What do you do after hitting success with a trial product? Bring it back and make it bigger, of course. That's just what Mercedes-Benz has done with its AMG Driving Academy, a program that our own Editor Paukert attended the course last fall at Lime Rock to his great amusement and education.
This year's courses will put participants in the Mercedes E63 AMG, SL63 AMG, C63 AMG, SLK55 AMG and, new for this year, the SLS AMG gullwing. After working your way up through Basic and Advanced courses, you're ready for Top Gun testing in the new Pro level course, which means an "intense curriculum" and open lapping at Road Atlanta. Follow the jump for all that goes on this year's academy including dates and locations, and have a look at what you can be doing in the gallery of high-res photos below.
Performance Driving Program Adds SLS AMG and Pro Level
MONTVALE, N.J., March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Following its inaugural year in the U.S., Mercedes-AMG is presenting a new season for driving enthusiasts who want to sharpen their advanced driving skills at the AMG Driving Academy. Among the list of enhancements is the addition of a Pro Level for 2010. Under the guidance of top professional instructors, the AMG Driving Academy offers the opportunity to personally experience the excitement of motorsports and the track capabilities of Mercedes-AMG vehicles including the all new 563 hp SLS AMG, capable of 0-60 mph in less than four seconds.
Originally founded by Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach, Germany in 2007, the AMG Driving Academy launched in the U.S. in 2009. More than six-hundred driving enthusiasts participated in the advanced driver program last year, and participants now have the opportunity to attend an advanced three-day Pro Level program at one of the top circuits in the U.S., Road Atlanta. Program participants have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of several AMG models including the E63 AMG, SL63 AMG, C63 AMG, SLK55 AMG and SLS AMG. The program features custom-designed exercises to experience and teach dynamic driving capabilities across two of the top tracks in the U.S.:
-- Road Atlanta (Braselton, GA) - May 15-16, June 11-14 & 28-30, 2010
-- For more than 40 years, Road Atlanta has lured top tier sports car and motorcycle racers from around the world. This 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course is one of the most technically challenging in the U.S.
-- Laguna Seca Raceway (Monterey, CA) - August 27-29, September 25-27, October 29-30 and November 12-14, 2010
-- Located in one of North America's best destination locations -- the Monterey Peninsula -- Laguna Seca features tremendous elevation changes, the famous Corkscrew complex and 2.24 sinewy miles of twisty asphalt.
The AMG Driving Academy Basic, Advanced and new Pro Level for 2010:
-- Basic ($1,795 per participant): Intense one-day track program focuses on performance driving dynamics. Participants learn the fundamentals of vehicle dynamics and car control maneuvers using customized exercises. Once participants perfect car control and handling, they progress to a set of high-speed exercises that make use of the entire track.
-- Road Atlanta: May 15-16 & June 11-12
-- Laguna Seca Raceway: August 27-29, Sept. 25, Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 12
-- Advanced ($3,295 per participant): Two-day program picks up where Basic leaves off, providing advanced training and technical on-track instruction. Onboard diagnostics and data capture enable detailed computer analysis and evaluation. The Advanced program is offered to drivers who complete either the Basic Level, AMG Challenge, European Driving Academy program or an equivalent course.
-- Road Atlanta: June 13-14, 2010
-- Laguna Seca Raceway: September 26-27 & November 13-14
-- Pro ($3,995 per participant): The pinnacle of the AMG Driving Academy curriculum, Pro program offers increased instruction while challenging and improving capabilities and skills to a much greater degree. During the three day program, participants train on the legendary Road Atlanta circuit. As speeds increase and skills improve, open lapping provides the maximum challenge and thrill. With an intense curriculum, AMG experienced instructors prepare participants to confidently negotiate the signature corners of Road Atlanta.
-- Road Atlanta: June 28-30, 2010
All fees include a dinner reception and introductory briefing the evening before the program, track hospitality, AMG Driving Academy certificate of program completion and an AMG gift bag. Participants are responsible for travel and accommodations. Additional information and registration for the AMG Driving Academy is available at www.AMGacademy.com or by phone at 1-800-217-6916.
About Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Montvale, New Jersey, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz and Maybach products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse line-up in the luxury segment with 12 model lines ranging from the sporty C-Class to the flagship S-Class sedans and CL coupes.
MBUSA is also responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans in the US. More information on MBUSA and its products can be found at www.mbusa.com and www.mbsprinterusa.com.