Mercedes Benz AMG GT Class Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT is just another masterpiece from the German luxury carmaker. Unveiled at the Paris Auto Show 2014, this sports car has finally arrived here in India. For now, only one variant is launched, which is the AMG GT S. It is the fifth AMG model by Merc and is last but one in the company’s 15-car launch plan for India this year. It is only the second sports car after SLS AMG, which is designed and developed wholly by the manufacturer. Under the hood, there lies a 4.0-litre, bi-turbo petrol engine. It propels this GT S to an electronically regulated top speed of 310 Kmph and clocks 100 Kmph mark from a standstill in just 3.8 seconds. This sports car represents the next level of build quality in the auto industry. It comes with the latest design language featuring almond shaped LED headlamps and a signature grille with company’s star embedded on it. The overall exterior design looks flawless and there is no wonder it if its gets your attention at first sight. The same is the case with its interior design, thanks to the use of premium leather upholstery. Also, glossy black and chrome accents insides adds a bit more sophistication to the cabin. As a standard feature, it comes with ‘Designo headlining in black dinamica microfiber’ that renders it an exclusivity.

EXTERIORS ;

Design is its highest talking point and why not as it won the Red Dot Award for the innovative design. Bonnet is long and wide, marked by the sculpted wheel arches that penetrate into the edged of the engine hood. Exterior styling isn’t very elaborate and that is what makes it even more classy and interesting. Bonnet gets subtle lines, up front, the large black radiator grille with chrome treated Mercedes emblem and sleek chrome line running across the grille appears elegant. Air intakes are large too, adding aggression to the front profile. The lower grille is also finished in black. Coming to the LED head lamps, these have been carved intricately; it features a couple of elements that looks upmarket. The bonnet is so long that the windscreen appears short; the all black wing mirrors go well with the black roof. Side profile is chic, all thanks to the large black finished 19 inch wheels in front and 20 inch wheels at rear. Rear gets extremely lean LED tail lamps, Lift-back style trunk lid, dual chrome tail pipes, reflectors and the roof cascades beautifully into the rear. Window frame is petite and curvy featuring black outlining. Yet another interesting fact is that chrome work is minimal, instead the vehicle gets more of black finishing that for some reason looks posh.

INTERIORS ;

The interior section is just a continuation of its exterior design language. It comes with a blend of classy theme and extreme sporty characteristics that makes it stand-out amongst others. As we can see there is an extensive use of leather inside the cabin highlighted by glossy black and chrome accents. Its floor console has an impressive design and is housed with dial type control switches along with push buttons. Also, it features a touch controller along with a shift knob. The seats are of AMG sports design and covered with premium grade leather upholstery. We can also see the door panels with this upholstery, which only elevates its exclusivity. The steering wheel has a specific three-spoke flat bottomed design. However, it is wrapped with a combination of leather and velvet upholstery making the cabin look even more exclusive. The instrument panel has a twin-tube design, but also has a color screen that displays all the informatics. All the air vents inside have a chrome garnish, which further boost the regal stance of the insides. The central console is mounted with an infotainment screen that is integrated with touch controls. As for the conveniences, we can see a few facilities like a glove box, inside mirrors, cabin lights and much more. The cabin is designed to accommodate only two occupants along with luggage at rear section.

Currently, this vehicle from Mercedes Benz comes only in one variant. Unlike other sports cars, it features better equipment and facilities, which only offer luxurious traveling experience. As a standard feature, it comes with a specific AMG package including performance steering wheel, instrument cluster, sports seats, ambient lighting and floor mats with AMG lettering. As for the comfort, this vehicle comes integrated with a reversing camera along with PARKTRONIC system that aids driver while parking in tight corners. Also, it has a cruise control system that eases the efforts while driving on highways. This variant is also packaged with features like memory package along with heated front seats, KEYLESS-GO package, windscreen wipers with rain sensors, mirror package and illuminated AMG door sills in brushed stainless steel. The manufacturer is also offering a list of features as optional package for the buyers. Those include AMG performance seats, carbon fibre package and other such features.

PERFORMANCE ;

The same engine that powers the C63 AMG S is also found under the hood the Mercedes AMG GT-S. The 4.0-litre, V8, Bi-Turbo engine puts out 510 horses and 650 Nm of torque. It comes with the 7-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT transmission. The engine is far from tame and it can be best described as a wild animal. Power delivery is instantaneous right from stepping on the gas and what is turbo lag?! Baby the throttle and the AMG GT-S will potter around smoothly with a light burble from the exhaust. Go full out on the pedal and the car will simply take off and reach 100 km/hr in less than 4 seconds.

Since all the power is sent out to the rear wheels, there is a lot of wheel spin and the car twitches a lot under hard acceleration too. The engine has so much punch that it just goes on and on right up to the 7000 RPM redline with a very loud growl. The powerplant never feels strained out and the speeds it can do in a matter of seconds is mind boggling! At extremely high speeds, the AMG GT-S feels raw and it transforms itself into a missile. The driver gets a lot of feedback from the car and the fun factor that you get feels very unadulterated. The supercar also comes with a rear wing which pops out at different speeds depending on the driving mode chosen, but you can always choose to pop it up manually too.

You get different modes to choose from – Individual, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Race. In the first 3 modes, the exhaust noise gets a little tamed down while performance remains good but not as ballistic as the latter 2 modes. In Sport+ and Race, the exhaust comes up at full volume and performance is also top notch, while the chassis feels much more tighter. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT gearbox is splendid and does its job very nicely. Fuel efficiency is something that should just not be discussed while talking about performance cars. But for those who are still curious, well, the Mercedes AMG GT-S will probably churn out 3-5 km/l if it’s driven the way it’s meant to be driven.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Driving the 2017 Mercedes AMG GT is an event. Whatever engine you choose, acceleration is instantaneous yet controllable, and the turbocharged V8 feels as if it’s even more powerful than its lofty specs would indicate. When fitted with the performance exhaust (optional on the GT, standard on the GT S), a bypass valve opens that amps up the V8’s full-throated roar and sends a shiver down your spine. The neighbors may be less impressed, however.

Most cars these days have electric power steering, but the GT’s old-school hydraulic setup is gloriously direct, responsive and characterized by a class-leading amount of feedback. Together with its superb suspension tuning, excellent brakes and sharp transmission, the GT is an effortlessly fast sports car. Whereas earlier AMG offerings had all the delicacy of a chainsaw when carving up a back road, the GT feels like a far more precise instrument when you’re pushing hard. Driven more sedately, it’s a pretty civilized beast, but its ride quality is certainly on the firm side. In particular, watch out for the AMG Dynamic Plus package’s stiffened suspension. Even with the adaptive dampers on their most supple setting, impacts are transmitted through the seats with an un-Mercedes-like harshness.

SAFETY ;

On the safety front, the Mercedes AMG GT-S comes equipped with ATTENTION ASSIST, Adaptive Brake Lights, AMG high performance composite brake system, PRE-SAFE, ESP, TPMS, Automatic Child Seat Recognition and front, knee, side (thorax and pelvis) airbags for the driver and co-driver apart from windowbags. Mercedes also has one of the best after-sales service among the premium marquees.

VERDICT ;

The AMG GT opens a new era for Mercedes-Benz and AMG, as the Germans now have the tools to go against the Porsche 911, the benchmark for all sports cars. With the SLR McLaren and the SLS AMG as its spiritual predecessors, the Mercedes-AMG GT has some big shoes to fill, but it seems AMG has reached a stage where it no longer focuses on brute power alone, but on a package that brings lightness, force, and fuel efficiency under the same roof. It remains to be seen whether or not the GT has what it takes to give the 911 a run for its money, but the preliminary details suggest Stuttgart is about to host an epic battle. Needless to say, the AMG GT has that classic front-engine sports car appeal that many manufacturers fail to obtain.

 

Mahindra TUV300 Features & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Compact SUVs, they come in two sizes – S and XS, the latter getting the crucial excise duty advantage and yet we have very few options. Mahindra quite literally started the sub 4-metre compact SUV segment (the highly outdated Premier RiO aside) by taking a big saw and chopping off the backside of its Xylo MPV, OK, there certainly is more than what meets the eye but I digress. The MPV based Quanto faltered on many fronts and new entrants in the segment lead to sales dropping drastically. Time for a new SUV for the UV specialist then, only thing being, the TUV300 isn’t the successor to the Quanto but we at MotorBeam feel it fills those shoes till the updated model is launched. After driving it on the Mahindra test track, we quite liked the product but time for a detailed road test to judge the real character of this “Tough Utility Vehicle”. Check for TUV300 price in Kolkata

EXTERIORS ;

Taking inspiration from the ‘battle tank’, TUV300 has been shaped in a rather boxy manner which may or may not go well with the customer, reason being that some may find it tough and rugged while others may think that it is too plain jane to stand competition like Hyundai Creta, Maruti S-Cross, Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster. Mahindra TUV300 pictures of the outside testify the company’s attempt to come up with a rugged vehicle, but what really works for the SUV is that despite its small size it manages to appeal customers and is not mistaken for an oversized hatchback. Despite its sub-four meter length, the SUV does not seem petite or compressed, probably because it is not feature clad on the outside, the unnecessary styling to make it look sporty has been skipped which works well for it. Front is bold, the engine hood is short and front apron is unusually wide. Radiator grille is reminiscent of Jeep and a hint of chrome is evident around the rectangular openings. Head lights are designed in such as way that fits well with the bold front end. Body coloured lower bumper gets square shaped fog lights featuring chrome surrounds. Air inlets are again wide that add to the aggressive stance. Wheel arches are rather rectangular than round, side view is simple, the black treatment around the window frame, dual tone power adjustable ORVMs, body painted outside door handles and window beltline altogether lends a suave look. Rear too has been designed in line with the rest of the body, a set of simple tail lights and mounted spare wheel are equipped on the tailgate. And the black painted roof rails have been atop appear sport. Get deals on TUV300

INTERIORS ;

The cabin of the TUV300 is a mix of beige and black, with some dull silver thrown in. While it isn’t the best quality from the Mahindra stable, it does just fine for the price point. The space is enormous, and the cabin proportions felt exact. Taller/heftier members of our team had little to complain about during the drive.The all new dashboard layout is marvellous in our opinion, and Mahindra has perfected its beige-black combination with this particular model. The centre region is coloured in black, while the upper and lower halves are beige.The black design stretches all the way into the front console, extends around the instrument cluster and envelops the steering wheel as well. The centre console is laid out in a simple yet, eye catching manner. We personally feel that it is one of the best looking fascia designs in a Mahindra. The piano black finish for the console adds some zest to the look, and the silver garnish looks nice as well.

Positioned at the top of the console are two AC vents, and right below them is the 2 DIN audio system that comes with Bluetooth, AUX and USB connectivity. The buttons to the radio are spread around the small screen.At the bottom of the fascia, you have three large AC knobs with chrome surrounds. A 12V power socket along with a USB and AUX-In port have been integrated in front of the gear lever, and resting between the front seats are cup holders and other storage options. Power switches for all four windows are also hosted in the console area between the seats, while a small storage pocket is present behind the hand brake. We personally felt that these small pockets wouldn’t hold anything substantial, but you could find them useful for keeping spare change or your keys.

Look up at the roof and you’ll find a cabin light console that resembles that of the Scorpio. Also included here are swivel lamps and a Bluetooth mic. Talking about the inner comfort, we were quite satisfied with the ergonomic build-up of the seating. The front passengers get the benefit of the individual armrests, while headrests for all of the seats further ramp up the comfort. The vinyl and fabric mixed upholstery quality is acceptable. The steering wheel inherits the standard Mahindra design that you can easily spot in other vehicles of the brand including the Scorpio and XUV500. The shiny emblem of the company rests at the focus of the wheel, and audio controls have been incorporated at the left.

The chunky steering wheel is nice to hold. For the top end variants, there is a silver garnish on the lower side of the wheel, which adds an upmarket touch. In front of the steering wheel, the instrument cluster houses the tachometer and the speedometer, and when you take a closer look, it feels as though the company never falls short of chrome. The dials have a chrome touch too.

PERFORMANCE ;

Mahindra offers the TUV300 with a 1.5-litre diesel engine. But, it comes in two states of tune. First being the mHawk80 which has a power of about 84bhp, while the second engine is the mHawk100, which produces close to 100bhp of power. Both these come with a five-speed manual transmission and the powerful engine has AMT option too. The powerful engine comes only with the top variant T8, with 100bhp. This an improvement over the 80 bhp version.

Engine refinement is good, and there is very limited vibrations at low speeds. It is at high speeds that the engine becomes noisy. The engine has good power. There is good enough torque at almost any engine speed. The boost that one gets from a diesel engine seems to be missing on the 80bhp. The 100bhp is a tad quicker, but nothing that one can speak off. The 100bhp engine is more suited for the AMT version and has ironed out a lot of issues that came up with the 80bhp version.

The gear lever on the Mahindra TUV300 is tall but it easily gets slotted. The clutch pedal too is light and it makes it easy to drive. The AMT is a bit sluggish in shift, but is good enough for city use. There have been issues with this transmission, however now it the problems have been fixed.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The TUV300 will be Mahindra’s first SUV which will actually sit on the new body on frame chassis which has been developed for recently for the new generation Scorpio. The advantage of this new chassis is that it weighs much less than its earlier ladder on frame chassis, although the length of the Chassis will be actually shorter than that of the Scorpio for obvious reasons. For that reason expect the new TUV300 to also handle better than the compact SUV Quanto

SAFETY ;

The TUV300 is offered with dual front airbags and ABS as optional on the T4 variant while the T6 variant gets ABS as standard. Airbags and ABS with EBD are standard offerings on the T8 variant. This is quite a good step taken by Mahindra since safety is quite a norm now and most customers have finally realised the importance of these features. In terms of service, well the automaker has a lot of service stations across the length and breadth of the country and there are service centres located in remote areas too. Hence, TUV300 buyers need not worry much when it comes to servicing their vehicles.

VERDICT ;

The Mahindra TUV300 is a refreshingly good product from Mahindra with appealing looks, a very well made interior that is also well designed. It is spacious, doesn’t cost the earth and has a pretty good ride and handling package too. If only the TUV300’s engine was more powerful and more responsive, it would have been an even more potent vehicle than it is today. That said, we are sure that the TUV300 will be a runaway success for Mahindra as most of its customers do not really care how powerful it is and are more wooed by how nice this compact SUV actually looks on the outside and insides and of course, how fuel efficent it is.

What is important to note here though is the fact that the TUV300 will not only take on the likes of the Ford Ecosport but also the likes of the premium hatchbacks like the Hyundai i20 and the Honda Jazz along with compact sedans like the Ford Aspire and the best selling Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, and that is when its value for money quotient will really make sense.

Mercedes Benz AMG G63 Class Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Mercedes-Benz G-Class G-63 AMG Crazy Colour Edition has exclusive luxury and comfort features with distinct exteriors. The exteriors have a new AMG radiator grille, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lightsand the panoramic sunroof with electric tilt/slide adjust. The comfort features of thermatic automatic climate control system, and the infotainment system with Harman surround sound system and touchscreen display with navigation feature deliver perfect entertainment for the occupants. Mercedes-Benz offers five distinctive colour options, such as Tomato Red Metallic, Alien Green Non-Metallic, Galactic Beam Metallic, Solar Beam Metallic and Sunset Beam Metallic, for this variant.

EXTERIORS ;

The G63 AMG carries old-school design elements that were found way back in the earlier G-Wagen. While Mercedes-Benz has added a lot of modern touches to the styling, the overall design still remains old-fashioned and it does suit the car’s personality. The headlamps are big and round while the turn indicators are placed on either side of the bonnet. The front bumper is flanked with LED DRLs and a chrome bull bar which looks quite macho. The side profile is pretty much straight-forward and those who do not know about the G63 can easily mistake the car for a modified Mahindra Bolero or something like that. The 20-inch alloys look massive and that matte black finish adds that sporty touch to the SUV. Peep between the spokes of the wheels and you notice the bright red brake callipers. Moving to the rear, the same rugged styling is carried over. The spare wheel is mounted on the boot in a body-coloured cover.

Stuff like the rubber insulation for the windows and windshield, rubber+chrome trim on the side profile and the bull bar are just some of the things that remind us that even though the G has grown modern, it still doesn’t miss out on its roots. The G63 AMG Crazy Colour is offered in three shades – Alien Green, Solar Beam and Sunset Beam. The vehicle gets an AMG sports exhaust system with two exhaust outlets mounted below the rear doors on either side. The SUV also gets bi-xenon headlamps with headlamp washers and headlight range adjustment. The LED DRLs are said to be brighter than the side lights and yet they consume lower power than the low beam headlights.

This model also gets a Stainless Steel package which includes side running boards and the spare wheel cover. Talking about road presence, the regular G63 AMG as well as the previous G55 AMG have always had loads of it. We have mostly seen these SUVs in white, black or silver and while they look uber sexy in those colours, the Crazy Colour variant takes things to just another level. The Alien Green shade looks quite bright in real and the SUV commands attention wherever it goes. We saw lots of kids looking at the car and smiling while their parents took out their phones to click a random picture of the car.

INTERIORS ;

We’re still in the dark about the upcoming G-Wagen’s interior. No spy shots or leaked insider information gives us a clear picture of what Mercedes has planned. However, rumors suggest the G-Class will use a similar layout and even share parts with the E-Class sedan. We certainly expect Mercedes to move the G-Class up market in terms of fit, finish, materials, and design.

Selecting the AMG G63 option box will surely bring a bespoke interior worthy of the AMG logo. Expect heavily bolstered seats, a sports steering wheel, carbon fiber accents, and perhaps red contrast stitching throughout the cabin. Alcantara and leather will likely be very prevalent.

The G-Class will come with Mercedes’ latest infotainment system from the E-Class. That means the small, outdated screen on the outgoing G-Wagen will be no more. We’re also hoping Mercedes redesigns the center console in a effort to incorporate better cup holders. The rear seats will likely have better legroom thanks to the slightly stretched wheelbase.

PERFORMANCE ;

For something as big as a one bedroom flat and about as aerodynamic and heavy as a bank vault, the G63 AMG is fast. Very fast. 0-100kph comes up in a claimed 5.4 seconds and top speed is limited to 210kph. The crazy performance is possible thanks to that monster of an engine under the bonnet. It’s a 5.5-litre, twin-turbo petrol V8 unit that makes 536bhp at 5500rpm and a mad 77.5kgm between 2000-5000rpm. The engine comes linked to a seven-speed automatic gearbox with permanent four-wheel drive there to transfer all the power to the four wheels; power that is literally available on call, at all throttle openings and across the rev range (that culminates at about 6200rpm). It actually verges on the funny what the AMG engine and modern gearbox can make this ‘distinguished’ (read: old) SUV do.

You’ll also break into a laugh each time you hear the G63’s exhaust note. The quad exhausts (two each ahead of the rear wheels) are always up to some mischief. They let out a deep burble at low speeds, a louder growl in the mid range and a full-blown African lion roar at the top-end. The G63 is the best-sounding of the turbo AMGs and one best heard in a tunnel.But as fast as the G63 is in a straightline and as dramatic it sounds, it’s not the AMG you’d want to show up in at a track day. The G63 just doesn’t like to corner. There’s a lot of slack and general vagueness to the steering and body movements around the bends are exaggerated too. Truth is, you wouldn’t want to push the G63 on anything tighter than long sweeping bends. High speed ride is also quite lumpy. Ride comfort is better and more than acceptable at low speeds but the suspension, in general, feels rudimentary in the way it tackles bumps.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

No surprises here, the G63 isn’t going to be agile by any stretch of imagination. Sure it’s an AMG and sends power to all four wheels but rigid axles and stiff suspension is necessary to keep 552PS/760Nm in check. The steering is on the heavier side, which is good as you don’t want to make large inputs. Weight transfer at high speeds is unnerving and attacking tighter corners is best avoided. It’s not meant to be a corner carver though. What the G63 is meant to do is dart fast on a highway to reach your offroad trail and we did just that. It’s here where the G63 comes into its own. Few SUVs offer three diff locks, and the G is one of those. You can either lock the front axle, rear axle or even the centre differential to send power to any desired wheel that finds traction. If not for the ludicrous price tag, we’d be happily mud plugging in this brute.

SAFETY ;

Talking about safety, well the G63 AMG is loaded to the gills. It is equipped with front, side and pelvis airbags for the driver and front passenger and side airbags for all passengers. The SUV also gets upfront and rollover sensors, NECK-PRO, ABS, BAS brake assist with brake servo assistance, Electronic Traction System 4ETS, Acceleration Skid Control, ESP, AMG high-performance braking system, Hill Start Assist and Adaptive Brake with hold function, TPMS and anti-theft alarm. In terms of after sales service, Mercedes continues to be excellent and the company has always had a good reputation in this regard.

VERDICT ;

The G63 AMG in its crazy colour is a crazy SUV. If you are out in the market to spend about Rs 2 crore, then you are already wild enough to buy something. So, do not think a bit and pick the G63 AMG. You won’t regret as there is nothing in the market that give you joy like this one. A supercar might have better on-road manners than this but the G makes a stronger case for itself. You do not have to worry about speed-breakers or bumps with this Wagen. The idea of having a highly capable off-roader with a twin-blowing V8 didn’t impress us, until we got behind the wheel and claimed it to be the best vehicle money can ever buy.