The southbound convoy flagged off from one of Mercedes-Benz Malaysia’s (MBM) well-known dealers - Cycle and Carriage Mutiara Damansara, which was recently recognised with a GreenRE Certification Silver rating for its eco-conscious endeavours (a first for an automotive dealership in the country).
With the convoy ready for its 470km journey to the southern state, some of the Mercedes-AMG vehicles included the venerable GTC, C 63 S Coupé, A 45 and the modest-looking GLB 35, among others.
The drive, which began at 9am allowed owners to stretch the legs of their vehicles on a gentle cruise as they made a stop 390km later for lunch at the rustic Desaru Fruit Farm in Kota Tinggi.
While there, members of the convoy were able to feast on local choice favourites such as nasi lemak, beef and chicken rendang as well as ice-blended drinks made with local fruits to help (to some degree) counter the effects of the hot day as temperatures ventured upwards to 38 degrees Celsius.
As hot as the day may have been, it didn’t stop club members from embarking on some off-road activity with an all-terrain vehicle while a mini petting zoo and a fruit farm tour were also available for the less adventurous.
Meanwhile, MBM took the opportunity to showcase its latest offering of the fully-imported Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S Coupé and its limited edition AMG Street Style Edition - all exclusively for its club members to peruse while at the farm.
With both cars hailing directly from Germany, they are currently available for order through MBM’s online showroom with a price tag of RM527,888 (on-the-road without insurance) for the CLA 45 S and RM557,888 for the limited edition.
The same 421hp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine still resides under the hood which allows it to dispatch century-sprints (0-100kph) in 4.1 seconds before reaching a top speed of 270kph (thanks to the inclusion of the AMG Driver’s package).
With the sun beginning its descent towards the horizon, a quick stop at Yard and Co allowed for some respite from the heat by allowing the convoy’s club members to indulge in something sweet.
Within a more modern ambience with a wonderful view of the South China Sea for its al fresco diners, it was here that the club’s members would recoup some of their spent energy before concluding their journey at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast.
The following day, a select few members of the media were provided with a brief stint in the compact high-powered coupe and the first impression was made clear that this particular AMG model seemed to like track duties.
If comfort is sought, seek its luxury-infused Mercedes-Benz siblings instead.
The CLA 45 S will bring to the fore all of the notes and nuances the road has to offer through its stiffened suspension that’s been matched to its all-powerful turbocharged powerplant.
Additionally, spaciousness isn’t the CLA 45 S’ forte and neither has it ever been.
Rear legroom is adequate for most Malaysians of average height but the rear headroom can be a bit tight.
An obvious act of placing aerodynamic performance above rear-seating ergonomics.
Ultimately, the cabin is a cosy driver-centric environment that allows the person helming it to pilot it without too much concern in having to manage the vehicle’s overall size - all for the sake of on-road concentration.
Although the new CLA 45 S seems to track well around bends at modest speeds with more lateral forces felt than roll, belting the engine wasn’t permitted due to it being well below its 1,500km “break-in” stage.
This meant that full-throttle was prohibited and for the engine to be properly broken in, maximum revs must be kept under 4,500rpm and top speed below 140kph as well as manually down-shifting of the transmission.
Nonetheless, there is a certain amount of rawness that’s laced with some mechanical activity from beyond the firewall.
This may grab at the senses when behind the wheel, but this a situation that can be simply remedied by going faster.
Although there wouldn’t be any qualms to do so, if not for its engine breaking-in stage, there now lies another dilemma - the standard CLA 45 S or cough up an additional RM30,000 for the more dramatic-looking limited edition variant.
So long as one’s pockets are deep enough and readily admits boisterously to being a die-hard fan of anything with a three-pointed star, the choice pick here would be the one that resonates the most with the discerning customer.