At a Halloween party a couple of weeks ago, a rather inebriated new acquaintance of mine pulled a beautiful round flask out of his extravagant wolverine costume (the animal, not the X-Men character – I live in Ann Arbor) and offered me a pull. I wasn’t driving, and I’m neither an asshole nor a fool, so I took a sip.
The whiskey that poured out was smooth, round on the tongue, almost honey sweet to finish and as warm as the blood in my veins. It was, perhaps, the most perfect single sip of booze I’ve ever had – and I’ve taken a lot of sips. I asked the origin of this magic liquor, and found that it was Redbreast 21; a whiskey I’d had on a few earlier occasions, though never with so delightful an effect on my overall sense of wellbeing. Somewhere in the milieu of a great party, best friends and excellent music, a great dram of whiskey became legendary.
Now, this is a story about a car, not a spirit. (Don’t drink and drive, kids.) But there was a moment, working my way quickly through downhill switchbacks amidst redwood trees in those hauntingly lovely stretches of California state roads between San Francisco and Laguna Seca, where the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S triggered the same pathways in my brain that were formed when I took that sip of whiskey. Something in the elixir of power, grip, sound and balance that made a few corners of that drive feel like the close cousins of the best corners I’d ever turned a wheel on.
Later that day, driving the familiar route of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Mercedes-Benz’ newest coupe, the AMG GT’s technical abilities and few shortcomings would almost overwhelm the romance of those earlier, perfect seconds. Science cannot hold all art, after all. But like that perfect hit of whiskey, gifted from a wolverine I’ll never drink with again, this is a car that has the capability to be beautiful at any given second you’re at the helm.