Your Full Guide to the Mercedes-AMG Driving Academy
The AMG Driving Academy calls itself the “world’s fastest family”by Tudor Rus, on LISTEN 09:56
There’s no shortage of carmaker-maintained driving schools out there. In fact, we’ve already covered some of the more thrill-inducing experiences from Maserati, BMW, and Porsche. Sure, if it’s honing your skills that you’re really after, then you can go back to the drawing board and enroll into one of the classes offered by the likes of Bob Bondurant Racing School. But for a real lifestyle experience that mixes the sharpening of your driving skills with the exploration of various cuisines, scenic roads, and so on, then you might want to have a look at what’s in store over at Mercedes-AMG.
Those looking for a driving experience from Mercedes-AMG will have plenty of decision to make. Affalterbach is offering a wide - very wide, we might say - range of programs tailored in such a way that they will fit every driver out there, regardless of the skill level he or she possesses. For starters, we’ll deal with the AMG Racetrack-Trainings module. Racetrack-Training is, essentially, a series of four courses that take place on the circuit, under the guidance of pro drivers. In some way, you can consider AMG’s Racetrack-Training module a driving school in its own right. Now, the four modules are, as it follows: AMG Experience, AMG Performance-Training, AMG Advanced-Training, and AMG Pro-Training. As you can see, their names do a good job in positioning them on a hierarchical scale. That said, let’s take a closer look at each course.
AMG Experience is further split into AMG GT R Experience (€950), AMG Dynamic Experience (€650), AMG Drift Experience (€750), and AMG Drift Advanced (€1,350). Regardless of what module they pick, participants must own a valid driver’s license. Moreover, the price of each module includes theoretical and practical driving training provided in both English and German, full board throughout the entire event including drinks and meals, a hospitality gift, and the provision of Mercedes-AMG cars equipped for two.
AMG Performance-Training takes things up a notch with more emphasis on sporty driving - the playground here is the racetrack. You can either bring your own vehicle or use one from the fleet provided by Mercedes-AMG. Those who opted for the optional AMG Driver’s Package when acquiring their car can use the voucher they received to book a place at no cost, provided they bring the said car. An additional package (€250) can be added if you wish to arrive one day early and stay overnight as well as join the Driver’s Dinner prior to the event. Those who don’t own or don’t want to bring an AMG model can still participate, but they’ll have to pay €1,750. Some of the highlights of the AMG Performance-Training module include the said racetrack experience but also the likes of driving dynamics workshops and car control exercises and hot laps in the AMG Race Taxi.
Now that you’re hooked on racetrack action and more confident than ever when it comes to driving to the limit (both yours and the car’s), you can join the AMG Advanced-Training module. This is a two-day event that can be customized by selecting several additional packages. Most significantly, the AMG Advanced-Training courses take place on legendary European racetracks that include the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Italy as well as the notorious Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany. You’ll learn or perfect your skills via targeted training that will teach you how to always achieve the perfect line, followed by thorough analysis of data recordings and videos captured during your driving sessions. And as a treat, AMG Advanced-Training also offers hot laps in the AMG Race Taxi. If you decide to participate with your own vehicle, then AMG Advanced-Training costs €3,050 on the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Imola and €3,150 on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. With an AMG-provided vehicle, these fees go up to €3,650 and €3,750, respectively. In addition, you can further specify one of the two Private Coaching optional packages (€2,750 for the first day of driving or €4,750 for both days of driving).
As part of this module, Mercedes-AMG will offer theoretical and practical driving training in German and English, a two-night stay in an upscale hotel, two Driver’s Dinners, drinks and meals throughout the event, shuttle transfer, a professional photographer on location, and a hospitality gift.
If you opt for the course what takes place on the Nurburgring Nordschleife, the fee is €3,150 with your own Mercedes-AMG vehicle. If you choose to take the module in a vehicle provided by Mercedes-AMG, you’re looking at various price tags, depending on the actual car, as shown in the table below:
|Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4MATIC||€4,850|
|Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupe||€5,650|
|Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+||€6,250|
|Mercedes-AMG GT C||€6,850|
|Mercedes-AMG 63 S 4MATIC+ 4-Door Coupe||€7,250|
|Mercedes-AMG GT R||€7,450|
In addition to this, you can get the Private Coaching package for the full two days (€4,750) and the unlimited fuel package throughout the event (€350).
AMG Pro-Training is you getting a taste of the challenges faced by professional race drivers through a two-day program that allows you to take in a series of motorsport-based driving techniques and then show them off on a racetrack. You can also opt for solo driving and private coaching. AMG Pro-Training only takes place at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Imola. Participation with your own Mercedes-AMG costs €3,850, but if you wish to be provided with a car on the spot, then you’re looking at a fee of €4,450. Moreover, the one-day Private Coaching package costs €2,750, while the two-day one will require €4,750.
|Autodromo Enzo i Dino Ferrari Imola||4.909 km (3.050 miles)|
|Sachsenring||3.671 km (2.281 miles)|
|Nurburgring Grand Prix Circuit||5.148 km (3.198 miles)|
|Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps||7.004 km (4.352 miles)|
|Nurburgring Nordschleife||20.832 km (12.944 miles)|
|Palazzo di Varignana Palace Resort & Spa||4*||22 km from racetrack|
|Hotel Meerane||4*||20 km from racetrack|
|Lindner Congress & Motorsport Hotel||4*||by the racetrack|
|Hotel de la Source||4*||by the racetrack|
The AMG Emotion-Tours is a program that’s heavily oriented towards lifestyle thanks to an array of offers that fall into three categories: Spirit of AMG, lifestyle, and motorsport. Whether it’s a visit to the AMG facilities in Affalterbach or a tour of Europe’s top scenic driving routes, AMG Emotion-Tours promises to have it all for everyone, even guest packages on the world’s legendary circuits.
Spirit of AMG
This will take you to the very heart of AMG: Affalterbach. There, you’ll learn more about AMG’s “One Man - One Engine” philosophy but also experience how the Germans go by their business inside the AMG Performance Studio and AMG Private Lounge. Then, you’ll experience what AMG stands for in the best way possible - behind the wheel of a high-performance car, around the local roads. The tour is open for a maximum number of 24 participants. Each one will have to pay a fee of €590.
Lifestyle and Motorsport
The AMG Emotion-Tours, however, are best savored on the road, as part of a long line of roaring AMGs as they carve some of Europe’s most scenic routes. The offer here is quite varied, depending on your preferences and desires. For example, you can get the Europe Compact package which will take you through 15 countries in three days, throughout which you’ll enjoy “hearty meals at the Black Forest cottage, Spanish tapas, and roller coaster thrills at Quartier Francais, a round flight over Europe, Spanish-Italian nights in authentically decorated hotels and a farewell feast at the castle.”
Mercedes-AMG will provide the vehicles for this one, so all in all, you’re looking at a fee of €2,990. The maximum number of participants is 20. Here’s this year’s program:
|Day 1||Individual arrival in Affalterbach, Factory tour, Safety briefing, Guided driving excursion through the Black Forest with lunch en route, dinner|
|Day 2||Breakfast at the hotel, Guided Vosges driving excursion part 1, Lunch, Guided Vosges driving excursion part II, dinner|
|Day 3||Breakfast at the hotel, Guided driving excursion to Affalterbach with lunch en route, individual departure|
If you’re a fan of motorsport, then you can opt for the AMG Emotion-Tours 24h-Nurburgring, which will place you at the heart of the action in one of the most grueling endurance races. You’ll also get a look behind the scenes at the Home of Driving Performance in Affalterbach, where you’ll be offered a guided factory tour, but most importantly, the Mercedes-AMG VIP lounge access will place you at the heart of the action during the 24h Nurburgring race. In other words, you’ll be treated as a Mercedes-AMG team member with full rights, provided you’re willing to pay the €2,850 fee.
On the other hand, Mercedes-AMG has been dominating Formula 1 in the past years, so perhaps you’ll be interested in getting exclusive VIP access during the F1 race at the Hockenheimring. The road to the circuit will be covered in a Mercedes-AMG car, and in the evening you’ll get to taste the goodies cooked at the Michelin-starred L.A. Jordan restaurant. You’ll even have time to enjoy the “German Wine Route” and learn more about the area’s heritage at the hotel “Ketschauer Hof.” The experience is available to a group of just 10 participants, for a fee of €6,750.
Last but not least, if driving’s your thing and you wish to do it with a spectacular panorama unraveling to your right, front, and left, then Mercedes-AMG can take you to either Dalmatia (€5,990) or Kitzbuhel (€3,990). The six-day Dalmatia experience involves both Croatia and Montenegro, with stops in Trogir, Mali Ston, and Imotski, the village with the world’s greatest density of Mercedes vehicles per capita. The Kitzbuhel tour, on the other hand, is a four-day experience that will tempt you with Austrian cuisine and stunning alpine roads.