Mercedes AMG Pavilion
Over the last few weeks we have published several reports on our various Car Week adventures. Up until now we haven't shared everything that we saw...holding back on a small, but nonetheless mega event.
It started on Friday at Pebble Beach, having just left the Gooding & Company auction preview. We made our way down the hill to explore the various displays that were up early on the Pebble Beach golf course and grounds. We soon came across a dark and ominous building. A building that Darth Vader would design if he was in the car business. It was the Mercedes AMG pavilion, and it was surrounded by a fleet of the latest Mercedes AMG models. That alone would have been pretty good, but it was what was inside that was a bit jaw-dropping.
Through the tinted glass we spotted the first unicorn. In 1997 Mercedes AMG entered the CLK-GTR in to the FIA GT Championship, and then a year later was converted to race in the 24 Hours of LeMans. Even after the cancellation of the FIA GT championship for 1999, Mercedes was still obligated to deliver 25 road cars that they had promised to meet the FIA homologations standards. All 25 were built as left hand drive, except for one that was built specifically for the Sultan of Brunei. Mercedes-AMG claimed 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 344 km/h (214 mph). The first thing we saw through the glass was one of those 25 cars.
Mercedes CLK GTR
Flexing its big German muscle inside was a display of AMG dominance on the road and on the track. The range of models was like a combination Mercedes museum and a showroom of modern day performance beast.
AMG, or Aufrecht Melcher Grossaspach, began with Hans Werner Aulfrecht and Erhard Melcher. They took their expertise and tuned up existing Mercedes models to go racing on the weekend. The first car they raced together was the AMG 300 SEL 6.8 known as the "The Red Pig." It was a 6.8 liter V8 at time where fuel saving was a non-existent strategy in professional racing. Matched up against lighter weight cars from Ford, BMW and Alfa Romeo it was consider by many to be a bit brutish. Brutish it was as it won first in its class and second overall at its first outing at the 24 Hours of Spa. Even when tuned for racing Aulfrecht and Melcher kept the rear bench seats, air suspension and the wood trim. It weighed over 3500lbs!
There in the pavilion was the second er...um unicorn, the Red Pig.
The Red Pig
The rear of the pavilion featured a deck with a sitting area overlooking one of the Pebble Beach putting greens. Adding some flavor to this serene backdrop was the #50 WeatherTech Racing Mercedes-AMG that competes in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. This car was piloted to its first win at BUBBA burger Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach by Cooper MacNeil and Gunnar Jeannette earlier in the year.
Beast on the Green
An additional fixture in the pavilion providing entertaining for both children and adults was a slot-car track for participants to test various AMG slot cars around the winding track. The track itself circled an added bonus, a version of the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 car. The slot-car track surrounding a modern F1 car was proof that someone at Mercedes knows what will keep the children (including the inner-child) enthralled. Well played Mercedes, well played.
The last treat in the showroom was an amazing AMG GT R in the stunning shade of "AMG Green Hell Mango." They call this thing "The Beast of the Green Hell," and we're inclined to trust MBZ's assertion of this car's Nurburgring's prowess. With 585 horsepower, lots of added lightness and all the other German wizardry AMG employs, this tire killing monster was a real sight to see.
The other GT R
Conclusion? Awesome, epic, mega... all the superlatives you can throw into a car blog. Big props to AMG for this incredible show during Car Week.