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Mercedes-Benz to Star at Next Week’s Classic Adelaide Rally

November 14th, 2008
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The South Australian capital will ring to the tune of Mercedes-AMG V8-power next week when the 2008 Classic Adelaide rally commences.
The four-day tarmac rally is based on special stage driving sections along some of Australia's most technically challenging roads. Leaving their mark on them again this year will be a variety of high-performance models from the three-pointed star’s sports and racing car division, Mercedes-AMG.

Leading this year’s packed field will be two special V8-powered Mercedes roadsters driven by two equally special Australians, each of whom have left indelible marks on motor racing’s world stage.

This year will see Formula One legend Sir Jack Brabham pilot a 265 kW Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG roadster. Easily identified by both its stunning white paint and unmistakable exhaust note, this white-hot roadster will not only have the privilege of being driven by the only racing driver to win the Formula One driver’s world championship in a car of his own construction; it will also wear the coveted number one plate.

Following Sir Jack in car number two will be former Formula One and Indy car racer Vern Schuppan. As the winner of the 1983 Le Mans 24-hour race the South Australian native will feel at home in the 386 kW SL 63 AMG roadster which he will drive across the rally’s four action-filled days. Schuppan’s spectacular driving style in previous years indicates he is expected to make good use of the car’s impressive 525 brake horsepower.

Joining Australia’s four-wheel racing legends in the Mercedes-AMG team will be Australia’s most famous two-wheeled grand prix racer, Mick Doohan.

The five-time grand prix motorcycle world champion will pilot some of the most spectacular sports cars to come from the Mercedes-AMG stable, including the class-leading C 63 AMG.

Since its release earlier this year this compact sports sedan has quickly gathered a cult following both here and abroad. Spectators will get to see not only the flash of this sell-out saloon in full flight; they will also get to see a matching estate version.

The first of its kind to arrive in Australia, the powerful and efficient C 63 AMG estate packs the same 336kW V8-powered punch of the sedan version but with the added practicality offered by a station wagon.

Fans will have the chance to see up-close this all-new addition to the AMG model catalogue before it officially goes on sale in time for Christmas.

This ‘special order’ C63 estate with equipment such as a locking differential is the first to land in Australia and will make its Motor Sport debut at Classic Adelaide. Not only will it showcase its load-lugging ability and crushing class-leading performance, it will possibly leave a bit of rubber behind on the roads through the scenic Adelaide Hills.

The high number of customer orders for the C 63 AMG estate prior to its on sale date in December already makes it the most popular Mercedes-AMG estate ever sold in Australia.

Yet it is perhaps the rally’s most sinister-looking Mercedes-Benz that will capture the eyes, ears and hearts of sports car fans in Adelaide next week.

Two of 32 limited-edition CLK 63 AMG Black series coupés will be campaigned in this year’s Classic Adelaide rally, and they are certain to make their presence known and heard.

These limited-build sports cars are based on the Formula One Safety Car and boast a unique-to-Australia specification. They are dedicated two-seat coupes, each delivering an audible race-derived 373kW of power and an impressive 630Nm of torque, resulting in a 0-100km/h time of 4.3 seconds, along with handling and braking force to match.

With their AMG-designed hand-built engines, muscular bodywork and highly-polished light alloy 19-inch wheels, these two AMG specials will be very easy to spot.

This year’s event marks twelve years of official event participation by Mercedes-Benz at the annual Classic Adelaide Rally, a record that is unmatched by any other marque.

The 2008 Classic Adelaide rally commences Wednesday 19 November (rally prologue) and concludes on Sunday 23 November.

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