Game’s on! Everybody’s pumped with the idea. For several days Mercedes-AMG have been heading towards the Algarve, in Portugal, to put together another great event between Faro and Portimão.
But the excitement is understandable. It’s the new Mercedes-AMG E 63 [Fuel consumption combined: 9,1 – 8,8 l/100 km; Combined CO2 emissions: 207 – 199 g/km] international press test drive in this region. Which of course caught the attention of many journalists eager to drive the ultimate Mercedes-Benz E-Class in its fully performance outfit.
Mind on the ultimate prize
With a group of 10 Portuguese journalists, we head out from Lisbon to the Algarve. It’s a three hour drive to our final destination but everyone’s mind is already on the ultimate “prize”. The opportunity to drive the brand new E 63 S 4MATIC+ at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve (AIA) race track.
This 4.692 km opened its doors on the 2nd November 2008 and has since then received the highest praise from top drivers around the world. And the main governing bodies of motorsports due to the technicalities of its design. So it’s no wonder everyone is pumped to drive there.
Aggressive line up
We arrived at Faro’s airport to meet other international journalists that will join us during these two days test drive. Besides us, the Italian group and a freelance group are also here and already began taking pictures of the models parked in an “aggressive” line up. Especially to the E 63 S 4MATIC+ with 612hp.
After a quick briefing about the route and timings for the day, but especially about speed limits, we’re on our way. The route takes us through a chain of mountains in the western part of the Algarve, about 20 km inshore, called Monchique.
This route takes us away from the Algarve’s busy coast. And along country roads through typical villages for a wonderful experience on mountain roads and great driving pleasure. It’s also a great opportunity for some beautiful pictures.
Real fun begins
After about an hour we get to AIA. Now the real fun begins, especially after having a glimpse of one of the drivers that will take us along this difficult track, sharing some of its secrets and orientating us on the best way to approach it, the legendary DTM Champion – Bernd Schneider.
It’s not long before everyone leaves the cars with a smile on their face. I don’t blame them. I’m sure they just had a great experience and this will be passed on to their readers.
This is my new favorite car
This E-Class just toke me to another level of limousine performance
These are just some of the comments straight out the track.
We leave AIA towards the hotel and our final destination in Almancil. It’s another good chance to drive this performance car on a more quiet and peaceful mode along the roads. The aim now is to show them this V8 can also have a more moderate side in terms of speed and consumption. Something that also surprises our journalists when they are now doing about 9 l/100 km.
Still a surprise
The day’s finished at the hotel and it’s time to head to the restaurant where dinner is waiting. Who’s the guy seated at our table? “No way! Bernd Schneider is joining us for dinner? After driving the E 63 it would be almost impossible to surprise us again…” but this promises a full evening with one of the best pilots ever that has amazing stories to share along with a Portuguese wine. What else can you ask for?
The impressions are great. The opportunity to drive the new E 63 along country roads, track and normal roads gave them a full experience on how this performance car can easily adjust himself to every environment. And still maintain the brand’s iconic values.
A new day starts for a last impression heading to our final station at Moncarapacho. It’s now time to leave the E 63 and its emotions to the next groups arriving any second. On our way back to Lisbon, for three hours stories were told, driving performance was discussed. The conclusion was consensual: “This is the most powerful limousine I ever driven!”