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

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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

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