After the political tensions in Bahrain caused the delay of the 2011 Formula One season, the world’s most prestigious racing series is finally set to turn on the green light at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
While the obvious attractions of the race are the Formula One race cars themselves, a few other tricked out vehicles are gearing up to make their services available for the 2011 season. Serving as the official medical car is the 2012 Mercedes Benz C63 AMG Estate. Despite already serving the same role for the past three seasons, the C63 AMG Estate that will be used this year comes with a number of improvements, from a refreshed design, updated technology, and of course, a performance upgrade.
All of these refreshments and upgrades still underlie the car’s official purpose out on the track for all the races of the 2011 Formula One season. It’s there to provide immediate medical assistance for any harrowing crashes and, while all of us are probably united in saying that we hope that we don’t ever get to see this car out on track, it’s always a good idea to have a car as capable as the C63 AMG Estate to be on-call when an accident - or worse, tragedy - strikes.
Details on the Mercedes C63 AMG Estate F1 Medical Car after the jump.
Among the new exterior features of the 2012 C63 AMG Estate F1 Medical Car – a load of a name, if there ever was one – include an aluminum bonnet with refreshed powerdomes, a new radiator grille, new headlamps, a redesigned front apron that comes with bigger air intake apertures, modified side air vents, the unmistakable AMG-sourced rear apron, and a set of new 19” wheels.
Other key features of the C63 AMG Estate Medical Car include the roof light bar, stroboscopic flashing LED lights on the front and rear, a number plate illuminated with LED lights that displays its official designation as the “Medical Car”, and a plethora of F1 logos just so there’s no confusion as to what purpose it holds out on track.
Inside the car, you’ll find four sports bucket seats with six-point seat belts. There are also two fully integrated monitors that lend its use into the center console, which allows for the medical team to monitor the race. Finally, there’s also a radio set inside that can be used for direct communication with Race Control, giving the car live-to-the-second updates on what’s going on at any point of the track during the race.
While this particular car won’t have the blazing speed of all those Formula One racers, its performance numbers are still not one to be taken for granted. The C63 AMG Estate Medical Car is powered by a 6.3-liter V8 engine that comes equipped with an AMG Performance Package, ratcheting up its total output to 487 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and mated to AMG’s own Speedshift MCT 7-speed transmission. With these numbers, the car is capable of posting a 0-62 mph time of just 4.5 seconds. It’s a snail’s time compared to the F1 cars, but to be honest, there aren’t a lot of vehicles in this world that can keep pace with those gnarly machines.
The C63 AMG Estate Medical Car isn’t for sale, though if you’re interested in a standard road version of the car, you can scoop one up for a princely sum of €73,899, or about $105,000 based on current exchange rates.
2011 Mercedes SLS AMG Official Safety Car
Joining the 2012 C63 AMG Estate Medical Car to serve the purpose as the official Safety Car of the 2011 Formula One season is the Mercedes SLS AMG, which will be reprising the same role it had during its inaugural season a year ago. No pertinent changes have been made to the car from last year’s model so you can expect the same sexy SLS AMG Safety Car leading the parade of F1 racers in the event of any yellow flags.