Mercedes-amg gt c roadster
When the topic under discussion was a visit to the Grand Canyon, and Hoover Dam en route, from Los Angeles, the car that naturally suggested itself was the Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster. Here is what the experience was like
Powering across from LA to the Grand Canyon
Ihave been going to Los AngEles to visit my brother for more than 20 years now but not once did I visit the Grand Canyon which is only a seven-and-a-half-hour drive away. This time, however, I was going to take care of that long-standing omission. A visit to the Grand Canyon could be arranged in any car or a van but I wanted the drive to be a memorable one, so I asked the PR folk at Mercedes-Benz India if they could arrange an AMG GT Roadster for me. They went a step further and arranged the top-of-the-line AMG GT C Roadster. Incidentally, the first time I drove the AMG GT was in California. After landing in LA, I headed straight to pick up the car from valet parking which happens to be very close to the LAX airport.
The aggressive AMG Pan Americana with 15 vertical bars and the new apron with large air intakes give the car a functional racing look. Its pronounced shoulder along with the 19-inch front and 20-inch rear add to the muscular look of the GT C.
The interior design echoes the wide exterior lines. The dashboard creates an impression of width with the high belt lines. The high console with low seating position integrates the drive into the cockpit. The leather seats with adjustable bolstering give the driver a snug fit and the Burmester sound system adds to the luxurious feel of the car. The quality of the interior is top-class as one would expect of Mercedes.
The V8 motor with direct injection and twin turbochargers produces 557 PS of power between 5,750 and 6,750 rpm and 680 Nm of torque from 1,900 to 5,750 rpm. The engine is mated to an AMG SpeedShift DCT seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The AMG Ride Control sport suspension features adaptive damping with a multi-link set-up front and rear. The GT C is shod with 265/35 R19 tyres at the front and 305/30 R20s at the rear.
The drive from Torrance in LA to the Grand Canyon is 806 kilometres (405 miles) long. I decided to break it into two parts, with an overnight stay in Las Vegas. The drive from LA to Vegas is 448 km (280 miles) as all the distances and speed limits are indicated in miles and miles per hour.
In the evening I had gone to Redondo Beach for dinner and at that time we got an opportunity to take some pictures of the car on the Marina with some very expensive yachts forming the background. After driving to Hollywood Hills and the Santa Monica Pier it was time to head out towards Vegas. The boot of this car is big enough to take two cabin bags which was all that we needed for the two-night stay.
Press the start-stop button and the V8 bi-turbo engine of the GT C bursts into life with a growl. One of the biggest problems with the GT C was
The drive from Torrance in LA to the Grand Canyon is 806 kilometres (405 miles) long
trying to keep the car below the speed limit in the city!
Once we got on to the freeway and then on to the inter-state highway, the engine was just about rolling over at 2,400 rpm in seventh gear (top gear) and the car was already doing over 120 km/h (75 mph). Most of the other cars were doing around 135 km/h (85 mph), but you have to be vigilant for the police use unmarked cars and are ready to ask you to pull over if you are travelling quicker than the flow of traffic.
The 450-km (280-mile) drive from LA to Vegas was quite uneventful and took a tad over three and a half hours before we pulled into the Mandalay Bay hotel which is conveniently located at the beginning of the strip. Most of the casinos and hotels are located on this main road, known as the Strip. After having nice barbecue baby back ribs for dinner, I tried to take some pictures of the car on the strip with all the neon lights; however, it was very difficult on account of the dark blue colour of the GT C and also because of the heavy traffic. I would jump out of the car at traffic signals to try to get a few shots.
Next day we left early in the morning, as I always do, and our first stop was the Hoover Dam. We were at the Dam by 7.00 am and the place was completely deserted at that hour. We could park the car wherever we wanted to take pictures and, as luck would have it, the ambient light was just perfect for photography.
Half of the Hoover Dam is in Nevada and the other half in Arizona. After finishing the photo shoot at the Dam, we headed out towards the Grand Canyon. The
( Above) High-set console and low seating gives the driver the feeling of a cockpit
( Left) The 4.0-litre AMG BiTurbo V8 produces 557 PS and 680 Nm of torque