This weekend saw the second phase of the Mercedes Benz Drive Live come to Mumbai. Phase 1 of this drive earlier this year was organised in the cities of Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Thrissur and Bangalore. This event’s theme is based on the three categories of Adrenaline, Gourmet and Music.
The hosting ground for the Luxe Drive was Richardson & Cruddas Ltd Mazgaon. An old mill that is now very popular for a host of different cultural events throughout the year.
Customers who are invited get a first-hand opportunity to drive the range of Mercedes Benz vehicles through a series of specially designed courses. One can decide to self-drive or partake as a guest in the cars during this activity.
I have driven Mercedes Benz vehicles in the past. But to do it over a specially designed course which showcase the different features of the cars was something I wanted to experience.
After the pre-event registration and basic formalities, we were taken to the 1st course of the Luxe Drive. This was a shalom course where you had the choice of the GLA and CLA to choose from. I chose the GLA as this is a car I have always enjoyed driving. I was a passenger on a demo first lap around the course, by the racing instructor. This is necessary to understand the nuances of what the activity entails.
The Shalom challenge is an activity, where one gets to experience the flickability, braking and handling of a car. The GLA was excellent of all counts. It handled everything with ease leaving me with a big smile on my face!
The next course was a demonstration in a GLS 350d by a racing driver where we would get to experience the stability, hill assist/descent and the off-roading abilities of the SUV. This demo was by far the most exciting! The first thing he demonstrated was the stability and how well balanced the SUV is, even when balanced on 2 wheels! Then we went up a 40degree incline where one got to experience the hill assist feature. The car doesn’t roll back even at this incline. Only when you press the accelerator, does the brake release to enable the car to move forward. Then at the top most point, before we started the descent, the driver told us, an individual can set a speed they feel is ideal during descent. The speed he had chosen was 4kmph. Here too the car only rolls ahead, when you press on the accelerator.
Post this we got the chance to drive the GLC & GLE 250 d, GLE 350 d & GLS 350 on a specially designed off-road track. This was a short course which consisted of going slowly over these obstacle courses. I drove the GLC which tackled these obstacles, without breaking into a sweat.
The last demonstration was a taxi drive in an E and C- Class to showcase the pre-safe features of these cars. The driver goes speeding towards a chicane at high speeds, breaking just in time to highlight the superior quality of ABS and other safety features in this car.
After completing these activities, it was time to indulge in the gastronomical magic that was specially created and curated by Chef Ranveer Brar. There were 3 food trucks that served up all sorts of delicious sliders, min burgers, mud cakes, sausages and lots more. Ranveer also engaged the participants there in an exclusive workshop on gourmet and food photography.
As an initiative to engage the participants during this weekend, Mercedes-Benz India has associated with MTV for MTV sessions – a series of live music gigs that showcase the work of today’s hot acts artists such as Kamakshi Khanna and Hari Sukhmai along with prominent bands such as the Yellow Diary and Paradigm Shift.
Mercedes Benz cars, gourmet food and live music was the perfect way to sign off the weekend.