Drive Time: Mercedes AMG makes rush for Nissan
November 4, 2016
Running late, we were, Thursday afternoon for the Nissan Denver Adventure Drive at the magnificent, old Cherokee Ranch and Castle out near Sedalia.
Dropping Jan off at a friend's in Littleton, I cruised out Santa Fe toward North Daniel's Park Road aboard the 2017 Mercedes-Benz AMG C63 S Coupe.
A bit of time could be made up from the performance of the Benz's 503-horsepower, biturbo V-8 engine, yet I was clearly late and walkaround briefings by Nissan officials had been completed for other automotive journalists as I neared the lower parking area of the castle.
Among new-model Nissans being made available for driving the hills about the area were the big Armada SUV, the Pathfinder SUV crossover, the compact Rogue crossover, Titan pickups and the Sentra SR Turbo compact sedan.
Revisions for the new year to Armada, Pathfinder and Titan sent their sales soaring in October. The Rogue, one of the best-selling crossovers in the country, saw a bit of sales slip last month.
Time spent driving a Rogue SL all-wheel-drive model was impressive in its handling; its 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission carries an EPA estimate of 25/32 miles per gallon. Its sticker price, including leather interior, panoramic moonroof, 19-inch wheels, voice-recognition navigation and intelligent cruise control, was around $36,000. I've previously driven and reviewed the Armada, Pathfinder and Titan.
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The 3,400-acre Cherokee Ranch, southeast of Sedalia, is best-known for the large Scottish-style castle built in 1924. Tweet Kinball bought the ranch and castle in 1954 and introduced the Santa Gertrudis cattle breed into Colorado. Today, the ranch is owned by Douglas County.
Its roads and trails afforded opportunity for members of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press to test driving qualities of the Nissan products. Only thing better would have been snow on the ground; that's coming, of course.
Of course, for the rear-wheel-drive Mercedes AMG C63 S Coupe, it thrives on dry roads.
AMG is the high-performance division of Mercedes-Benz in Germany and independently engineers, manufactures and customizes Mercedes products. Its engines are hand-built; a plate on the block of the model I'm driving was signed by Rene Mauch as its craftsman.
Twin turbochargers push out 503 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft. of torque from the 4.0-liter V-8, tied to a quick-shifting 7-speed automatic transmission. With its drive-mode selector set in Sport or Race, and with paddle shifters, the coupe kicks out perhaps better than a BMW M4.
Wide-open cross-spoke forged wheels lend view of large, red brake calipers and huge, safe-stopping brake discs. Tires are Continental 255/35R19 in front, 285/30R20 at the rear.
The AMG Coupe comes with a sticker price of $92,635, including voice-control navigation with weather and traffic assist, active parking assist and surround-view camera, performance exhaust, head-up display, AMG electronic limited-slip rear differential, automatic headlamps and electronic trunk closer.
Bud Wells, a native of Wray, is a former Page 1 editor of the Denver Post and has reviewed automobiles for the past 40 years. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.