Ever since the Mercedes-Benz brand was founded in 1926, the carmakers have already been experts in automobile manufacturing and quickly became one of the first few brands to venture into luxury vehicles. Almost a century later, the three pointed star has evolved into a household symbol of prestige, luxury and elegance that many others aspire to become.
With their rich heritage and German expertise in building some of the greatest vehicles in automotive history, Mercedes-Benz today has progressed leaps and bounds to offer a wide variety of cars to suit every single palette. To help customers to identify their passenger cars fleet, Mercedes-Benz has categorised their fleet to four distinct tiers – Limousine, Compact Cars, Premium SUV and Dream Cars.
Limousine as the name suggests, refers to the four-door saloons – C Class, E Class and S Class. Compact Cars refers to the A Class, CLA and GLA, whereas the SUVs all fall under the Premium SUV portfolio. Lastly, everything else that oozes desirability, screams attention and appeared in your teenage wet dreams fall under the Dream Cars range, which will be the focus for today.
For the longest time, the Dream Cars range was perceived as cars sold to those in their midlife crisis, privileged child, attention seekers; you get the drift. However, during a brief trip with the team behind Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM), we get to sample the entire Dream Cars range over the course of two days. Suffice to say, it’s far, far more than just fashion accessories and symbol of status.
Our drive from Desa Park City led us up the scenic roads of Cameron Highlands before putting a night at The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat, Ipoh. I started my day in the track focused Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupe. Armed with a burly 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 handcrafted by an AMG engineer, the C is every bit a track weapon. It slices through corners like it’s on rails, blasting into the horizon at neck breaking speed, all while providing constant aural symphony. It’s as if I was driving through kilometres after kilometres of fireworks. Proper AMG stuff, this.
Yet, despite all that performance, it maintains every luxurious aspect of a regular C Class. That is the beauty of 21st century engineering, to produce a monster so that regular Joes like myself are able to properly enjoy without having to go through Formula One driver training. Driving the C 63 S Coupe was truly an exhilarating experience, and to this day I still distinctly remember its epic soundtrack.
To the untrained eye, it’s a boy racer C Class coupe. But it’s perfect for those looking to quietly get around town during the weekday and tear the race track apart on weekends. Oh, and did I mention that it seats four people too?
Hopping into the Mercedes-AMG GT S for a short cruise around the busy town of Cameron Highlands, one might expect that this beast of a machine will make your palms sweat and heart rate accelerate from just the sheer grunt and brutality alone. Yes, it’s all that, but there’s most certainly more.
Hustling along the busy roads under 60 km/h showed a different side of the GT S. It was composed, manageable and surprisingly comfortable; qualities that are hard to wrap your head around this RM1.2 million grand tourer. Even so, the attention that it was getting does not fall short of an all-out supercar. It truly is a special car for every single occasion on the calendar.
At the lowest end of the Dream Cars range is the C 200 Coupe which was the vehicle of choice for our final leg from Cameron Highlands to The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat. Jumping from the AMGs to this little comfort cruise was a little underwhelming in the performance department, but boy did the feel-good factor make up for all that was missed.
Maybe it was the sophisticated good looks (the C 63 S Coupe gets all the AMG bits, packing far far more aggression), or perhaps it was the relaxed nature of the car. Maybe a little of both. Whatever it is, it made arriving at the 5-Star hotel no less of an event.
Last but certainly not the least are the cabriolets that make up the rest of the Mercedes-Benz Dream Cars range. MBM brought along the SLC 200, SLC 300 and C 300 Cabriolet with us and after spending some time with it, I came to realise that having a convertible in Malaysia is no longer a foolish decision.
The common logic is “Malaysia so hot la, why would you want a convertible”? Well, that is precisely why Malaysia is one of the best country to own a convertible. Located close to the equator, we enjoy day-long sunshine with fairly predictable downpours as opposed to unpredictable snowfall and gloomy weather in other parts of the hemisphere. In short, we have just the perfect climate to put the roof down.
Being able to feel the wind in your hair and the sky as your roof is an indescribable feeling that needs to be experienced first-hand to appreciate. Driving a convertible does not mean that you need go everywhere with the roof down. Professor Oak said, “There’s a time and place for everything”, and a convertible is something you take out with your hair down as you drive your problems adrift.
Jalan Kuching on a Monday morning is not the only time you get to drive your beautiful Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet anyway. Now the question is, would you rather share the experience with just one other person, or with three others?
After this wonderful media drive with the entire Dream Cars range, I have personally developed a newfound appreciation for these mid-life crisis cars. Because they are not just for middle aged individuals who are reevaluating life decisions, but also for those who love to live life in the moment; those whose appreciation for the finer things go beyond having black caviars as snacks.
It’s a symbol of prestige, luxury and elegance; the finest works of Mercedes-Benz. The million dollar question now is, which would be your pick?