Modified Mercedes is a tough truck with SUV attitude

Kahn Mercedes X-Class

G-Wagen a bit too obvious for you? Don’t worry, there’s another beefed-up Mercedes-Benz available, and it’s a third of the price. Meet the X-Class pick-up by Kahn Design.

You’ll know something’s up from afar with the Kahn X-Class. Wide wheelarches, big alloys and an AMG GT-style ‘Panamericana’ grille make for a truck with added attitude.

Kahn Mercedes X-Class

The front bumper is more aggressive, with a spoiler, bumper vents and a lower aero crash bar.

Step inside and the usually utilitarian X-Class has been given a luxury upgrade. Quilted leather in contrasting red and black covers the seats, giving a distinctly ‘AMG’ look.

Kahn Mercedes X-Class

In the past, Kahn has been credited with making Jeeps and Land Rover Defenders a bit less capable off-road with the addition of oversized wheels, as well as making Range Rovers quite a bit less tasteful… 

This X-Class, though, feels about right. The kicker is that it’s available for around £50,000. The car pictured is listed at £48,999.

Kahn Mercedes X-Class

If you tick enough boxes when ordering your G63 AMG, the price can swell to four times that much.

It’s a strange world where the Kahn Design-fettled Mercedes pick-up is the sensible option.

2019 Mercedes-AMG A 45 and CLA 45

Ferocious new Mercedes-AMG A 45 and CLA 45 debut at Goodwood

2019 Mercedes-AMG A 45 and CLA 45If you want a car with the world’s most powerful turbocharged four-cylinder production engine, Mercedes-AMG can help. 

In fact, make that a choice of two, as the performance division of Mercedes-Benz has rolled out a pair of body styles featuring the new ‘45 4Matic+’ powertrain. Both are on display at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Whether you want the A 45 hatchback, or the curvaceous CLA 45 four-door coupe, AMG promises serious performance for both.

One man, one engine 

2019 Mercedes-AMG A 45 and CLA 45The belly of the beast in both A 45 and CLA 45 models is the latest 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine to emerge from AMG in Affalterbach. Each unit is personally signed by the AMG engineer who builds it.

In ‘entry-level’ specification, the AMG 45 twins produce 387 hp (285 kW) with an accompanying 354lb ft (480Nm) of torque. Even this represents a jump of 11hp (8 kW) over the previous generation A 45 AMG. 

However, the biggest gains come with the A 45 S and CLA 45 S versions, which turn the power outputs all the way up. That means 421hp (310 kW) and 369lb ft (500Nm) of torque. Enough to make sports cars like the Porsche 911 feel a little nervous, perhaps. 

All versions use an eight-speed AMG Speedshift DCT paddle-shift gearbox, sending power to all four wheels. 

How fast are we talking?

2019 Mercedes-AMG A 45 and CLA 45Pick the standard A 45 hatchback, and 0-62mph (0-100kph) will arrive in 4.0 seconds, with a limited top speed of 155mph (250kph). 

Opt for the more powerful ‘S’ and the figures become just 3.9 seconds for the 0-62mph dash, whilst the top speed can be extended to 168mph (270kph) with the optional AMG Drivers’ Package. 

Fans of the four-door coupe CLA 45 will have to live with knowing they will always by 0.1sec slower on the equivalent 0-62mph sprints.

Not just for drag racing

2019 Mercedes-AMG A 45 and CLA 45Although the advanced technical details of the new engine in the AMG 45 models could fill whole chapters of books alone, Mercedes has also worked on the suspension and brakes. 

Performance dampers and springs are standard, with a three-mode adaptive system available as an option.  

Standard cars use a four-piston monobloc braking system, with the discs drilled and vented to handle high temperatures. AMG 45 S buyers can opt for an even larger six-piston fixed caliper.

Looking to thrill

2019 Mercedes-AMG A 45 and CLA 45Both the A 45 and CLA 45 wear an AMG bodykit, with looks inspired by the AMG GT four-door supercar. Aggressive bumpers, flared wheelarches, 19-inch wheels and an AMG-specific front grille should let everyone know what you’re driving. 

At the back, regular AMG 45 cars get twin exhaust tailpipes, whilst AMG 45 S versions get even larger exhausts with four tailpipes.  

The exhaust system also features automatically controlled flaps to adjust the noise level. According to AMG, this ranges from ‘harmoniously discreet’ to ‘emotively sporty’ when Sport+ is selected from the six driving mode choices. 

Data-driven performance

2019 Mercedes-AMG A 45 and CLA 45Inside the AMG 45 pair you’ll find performance sports seats up front, finished in a combination of microfibre and man-made leather with red stitching. AMG 45 S models get yellow details throughout the cabin. 

Buying an ‘S’ also means the AMG Track Pace data logger comes as standard. Linked to the satellite navigation system, this allows you to monitor and analyse your lap times on a host of race circuits around the world. 

An augmented reality function even allows drivers to get virtual coaching on how best to improve their on-track performance, making use of the head-up display. Not even Lewis Hamilton gets that in his company car.

Waiting to hoon

2019 Mercedes-AMG A 45 and CLA 45Mercedes-AMG has also gifted the A 45 and CLA 45 with a ‘drift mode’ as part of the 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system. Each rear wheel gets its own clutch, letting the car send power to individual wheels for maximum slide. 

Given the controversy that surrounded the Ford Focus RS being fitted with drift mode, we imagine the AMG 45 twins will also provoke road safety campaigners. 

While the cars have been revealed at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed, Mercedes-AMG is remaining tight-lipped on pricing and release dates for now. 

Ex-Stirling Moss Mercedes-Benz 500 SL could be yours

Stirling Moss Mercedes 500SL

You could own a Mercedes-Benz 500 SL once driven by one of Britain’s most celebrated motor racing talents: Sir Stirling Moss. It’ll hit the block at H&H Classics’ auction on June 19 at Duxford.

Famous for his incredible 1955 Mille Miglia drive in a Mercedes 300 SLR, Moss clearly preferred something more cosseting in later life. This now-classic 500 SL was ordered new by ‘Mr Motor Racing’ to his exact specification.

Stirling Moss Mercedes 500SL

Registered ‘7SM’, a Mercedes SL driven by Sir Stirling Moss could only be coloured silver. The contrasting dark blue soft-top and interior has aged well, although the glossy wood cabin trim does date it somewhat. The car comes with a hard-top, too. It currently has 62,000 miles on the clock.

Sir Stirling’s time with the SL is well-documented, which is more than can be said for many ‘day-to-day’ cars that claim legendary provenance.

Stirling Moss Mercedes 500SL

Among pictures of the car with Sir Stirling in the book Great Drives in the Lakes and Dales is a personal story from H&H Classics’ own Damian Jones.

He remembers being in a car in London with his father, and being cut up by Sir Stirling in the very same 500 SL. Contrary to the grump you might expect, his Dad allegedly remarked: “One can’t object to being cut up by Stirling Moss!”

Stirling Moss Mercedes 500SL

The 500 SL, with an all-new 330hp quad-cam 5.0-litre V8, was the flagship of the SL range at the time. AMG-fettled examples with monstrous V8s and V12s were still a few years away.

To top it off, this storied classic is up for auction with no reserve

Rowan Atkinson is selling his Mercedes 500E… AGAIN

Rowan Atkinson Mercedes 500E

We’ve Bean here before. An English auction house is offering a Mercedes formerly owned by Rowan Atkinson and we have to decide if we should go forth and write a news item.

The car in question is one of the original 29 UK-supplied Mercedes-Benz 500E models in left-hand drive, and was purchased new by Rowan Atkinson in 1991. He owned it for four years, documenting his stewardship in Car magazine, before selling it to the second owner, who kept it for 23 years.

It was clearly a car that Atkinson loved because he actually bought it back in July 2017. Well, you know what they say about buying your old car back – Never Say Never Again.

Rowan Atkinson Mercedes-Benz 500E

In January 2018, another 500E formerly owned by Rowan Atkinson went under the hammer at the Silverstone Auctions Race Retro sale. Thanks to its low mileage, the car fetched £71,300, while Atkinson’s old Lancia Thema sold for just shy of £30,000.

The 500E on offer at the Classic Car Auctions (CCA) sale in May is unlikely to reach the dizzy heights achieved by the other example, not least because it has covered 193,000 miles and is in need of “some tidying”.

Gary Dunne, CCA auction manager commented “We are delighted to be offering a car direct from Rowan Atkinson. It has such an unusual story in that he has owned it twice. We often have unusual stories and this one is one of those, especially for a celebrity to repurchase his car after such a long period”

“We generally do well with celebrity cars and this car is going to generate a lot of interest, not just because who owned it but also the rarity of the car.”

Rowan Atkinson Mercedes 500E interior

The fact that Rowan Atkinson is listed as the current owner gives it some real provenance. You never know, he may even decide to buy it back again. That would make it Black Adder The Third…

Mercedes A-Class is Britain’s most sought-after lease car

2018 Mercedes A-Class

It was launched at the end of 2018, but the Mercedes-Benz A-Class has quickly established itself as the country’s most sought-after lease car. That’s according to figures released by

Indeed, the personal contract hire market is dominated by Mercedes-Benz, with the German manufacturer occupying four of the places in’s top 10 personal lease enquiries for the year to date.

The A-Class has long been a consistent top 10 best-seller in the UK, with the flames of sales fanned by favourable finance deals and an image-friendly badge.

The UK is one of the world’s biggest markets for the premium hatchback, which is why right-hand-drive versions arrived at the same time as the left-hookers.

‘Authentically Mercedes-Benz’

Our man Richard Aucock drove the new A-Class in 2018, and, in conclusion, he said:

“The new A-Class is a good-looking car with a class-leading interior; we can see many people choosing it simply because of its brilliant infotainment system. Even if the rest of it were mediocre, the cabin would stand out. 

“It’s better than that, though. Particularly the diesel. Choose it on mid-spec 17-inch wheels and you won’t have an exciting car to drive, but you will have a reassuring one, a car that feels authentically Mercedes-Benz.”

Mercedes A-Class dashboard

The tech-heavy nature of the A-Class helps to ensure that it stays ahead of the evergreen Volkswagen Golf in the leasing sector, with the E-Class, GLA-Class and C-Class also appearing in the top 10.

Commenting on the figures, Paul Harrison, head of strategic partnerships at, said: “Mercedes-Benz continues to lead the way when it comes to personal leasing, with desirable vehicles at attractive rates.

“It’s also worth noting Volvo is fast becoming a major player, moving up to third place in the manufacturer table, with the S90 executive saloon making it into the top 10.

“The Volkswagen Golf was the most popular personal lease car in 2018, but it’s got a fight on its hands this year with the tech-laden new A-Class. We fully expect the A-Class and Golf to continue to battle it out over the course of the year to be the most popular car overall.”

The top 10 personal lease enquiries for 2019

  1. Mercedes-Benz A-Class 
  2. Volkswagen Golf
  3. Mercedes-Benz E-Class 
  4. Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class
  5. Audi A5
  6. Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  7. Volkswagen Tiguan
  8. Volkswagen Arteon
  9. Volvo S90
  10. Seat Leon

Mercedes has revealed the coolest model vehicle ever

Mercedes Actross model truck

Topping our list of ‘stuff we absolutely need to have on display in the office’ today and forever more, is this new model from Mercedes-Benz. It’s a 1:18 scale car transporter.

Mercedes has collaborated with model car manufacturer NZG to bring to life this glorious 1:18 scale model of the Mercedes Actros compete with trailer. The standard scale for HGVs is 1:50, so this is a little out of the ordinary.

It took 10 months to develop and is made up of 500 individual components. Of those components, 167 are made of zinc. There are 32 etched parts held together with 225 screws, tools and pins.

Mercedes Actross model truck

It’s got total articulation, replicating every movement the full-size vehicle can make. It’s 22.5cm wide, 13.7cm high and, in total, is 113cm long. It also weighs a hefty 10 kilograms. As standard, it comes in black, although the Edition 1 item comes with black highlights over silver. Very attractive… 

Mercedes Actross model truck

It would be harsh to say that a transporter is only as cool as the cars it’s transporting. In the case of this scale model, that’s absolutely not the case. The E63, AMG GT 63, CLS, GLE, X-Class and A-Class only add to the cool factor.

A number of other cars are also available. Take your pick from the above, plus a G-Class, 450 SEL 6.9, Pagoda W113 SL, 300 SL, a 300 W 186 and many more. We’d swap out the GLE, X-Class and A-Class for the 450, Pagoda and 300SL, thanks…

Mercedes Actross model truck

Of course, with the moving parts, these cars can be ‘driven’ off with fully movable levels on the trailer. Not that this is a toy for playing with…

Mercedes Actross model truck

So what price for what may be the coolest model vehicle on sale? It won’t be cheap, especially if you plan on ‘transporting’ a few other model cars, for which you’ll also have to fork out…

Everything pictured will set you back over £1,500. For just the Actros, tractor and trailer, it’ll be over £1,100. The model cars range from £68 to £103. Six of those can easily add another £500 to 600 to your bill.

Mercedes Actross model truck

Still, can you put a price on this much coolness?

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA revealed at Las Vegas tech show

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLAIt’s not just new technology being revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this year – Mercedes-Benz is unveiling its brand new CLA compact coupe. And don’t worry, gadget fans, it’s not wanting for on-board wizardry.

First, the car itself. Consider this the four-door coupe version of the acclaimed Mercedes-Benz A-Class. The previous one was popular; Mercedes-Benz sold 750,000 of them, mainly to people who’d never owned a Merc before. Those buyers are typically 10 years younger than the average Mercedes customer, too. The firm is targeting more of the same this time.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

The fact the new CLA is even sportier than the original should help. It’s longer, wider and a bit lower-slung, and Mercedes has worked hard to make the rear end smoother-flowing and less awkward. It’s tried to give it the ‘long-nose’ look of a proper GT, which isn’t easy to achieve on a compact car, but the balance is better here than the original.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

Inside, it has the same open-plan architecture as the A-Class, complete with freestanding dual widescreen displays. With extra emphasis on sportiness and jewel-like detailing, the wow-factor is upped even more. The CES crowds are going to love it.

Underneath, it’s all A-Class, albeit with a lower centre of gravity and wider tracks front and rear. The suspension is firmed up accordingly (electronically controlled adaptive suspension is optional) and we’re told it will be the sportiest of all Merc’s compact-class cars. Wheels? From 16 inches to 19 inches. Of course, you really need the 19s.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

The engine is a four-cylinder turbo that puts out 225hp and drives the front wheels via a DCT automatic gearbox. More engines will filter through in due course. But engines are immaterial: the new Mercedes-Benz CLA is all about the tech.

Gesture control

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

The dual screens are built around the new MBUX architecture, and the CLA introduces the next development of that, called MBUX Interior Assist. This introduces gesture control, but don’t worry – it’s a step beyond the rather rubbish systems we’ve seen from brands such as BMW up to know.

For starters, it works in both sunlight and darkness. Raise your hand towards the interior mirror and the reading lamp comes on, reach over to the passenger seat and the area is illuminated, turning off again when your hand moves away. It recognises which passenger is gesturing, too – so an animated passenger won’t inadvertently turn the stereo volume up.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

There are gesture control ‘favourites’ too. Spread index and middle finger in a v-shape over the centre console (flick it the v-sign?) and commands can be stored – such as, ‘navigate me home’. Again, driver and passenger can have their own favourite commands.

“We are now igniting the next level with an intelligent interior assistance system for the compact class,” said R&D chief Ola Kallenius. “By recognising gestures, it facilitates natural operation.

“Hey Mercedes” and avocados

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

Voice control has also been developed. Part of the MBUX User Experience, saying “Hey Mercedes” now works on much more complex queries than the launch system on the A-Class.

You can, reckons Mercedes-Benz, say, “Which child-friendly Asian restaurants are nearby that are neither Chinese nor Japanese?” and it will find just the place for you. You can ask it sport questions, stock exchange questions (“How has the Apple share price performed compared to Microsoft?”), even get it to do calculations (“What is the square root of three?”).

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

If you’re really keen, ask Hey Mercedes general knowledge questions. It really can, if you want, tell you the fat content of avocados, or the size of Texas. Coming to America first, other markets will follow with this next-level functionality in due course.

Oh, and if you have passengers in the car, they don’t need to zip it when you’re talking to your Mercedes: the system has been trained to respond only to the commands of the person who last said “Hey Mercedes”.

Tech fest

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

What else? The so-called Mercedes-Benz ‘Energizing Coach’ connects to a Garmin wearable device and logs stats such as stress level, pulse rate or quality of sleep. It duly adjusts the air-con, seat massage, lighting and music to give a bespoke ‘wellness’ mood tailored to both an individual and a situation.

“The aim is for passengers to feel well and relaxed even during demanding or monotonous journeys,” says Mercedes-Benz. Presumably, if a driver hasn’t had much sleep, the air con chills and blasts accordingly, to keep them sharp.

2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA

Mercedes-Benz is even launching a special Vivoactive 3 Garmin smartwatch at CES to link up with it.

After being shown at CES 2019, Mercedes-Benz will ship the new CLA to other auto shows in the build-up to its market launch in May. The firm says it “sets new benchmarks for the compact class”. It certainly packs in plenty of tech for the CES faithful to get their teeth into.

Read more:

Best AMG Cars

A brief history of Mercedes-AMG

Best AMG Cars

Aufrecht Melcher Großaspach, more commonly known as AMG, can trace its roots back to 1965. To celebrate Mercedes-Benz at its most bonkers, we pick 25 of the best AMG cars.

AMG 300 SEL ‘Red Pig’ (1971)

Best AMG Cars

Messrs Aufrecht and Melcher created the AMG Mercedes 300 SEL 6.8 in 1971 and it finished second overall at the 24 Hours of Spa. The ‘Red Pig’ was the first major milestone on the AMG journey.

Mercedes-Benz 300 E 5.6 AMG (1986)

Best AMG Cars

AMG moved to its current home in Affalterbach in 1976 and, 10 years later, created the 5.6-litre V8 300 E. At the time it was the fastest production saloon car in the world.

Mercedes-Benz 190 E AMG (1989)

Best AMG Cars

The 225hp 190 E AMG is significant for being the first AMG model to be available through Mercedes-Benz dealerships and with a full M-B warranty.

Mercedes-Benz C 36 AMG (1993)

Best AMG Cars

The 280hp C 36 AMG of 1993 is even more significant, as it was the first AMG car to be jointly developed by Mercedes-Benz and AMG. Looks remarkably subtle by modern standards.

Mercedes-Benz SL 73 AMG (1995)

Best AMG Cars

The SL 73 AMG is a rare beast, as only 85 were ever made. It was a tad heavy and very, very expensive, but who wouldn’t want a 7.3-litre V12 SL? With a fuel card, preferably.

Mercedes-Benz S 70 AMG (1996)

Best AMG Cars

Talking of rarities, how about the S 70 AMG? Only 112 of these Autobahnstormers were built, each one with a 500-horsepower 7.0-liter V12 engine.

Mercedes-Benz C 43 AMG (1997)

Best AMG Cars

The C 43 AMG of 1997 was a tad more affordable, but no less alluring. Available as a saloon or estate, it was powered by a V8 engine developing 306-horsepower.

Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR (1999)

Best AMG Cars

The first of the Top Trumps-winning AMG cars. The CLK GTR was created for homologation purposes and only 26 were built (20 coupes, six roadsters).

Pagani Zonda C12 (1999)

Best AMG Cars

Yes, we know the Pagani Zonda doesn’t wear an AMG badge, but it has the beating heart of Affalterbach. Power was sourced from the same 7.3-liter found in the earlier SL 73 AMG.

Mercedes-Benz E 55 AMG (2002)

Best AMG Cars

The year 2002 was a big one for Mercedes-AMG. Five new models were launched, including the E 55 AMG super-saloon, which represents a formidable used car bargain.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren (2004)

Best AMG Cars

Formula One technology and a hand-built supercharged AMG V8 engine. What’s not to like about the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren?

Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG (2004)

Best AMG Cars

It’s hardly a name that rolls off the tongue, but the Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG was capable of giving supercars a bloody nose. Top speed was knocking on 200mph and it would sprint to 60mph in 3.8 seconds.

Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG Black Series (2006)

Best AMG Cars

The first Black Series car arrived in 2006, in the form of the Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG. These track-focused special editions were designed for those who found ‘standard’ AMG products just a tad tame.

Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 AMG Black Series (2007)

Best AMG Cars

Designed to take on the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, the CLK 63 AMG Black Series of 2007 was a brutal machine. Jeremy Clarkson bought one. And then complained about it. A lot.

Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Estate (2008)

Best AMG Cars

There have been many Mercedes-AMG F1 safety cars over the years, but the C 63 AMG Estate is one of our favourites. Under the bonnet you’d find a hand-crafted 6.2-litre V8 engine. Nice.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (2009)

Best AMG Cars

The gull-winged SLS was the first car developed entirely by AMG and was designed to be a successor to the SLR McLaren. It featured the same 6.2-litre engine you’d find in the C 63.

Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series (2009)

Best AMG Cars

What an absolute legend of a car. Top speed limited to 199mph and a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds provide some clues as to this track warrior’s potential. It cost £250,000 when new.

Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG (2010)

Best AMG Cars

One of the world’s greatest limos treated to a full-fat AMG makeover. What’s not to like about that? Later, it would be offered as a coupe, too.

Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Coupe (2011)

Best AMG Cars

Could this be one of the most accomplished AMG cars of all time? It was the last AMG C-class to have a naturally-aspirated engine, meaning superb throttle response.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster (2012)

Best AMG Cars

How would sir like his SLS? Coupe, with the iconic gullwing doors? Or Roadster, to enjoy the magnificence of the 6.3-litre V8 engine? We’d take the latter, please.

Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG (2013)

Best AMG Cars

Mercedes-Benz has been accused of diluting the AMG brand in recent years, but the A 45 AMG proves it can also get it right. This is a hot hatch, AMG-style. Bonkers, but brilliant.

Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG 6×6 (2013)

Best AMG Cars

And speaking of bonkers… We could have included the ‘normal’ G 63 AMG, but that would be foolish when there’s a 6×6 in existence.

Mercedes-AMG C 63 AMG (2015)

Best AMG Cars

For similar reasons, we’d probably opt for the estate version of the current C 63 AMG. The modern version isn’t quite a match for its forebears, but it remains a formidable machine.

Mercedes-AMG GT S (2015)

Best AMG Cars

And then there’s the achingly good looking Mercedes-AMG GT S. It boasts a fantastic chassis and a soundtrack to rival that of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Mercedes-AMG GT R (2016)

Best AMG Cars

In June 2016, none other than Lewis Hamilton helped Mercedes-AMG reveal a new 585hp AMG GT R. This is the AMG GT at its most hardcore, with a stiffer chassis, rear-wheel steering and a huge wing. How does 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 197mph grab you?


Mercedes CLK63 AMG Black

Mercedes muscle cars up for auction

Mercedes CLK63 AMG Black

Has there ever been a car with more breadth to its range than the Mercedes CLK? Whether you’re loitering around the bargain basement section of Gumtree or acting as the Sultan of Brunei’s personal shopper, there’s a Coupe Leicht Kompakt for you.

CLK ownership starts at £500, assuming you’re prepared to put up with a less than perfect body and more miles than a New York taxi. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the mighty CLK GTR, one of which sold at auction three years ago for £1.5 million.

Not that you require the Sultan’s wallet to put a performance CLK in your garage. The best part of £350,000 should be enough to secure two of the most coveted fast Mercs of the 21st century.

Choosing between the CLK63 AMG Black and the CLK DTM AMG is a little like deciding whether to take Peter Kay or Dawn French to Alton Towers. Either way, you’re going to spend the day grinning from ear to ear. We take a look at two stars of the Silverstone Auctions’ May sale.

Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG: £180,000 – £220,000

Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG

Taking the GTR out of the equation – not least because it’s as far removed from the standard car as you are from a place on Harry and Meghan’s guest list – the DTM AMG is the daddy of the CLK range.

Not that the CLK DTM would be welcome at a royal wedding: it’s too uncouth, too much of a brute, far too laddish to cope with such formalities. It would leave the bride standing at the altar, dropping a number 11 on the tarmac as it weaves away from the chapel, emitting more smoke than the row of e-cigarette vapers waiting at the bus stop.

Launched in 2004, the Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG, to use its full name, was inspired by the racing version of the CLK. A year earlier, Bernd Schneider clinched the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) title at Hockenheim – the final race of the season – finishing ahead of Dutchman Christijan Albers to secure his fourth drivers’ title.

But while DTM regulations meant that the race car was forced to ‘make do’ with a 4.0-litre V8 engine, AMG was free to use a supercharged 5.4-litre V8 in the road-going version. With 582hp on tap, it’s the most potent CLK this side of the GTR, with an ability to hit 62mph from rest in 3.9 seconds, before reaching a top speed nudging 200mph.

Those are staggering figures from a vehicle built with the primary aims of cruising tree-lined boulevards or looking good parked outside the tanning salon. To the majority of the orange folk sat inside the shop waiting to be Tangoed, the DTM AMG might seem like a regular CLK with a body kit. But as Tinder users will testify, looks can be deceptive.

Mercedes-Benz CLK DTM AMG interior

AMG went to great lengths to build a clichéd ‘race car for the road’. Many of the body panels and interior parts were constructed from carbon fibre, while the engineers modified the engine and supercharger, redesigned the suspension, and fitted height-adjustable springs and shock absorbers.

The clues lie in the pumped-up bodywork. From the deeper front apron to the large intake ducts, and the flared wheelarches to the boot-mounted rear wing, everything screams ‘DTM’. The perfect look if you’re hoping to frustrate a flying Dutchman on the commute to the office.

Mercedes demanded a not-insubstantial £180,000 for the CLK DTM, but such was its supercar-taming tendencies, all 100 cars sold out immediately. A further 80 cabriolets were built, but a total of just 40 DTM models were right-hand drive, making this an incredibly rare opportunity.

According to Silverstone Auctions, the 7,580-mile example “must rank as one of the best” and is “by far one of the most exclusive and sought-after limited-edition Mercedes-Benz models of recent years, and one we feel has an excellent future in the classic car market.”

The pre-auction estimate would suggest that the market is pretty flat, as an 8,490-mile example fetched £225,500 at a Bonhams sale in 2015. That said, this is one AMG product that has done pretty well at holding its value. You can thank its motorsport provenance, race-bred engineering and thunderous pace for that.

Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series: £110,000 – £125,000

Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series

If, unlike Jenson Button and Takuma Sato, you missed out on a new DTM, you didn’t have long to wait before Mercedes unleashed a second wave of CLK madness. The CLK63 AMG Black Series was AMG’s way of saying “Happy 40th Birthday” to itself.

It had a high-profile gestation period. By the time it was unveiled at the 2007 New York Auto Show, the CLK63 AMG Black had been on parade as the F1 safety car, which is a more impressive teaser campaign than a series of social media tweets and ‘spy’ shots.

Under the bonnet, you’ll find one of the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 engines in the world: the 6.2-litre M156. It was the first unit to be designed entirely by AMG and remains one of the best engines in the world. This alone would make the CLK63 AMG Black a special car.

But there’s more, because the Black was treated to larger vented and composite disc brakes, a sports exhaust, adjustable suspension, a carbon fibre rear spoiler, and a limited-slip rear differential with its own cooling system.

Its seven-speed automatic transmission was tweaked for greater response times, while aluminium shift paddles were mounted on the irregular-shaped 14.1-inch DMT-style steering wheel. Almost everything was designed to deliver the most hardcore driving experience.

Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black interior

The result is a car that will react to steering inputs quicker than a bluebottle being chased by a fly-swatter, and a ride so stiff you’ll need to carry your chiropractor’s business card in the Black’s glovebox. Note the array of blank switches on the centre console: Mercedes went to great lengths to offset the additional weight added by the differential and wider rear axle.

There are no rear seats, while a strengthing bar in the boot is another feature you won’t find in the regular CLK63. On the outside, AMG opted for a subtle approach to the styling, with the bulging wheel arches, rear spoiler and 19-inch forged alloy wheels the most obvious clues to this car’s potency.

It was certainly potent. With 507hp and 465lb ft of torque on tap, the Black could accelerate to 62mph in 4.3 seconds, before hitting a top speed of 186mph, delivered with one of the most evocative soundtracks in the business.

Just 700 examples were produced, of which around 25 are thought to have been sold in the UK. New, a CLK63 AMG Black would have set you back circa £100,000, but Silverstone Auctions is offering this 4,000-mile example with a pre-auction estimate of £110,000 to £125,000.

The final reckoning: DTM or Black?

We’re left with one fundamental question. No, not who to take to Alton Towers, but which bonkers CLK should you buy? We suspect Jeremy Clarkson might opt for the Black.

In 2008, he said: “For sheer excitement, the CLK Black is a match for absolutely anything. Since it went back to Mercedes, I have been thinking about it a lot. Because I’m not sure that anyone’s life is quite complete unless they have one.”

Mercedes actually included a letter with its test cars, which described the Black as “savage”, “aggressive”, “extremely lively” and “quite tail-happy”. There was even a warning to keep the traction control switched on. Needless to say, Jeremy Clarkson bought one. His time with the Black wasn’t without issues, but the fact that he kept it until 2015 tells you a great deal about the car.

As for us, the question is rhetorical, as we’re without the funds to buy the auction stars. Instead, we’re eyeing up a CLK320 for sale on Auto Trader for £495. The rusty arches and parcel tape on the bumpers are strong features, right? What could possibly go wrong?

Don’t answer that.

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