On track at Mercedes-Benz World, Weybridge in new C63 AMG Coupe

At Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge, not only can you lose yourself among motoring heritage but you can also take to the track with one of their driving experience. Ade Holder heads there to discover what their new C63 AMG Coupe has to offer

At Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge, not only can you lose yourself among motoring heritage but you can also take to the track with one of their driving experience. Ade Holder heads there to discover what their new C63 AMG Coupe has to offer

Many will have shared the dream that it might be fun to drive a fast car round a track Top Gear-style and, thanks to Mercedes-Benz World (MBW) in Weybridge, this is now possible - and it’s not just for petrol heads.

There are many places where you can pay a small fortune for a loved one to have a go in cars only the super rich can consider owning, but many of them involve spectators sitting in a port-a-cabin; the drivers often being taken off to a distant part of a disused airfield that no one can see on an old minibus.

MBW, however, have taken a rather different approach and the results are fantastic. Even as you drive into the complex, you see cars on the track and immediately feel part of the action.

You then approach the stunning main building, which is surrounded by a gallery of the various Mercedes models you can dream of one day owning.

It is, however, only when you walk into the main hall you see just how enjoyable the whole experience is going to be for everyone, not just the lucky driver.

There are exhibits everywhere, from a mock podium where you can have your photo taken with Formula 1 stars Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button (though sadly just avatars of the racing heroes) to classic and even vintage cars to explore.

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Once you register, you are briefed about the forthcoming experience and taken to your car.

Spectators, rather than standing around in the cold are invited to have a coffee or sandwich from the fantastic caf� area. They have the choice of sitting outside on the terrace to watch the action or hopping on one of the tables by the enormous windows -this means the experience is a shared one and not something visitors simply endure for the enjoyment of the lucky person in the driver’s seat.

There are a number of different experiences available at MBW, from driving a 4x4 or the Grand Prix safety car, to kids driving courses and winter driving lessons.

On the trackOn this occasion, I was to be submerged in the world of the brand new C63 AMG Coupe - and what a world it is!

There are numerous numbers and stats that will delight those of an automotive disposition (see info box below) but put simply this car is fast, amazingly luxurious, sleek and subtly brutal. How can I say all this after just taking it for a spin? Because at MBW your trained racing driver coach shows you a lot more than just where to put your right foot.

You begin by having one of the team help you get your seat in the right position: making sure your arms are positioned correctly; your legs have the correct amount of bend; and even making sure your head is correctly placed with the head rest.

After a quick overview of the car, you simply start the engine and head off to the track - do not feel for one second it is an experience geared towards just hardened racers though as it is a fantastically tailored for any driver.

A spin round the windy handling course allows your coach to explain a little of what this amazing car is doing while you take tight corners. You then find your self facing a number of cones that seem far to close together. When asked to drive through them at 40mph, I couldn’t suppress a chortle: “I won’t make the first turn,” I found myself saying.

But, this is not an ordinary car and you are not driving alone. So, with some helpful tips and Mercedes wizardry, your chortle turns to a gleeful laugh as you pass the test with flying colours before learning what it feels like to slide a car 360 degrees on the wet straight!

There is also a wet circle to play on. This is where you get to try and slide the back of the car as you drive round, just like we have all seen on television so many times - albeit at 20mph rather than 60!

The water covered silicon surface will have you laughing out loud as you try and hold the slide at that perfect angle.

After all this fun, you forget there is a full track just waiting to be tamed and have built up so much confidence you will be champing at the bit to get out there. That, for me, is where the fun really begins.

You go round faster and faster as you learn the course and learn how to drive this beast, all the while being carefully coached by your new best friend.

I completely forgot there were people watching me, sitting in comfort with a nice relaxing coffee, and that is the great thing about MBW: your family and friends are watching, listening and enjoying the car almost as much as you.

The C63 AMG Coupe is a monumental car; the noise, the speed, even the brakes amazed me but it’s the whole experience that makes it really worth while.

The location is crammed with motoring heritage and there is something for everyone to look at, do and enjoy. All I can say really is: “when can I have another go?”

The Gearbox: at a glance

Car: C63 AMG CoupePrice: �60,405Engine: 32 Valve 6.3 litre V8.Speed: 0-60mph, 4.5 seconds, electronically limited top speed of 155MPH

Fun factor: 9/10Fear factor: 7/10Cool factor: 10/10 

Try it @The C63 AMG Coupe one hour experience costs �200. Book by calling 0870 400 4000 or visit the Mercedes-Benz World website

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