It is not possible to fully appreciate the performance capabilities of these vehicles on public roads, at least not legally. To begin to understand what these cars and SUVs are engineered to do, one must head to the nearest race track and unleash these beasts. And that’s what we did, spending a day participating in the AMG Performance Tour at a new race track on Vancouver Island.
Participants stay at the exquisite Villa Eyrie Resort in Malahat, which is about 30 minutes from the track. Once at the track, the day starts off with a quick breakfast followed by a short classroom presentation. The extremely friendly and knowledgeable AMG team discuss the different vehicles that will be driven that day, some of the technology that these vehicles feature, and how to drive the cars on the track, autocross and off-road course. Then the participants are split in two groups; one group heads out onto the track, the other goes off-roading, and then they switch later in the morning.
The circuit is quite short, complex and offers lots of elevation change. In ‘follow the leader’, each driver has the opportunity to follow the race instructor’s car to begin to learn and understand the proper racing line. After a few laps, the pace begins to pick up, the cars’ exhausts start to emit better and louder sounds and the smiles on the driver’s faces get bigger and bigger.
What is even more fun is participating in the autocross. At your disposal are two Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupes and a lot of indestructible orange cones. As is typical of AMG cars, the C 63 S Coupes are so understated that when you get behind the wheels and accelerate, brake and corner as hard as you can, you are left mystified at how impressively these cars can handle everything you can throw at them and they are ready for more.
Of the dozen or so cars we sampled, the GT R Coupes and C 63 S Coupes were our favorites of the day.