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Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG

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      04.11.2003 20:58
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      • "Mercedes Dealer Network"

      Today I have just had one of the most exhilarating automotive experiences of my life. It?s not everyday you go to your local Mercedes Benz dealer and they have a drive what you like day. Imagine going in to your local dealer and they ask you "Which car you would like to test drive?" ?Okay! I?d like to drive that one please? says I to the salesman pointing at the SL55 AMG part outside the front door of the dealers. ?No problem? says the salesman and off he runs to get the keys and dealer plates. I hang around expecting this to be some kind of joke at my expense but the salesman comes down the stairs with the keys to the car in one hand and the dealer number plates in the other. ?Come on!? he says and walks toward the door. Outside he puts the plates on the car and gets in and starts the engine. I look at the open door and then at my wife, who says ?Go on? and I climb into the car. The salesman blips the throttle as I close the door ?What a noise? says I. The salesman just smiles as he again blips the throttle and we roll towards the exit of the dealership. The salesman drives the car from the garage around the corner and onto the main road, just time to take a quick look at the road before, ?Wooooooow!? he accelerates full throttle and I?m thrown back in to the seats as we go from 0 ? 60 in the blink of an eye. We drive up to the Harrington Arms in Bosley and he brings the car to a stop on the Car Park. Now its my go?. I climb into the drivers seat and can?t help feeling a bit nervous, this is a £100,000 car. This car is over half the price of my house and is the most expensive car I have ever driven. However I climb into the drivers seat, adjust it for my driving position, which is dead easy with the electrically adjustable seats, a brief touch of the adjustable steering wheel control, so I can see the dials and I?m ready. I put the car in gear and release the hand
      brake and slowly we creep towards the car park exit. I turn out onto the main road and immediately bury the throttle. The cars rear wheels object and spin for a split second before the traction control kicks in, ?Naughty boy!? However its not long before we hit 80mph and I have to press the brake to slow us down. After all were at double the speed limit! Whoops! We come to rest at the traffic lights at Bosley crossing with four cars in front of us. The salesman tells me, ?You?ll get past these no problem after the lights, but pull out before you floor it. Otherwise you?ll end up in the back of that Renault!? The lights change we move off and I pull out, boot it and we pass all four cars with absolute ease. Again I look down and again I have to apply the brakes as where going well over the speed limit. I fear if this car was mine my license would be a distant memory in a matter of minutes. We meander back to the dealers showroom but on the way, I cannot help slowing down from the cars in front so that I can boot it again and feel the acceleration! This is an extremely quick car plus the exhaust note is supremely addictive. What a noise! Also through the curves on the Bosley road the car handles beautifully and the back end of the car feels planted to the road even if you floor the accelerator mid corner. I can imagine this car being impossible to drive for a mere mortal like me without the traction control. The salesman tells me you can turn the traction control off, pointing at the button, but I reject his offer, this is not my car and I don?t want to be known as the man who crashed a £100,000 car on a test drive. I fear this would be headline news in the local press? Headline ?Local idiot turns traction control off in Mercedes SL55 AMG!? As we arrive back at the dealers I cannot help be feel myself grinning ear to ear. I?m still smiling now as I write this, nine hours later. I can unders
      tand now why people buy this type of sports car. It really does give you that millionaire smile and the adrenaline rush is amazing. I park the car and begrudgingly get out, I want another go, but the experience is over and I have to return to the real world. I cannot afford an SL55 AMG and have to return to my A210 Evo but I know that if I could afford this car I would be signing the cheque right now. Maybe when I?m a millionaire I might invest in something like this but who know, all I can say is this is an amazing car and if you own one then you?re a lucky SOB and can I please borrow it for a few days, please? Engine Specs: 5.5L V-8 493HP 0-60 in 4.8secs Electronically limited to 155mph Transmission: 5-spd AMG Speed Shift w/OD Fuel Economy Urban: 14.0 mpg Fuel Economy Motorway: 20.0 mpg Price: £99,995 (ahem!) 25th Oct 2003 © Mike Porter, Copyright 1999 ? 2003


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