Special feature: AMG Emotion Tour, Delhi
Power can be defined as "Moving or travelling with great force." And the most forceful way to do this is to hit the road in a Mercedes-AMG. Normally roads are used to travel from one place to another. But for driving and performance enthusiasts, they are much more than this. They see every stretch of grey surface as an invitation, and an encouragement to unleash their vehicle's power that becomes an expression of their personality.
Usually, any road is good to enjoy Mercedes-AMGs. But when OVERDRIVE and Mercedes-Benz get together, the word 'drive' takes on a completely different meaning. Then the pleasures of a drive are equal to the delights of the destination and the exhilarating experiences it has to offer. Saturday, 22nd September marked the start of a 'special drive' from Delhi to Jaipur in 13 Mercedes-AMG vehicles. 23 motoring enthusiasts got together with some members of the OVERDRIVE team and after a flag-off from the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Delhi, 17 AMGs took off in a forceful convoy for Jaipur, the royal city and capital of Rajasthan.
The Delhi-Jaipur highway has been widened and improved many times, but because of the volume of traffic it can still get crowded. As you drive out of Delhi, you see the entire region has developed fast and the prosperity is evident by the fancy houses and even fancier cars parked in them. Beyond Manesar, the traffic started to spread out and the drivers could increase the breathing rate of their AMGs, which became a cause for celebration in itself. Because AMGs don't just develop lots of newton meters, they also generate an awesome sound that is pleasing to the ears. Tejas Chatwal, one of the participants was overwhelmed by the pops and crackles produced by the E63 AMG. "The sight and sound of an AMG makes other people clear the way for the car. It's kind of addictive," he said with a huge grin on his face.
The full and powerful rumble of the exhaust system is a defining signature feature of every Mercedes-AMG, with each model making its very own distinct sound statements. The various modes make their own unique contribution and alter the sound experience while on the move. Almost every push on the accelerator pedal and each driving situation have an inimitable sound character, which is the equivalent of an exceptional symphony for performance enthusiasts.
So involved was everyone in this exhaust formed orchestra, that before we knew it, we were approaching our first halting place, Neemrana that is about 125 kms from Delhi. The group was charged with the AMG power they had reveled in, and as a result, the refreshment halt was a short one as everyone was keen to get back into their cars. All the talk was about how directly the acceleration could be felt in their AMGs, how much fun it was to drive them, the instant thrust and response, and of course the sonorous sound. They were also updated on the fact that Neemrana, is famous for its fort that was built in 1464 and now this town on the highway has a large industrial zone with many Korean and Japanese factories. In fact, it's one of the few places in India where you get authentic Korean food! An ancient fort and Korean food, such are the fascinating contrasts of India.
Back on the road, everybody was soon involved in the lively Mercedes-AMG driving experience. Green fields with colourfully dressed farmers tending to them, quaint villages full of small shops selling all kinds of utensils and everyday use items, skilled craftsmen chipping away at marble to create striking sculptures, all this and more flew by, with the world certainly looking a better place through the windscreens of our Mercedes-AMG vehicles. Subsequently, we reached the 'Elephant Village' near Amber on the outskirts of Jaipur that has almost 200 resident elephants! The Amber Fort also offers a magnificent diversity of sights, from the 12th century relics of the old town in the valley to the sheer beauty of the 17th century royal palace. The Jaigarh Fort located above Amber, houses the huge and impressive Jaya Vana cannon and also has an impressive armoury containing a variety of swords, spears, guns, battle-axes, etc. The Amber Fort complex provides an insight into the intricacies of defense in the turbulent times of war and siege, and the flamboyant extravagance of the rulers during periods of peace.
After a quick pitstop to catch up on the sights we drove into Jaipur, which is surrounded by hills crowned with rugged forts, and the plains are dotted with pretty palaces. This picturesque and colourful city is a symphony in pink and is full of places to see and things to do, and it casts its spell from the moment you arrive. Jaipur also excels in its choice of period accommodation and our haven was the majestic and sumptuous Ram Bagh Palace. Originally built as a pleasure pavilion, it is now a part of the Taj Group of Hotels.
Once the check-in formalities and lunch were done, we proceeded for our next powerful experience clay target shooting with shotguns at the OASES JDA Shooting Range. Here the experts on hand taught our group the basics of shooting at the clay targets. Basically in trap shooting, the targets are launched from a single source or machine, generally away from the shooter. And in skeet shooting, targets are launched from two different points in somewhat sideways paths that intersect in front of the shooter. Both, of course, require plenty of skill, but it's also one of the most immediate ways to feel "Newton's Laws of Motion- like, every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it."
When a shotgun is resting in its rack, the state of motion does not change. But lift it to your shoulder and pull the trigger and the force is unleashed giving instant acceleration, just like in any Mercedes-AMG. This energy is created by the burning of the charge or gunpowder in the shell or cartridge. When you pull the trigger of a gun, a spring mechanism hammers a metal firing pin into the back end of the cartridge, igniting the small explosive charge in the primer. The primer then ignites the propellant - the main explosive that occupies about two thirds of a typical cartridge volume and this high pressure forces the pellets in the cartridge down the barrel of the shotgun at extremely high speeds of about 1,800 fps (feet per second), which is 1,975 kmph! If the speed is high, so is the impact and power of the recoil remember Newton's third Law of Motion "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." Yes, whenever one object exerts a force on a second object, the second object exerts an equal and opposite force on the first object and in a shotgun, this is recoil- a backward movement caused by the momentum of the pellets leaving the barrel. It's like being thrown back in the seat of a Mercedes-AMG when you floor the throttle.
All the participants of this drive were thrilled at having this exhilarating experience in the proper controlled environment of the shooting range, with seasoned experts to guide and coach them in complete safety and with the best of practices. Later, some returned and retired to their rooms at the luxurious Rambagh Palace Hotel, while others ventured out to explore the many delights of Jaipur, which is a very popular tourist destination. The Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds is Jaipur's answer to Agra's Taj Mahal. The City Palace is a huge complex with several gardens, courtyards and beautiful buildings. Jaipur is also the home of several exquisite crafts and its bustling bazaars and teeming markets are a vivid showcase of skills in craftsmanship. These traditional handicrafts are a big attraction for shoppers and perhaps, the most popular is Bandhani, the local name for tie and die textiles. Gold, precious and semi-precious stones are traded in the Johari Bazaar (Goldsmith's market), and the other popular goods include blue-pottery, miniature paintings, carpets, etc. The lanes that house the overflowing shops are interconnected and are like an open-air museum, a treasure house of traditional arts and crafts.
The celebrations in the evening with local entertainment at the Rambagh Palace, saw a lot of camaraderie amongst the participants with many expressing that they would be sad to return to Delhi the next day. Simply because nothing quite matches the magic of going on a motoring holiday in a Mercedes-AMG.