Special feature: AMG Emotion Tour, Pune
Memorable moments are what one remembers throughout the life. It could be an instance or even a big event, but it's these memories that define life, at least that's the case with people who love to drive. And when the cars are ones with an AMG badge, memories are a given. To build these very memories, we gathered a bunch of AMG enthusiasts and customers at the sprawling AMG Performance Centre in Pune. Along with the lovely nip in Pune's winter air was a sense of excitement and anticipation as the participants hovered around the AMG GT, C and E 63 S AMGs. We also lined up a G 63 AMG as well as the GLE 43 AMG and GLC 43 AMG. After a quick briefing, we set off for Aamby Valley in Lonavala via the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
Driving out of Pune was easier than we'd expected. Normally, Pune's chaotic traffic can get on people's nerves with everyone driving at their own sweet pace and no real agenda for the day. But, cosseted in the comfort of their Mercedes-AMGs, our participants didn't even notice the chaos around. That said, all of Pune did come to a grinding halt upon noticing our convoy of AMGs. The AMG GT, obviously was the major attention grabber of the lot with its occupants making the most of Pune's cool weather to drive with the top down. The matte grey E 63 S AMG was another seductress, that grabbed eyeballs. And let's not forget the G 63 AMG with its almighty V8 Bi-turbo growl that sent other road users scurrying for cover!
We drove past Baner and the Balewadi Stadium before hitting NH4, followed by the Expressway. It's here where we could finally let the AMGs loose and do their thing. Some adventurous drivers also slotted the cars in Sports+ mode to fully explore the potential of the cars. Mayur Kalokhe, from Pune was astonished at the sheer ferocity of the AMG GT's acceleration, "The way it darts forward is unbelievable," is what he said after stepping out of the SUV at the designated driver change area.
As we proceeded towards Lonavala, we drove through two successive tunnels which turned out to be sound enhancers as the AMGs whizzed by. For some, the noise ricocheting off the tunnel walls was a treat unlike any other.
As we left the expressway, we got caught in a small jam before turning off onto the road that leads up to Aamby Valley. As far as driving routes go, this road has always featured on the list for enthusiasts and it has to do with how tight, twisty and technical this section really is. It can separate a car that can and cannot handle well, and that's why it was the ideal place to showcase the handling prowess of the AMGs. The more road focussed cars like the GLA 45 AMG and the E 63 S AMG were in their element, as their drivers pushed harder and harder with each passing corner. The perpetual grin on their faces as we drove up to Aamby Valley was testament of the fun they had. Cars that make you smile and happy are often entrenched deep in the memory bank of your brain and these AMGs were certainly etching themselves for a lifetime.
After a quick lunch stop, we headed to 19 Degree North, a dedicated off-road driving facility that's designed to showcase that there's as much fun to be had, driving off-road as much as on it. Our weapons of choice were the G 63 AMG and the GLE 43 AMG.
The course was replete with obstacles that'd put the best of 4WD systems to the test and as it turned out, the systems on our AMGs were supremely capable at everything we threw at them. The G 63 AMG was king when it came to wheel articulation and it simply sailed through. The GLE 43 AMG however was the surprise package as it too soldiered on, unperturbed. Most participants were driving off road for the first time and no idea that these AMGs were adept off-road.
As the sun set, we drove down towards Della Resorts in Lonavala to unwind and catch up on the mega drive. Palash Waikar, a 25-year-old entrepreneur and the proud owner of the new E-Class, was floored by the new E 63 S AMG. "My god, the acceleration, braking and handling of the car is just next level," is all he could surmise at the end of the day. Nikunj Goyal, another entrepreneur from Mumbai echoed similar feelings about the E 63 S AMG. "It's just incredible. I might actually get one," were his words while grinning from ear to ear, reminiscing a memorable drive.
And it all boils down to that, doesn't it? A day spent exploring what Mercedes-Benz's performance division has to offer, only cemented the belief that these machines are designed to leave a lasting impression. The sound, the speed, the agility of these AMGs left indelible memories in the hearts and minds of each and everyone. And isn't that what a car is supposed to do?
Images by Ishaan Bhataiya
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