG G63 Wagon was most impressive. Totally different to the great exhaust roar and gear change pops and bangs of the combustion cars.
The A35s and A45s expectedly handled like giant go karts, while the AMG C43, electric EQE43, and GLB35 all performed with confidence inspiring ease in the Brake Lane Change experience. Quite astounding for vehicles of this size and weight.
All-new SL43 has an immense arsenal of tricks
The biggest privilege was however the opportunity of a self-drive experience around the iconic Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. Pedalling cutting edge vehicles on the world class racetrack soon inspired confidence levels way beyond my expectations. These cars are most certainly very well suited to spirited traveling!
The main reason for the day was however to meet the latest AMG models. A street legal machine available to the public with the latest Formula 1 racing engineering technology, the AMG SL43 is a stylish and dynamic luxury performance package.
The new Mercedes-AMG SL marks another milestone as it combines classic sportiness with modern AMG luxury and technology. Highlighted by this new SL 43 entry model, it has the first ever production electric exhaust gas turbocharger using technology straight out of Formula 1.
All new GLB 35, new A 35 and A 45 S
Featuring a Race Start function to help rocket the 2+2 drop top to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds, the SL 43 has a 280 kW 480 Nm 280 hybridised four-cylinder engine turning a nine-speed AMG 9G-torinic automatic transmission. Driving the rear wheels, SL also has active rear-axle steering among its immense arsenal of tricks.
The other novelty is the revised entry-point AMG luxury performance range. The latest Mercedes-AMG A 45 S 4Matic+ (above), A 35 4Matic hatchback (below) and saloon, and the first AMG GLB 35 4Matic are dedicated to a thrilling driving experience. Not much changes under the skin of the revised pair, with most of the changes centred around cosmetics.
That includes revised headlamps, AMG-specific grilles under a new, wreathed AMG badge instead of the Mercedes star, a new front apron, and bonnet power bulges. Add new wheel designs, spoiler tweaks, revised taillights and trademark exhaust tips with twin-flow on the A45 S. Cabins gain that latest MBUX generation with a AMG screen design.
AMG is the epitome of luxury performance
The familiar 310 kW 500 Nm A 45 S hyper-hatch retains its trusty 2-litre four-pot good for 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds. Yes. 3.9 seconds. The A35 now has a 48-volt RSG mild hybrid 10 kW stronger 225 kW 400 Nm turbo 2-litre four-pot. It has an active aero grille. and turns a Speedshift DCT 8-speed automatic transmission.
The all-new GLB 35 marries the A35 engine to an A45-like performance-oriented all-wheel drive system. To seamlessly ensure ultimate dynamics, traction, and efficiency. It has a multi-disc clutch for variable torque split according to the car’s present driving situation.
So, if it’s a comfortable luxury family sports vehicle you after, Mercedes-AMG clearly has a number of great cars that certainly must be on your list. So much is crystal clear following a fantastic day of Mercedes-AMG motoring excellence. – Ken Hawkins