Membership, they say, has its privileges. Just ask Fernando Alonso, who's landed himself a free Ferrari 458 Italia, Maserati GranCabrio and Abarth 695 since moving to Maranello. That's a heck of a garage, but it's fairly standard for F1 drivers to get comp'd on free cars from the automakers that support them. But while MotoGP riders can probably get their hands on any bike their hearts desire, when it comes to a new car, the nature of their profession leaves them in the same position (albeit likely a better paid one) as the rest of us.
That's where AMG's partnership with Ducati comes in. (Well, that and a special edition Cigarette speedboat.) Since the Mercedes-Benz performance division sponsors the Italian bike racing team, they invited star rider Nicky Hayden down to the headquarters for a quick visit. And while he was there, the 2006 world champion picked out for himself a set of (four) new wheels. In Hayden's case, he took home a new CLS63 AMG, complete with the AMG Performance Package and the Edition One trim with matte grey paintjob.
Nice work if you can get it, and we bet his teammate Valentino Rossi will be stopping by for his own new ride in due course. He may have to pass Hayden in the standings to get there, though.
Apr 19, 2011
Affalterbach – Ducati MotoGP works driver Nicky Hayden (29, USA) took delivery of a CLS 63 AMG for his personal use on 5 April 2011. Visiting Affalterbach to receive the keys to his new car, the 2006 motorcycle world champion was clearly impressed by the passion and enthusiasm of AMG staff at the site.
Just two days after taking third place in the MotoGP race in Jerez (Spain), Nicky Hayden took delivery of his new Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG from Ola Källenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. The 2006 world champion chose the special limited-series "Edition One" model, with its stunning combination of high-quality interior details and new manganite grey SHAPE matt paintwork finish. Nicky Hayden's CLS 63 AMG also includes the AMG Performance package, giving the AMG 5.5-litre V8 engine a top performance of 410 kW (557 hp) and a maximum torque of 800 newton metres, along with an AMG engine cover in genuine carbon fibre; an AMG spoiler lip on the boot lid, also in genuine carbon fibre; red-painted brake callipers and an AMG Performance steering wheel with Alcantara® inserts in the grip area.
Nicky Hayden is competing this year alongside teammate Valentino Rossi (Italy) in his ninth season in MotoGP, the premier motorcycle racing championship. Hayden has ridden for Ducati Corse since 2009 and won the championship title in 2006. This year's MotoGP season began on 20 March in Doha (Qatar) and will end after 18 races on 6 November in Valencia (Spain). On 17 July the MotoGP will be at Germany's Sachsenring for the German Grand Prix. In the World Championship points table, after two races, Nicky Hayden is currently in fourth place with 23 points, ahead of teammate Valentino Rossi (20 points).
"AMG and Ducati complement each other perfectly!"
Nicky Hayden was clearly impressed by his first visit to AMG, where he was given a comprehensive tour of the AMG engine workshops, or "Manufaktur", and of the Performance Studio. "My visit to Affalterbach was a great opportunity to see for myself the enthusiasm and precision with which the staff at AMG work. You can really see similarities with Ducati in Bologna - AMG and Ducati complement each other perfectly", commented the American. Hayden continued: "I was impressed not only by the skilled workmanship involved, but also by the exciting insight I was given into the Performance Studio, truly the home of automotive dreams. I'm now looking forward to doing some thorough test driving and to getting to know the new CLS 63 AMG properly, back home in Kentucky. The design of the car is already breathtaking, and I'm quite sure I shan't be disappointed by its performance!"
Ola Källenius: "I'm delighted that Nicky Hayden has chosen the CLS 63 AMG. We all know that efficiency plays an increasingly important role in motor racing, so with the CLS 63 AMG, which with a consumption of 9.9 litres per 100 kilometres according to NEDC combined is the most fuel-efficient model in this segment, he has definitely made the right decision. He's one of the fastest men in the world on two wheels, so I'm sure he'll have lots of fun with our new high-performance model. We shall look forward to getting his expert feedback!"
The cooperation agreement between AMG and Ducati was signed in November 2010
AMG has been the Official Car Partner of the Ducati MotoGP team since the start of the MotoGP season. The AMG logo appears not only on the motorcycles and racing overalls of Ducati works drivers Nicky Hayden and Valentino Rossi, but also on the official teamwear and in the Ducati Lounge. Furthermore, since the start of the 2011 season, as a further outcome of the cooperation agreement, all team trucks and vehicles have come from Mercedes-Benz.
Further visible signs of the cooperation agreement between Mercedes-AMG and Ducati, which was signed at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November 2010, include various marketing activities as well as joint appearances at shows and customer events. In the AMG core markets of the US, China, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, Great Britain and Switzerland, the announcement of the cooperation was very soon followed by the establishment of close links at market level.
The four-door coupé from AMG as the ultimate in top performance
The Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG has an impressive appeal, thanks to its AMG V8 biturbo engine with 386 to 410 kW (525 to 557 hp), 700 to 800 newton metres of torque and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission. The vehicle's fuel consumption of 9.9 litres per 100 km according to NEDC represents an improvement of 32 percent over the previous model - making this power pack with the internal designation M157 the most efficient high-performance V8 engine in the world. The combination of the AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled damping system and new front axle, the newly developed electromechanical AMG sports parameter steering and the optional AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system represents the ultimate in driving dynamics. Visually, the CLS 63 AMG impresses with its athletic appearance and its distinctive exterior and interior design. The standard specification also includes the new LED High Performance headlamps.