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Journeys : Jun Jul 2011
373kW and 700Nm of torque, which propels the G from a standstill to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds – and this thing weighs 2.5 tonnes! Mated to a rock-solid 5-speed auto from the SL Black ser ies, drivelines don’t come much better than this. As if the awesome acceleration isn’t enough to remind you of the V8 engine, the 55 has twin exhaust pipes out each side, producing a sound that makes you want to put the windows down and listen to the V8 symphony. Despite the modern technology propelling these vehicles, construction is on a ladder chassis, treated and coated to make it almost imper vious to any elements; with solid live front and rear axles, coil-sprung with gas shock absorbers. A recirculating ball-type steering box adds to the retro driving feel, with plenty of turns lock-to- lock. It takes a little getting used to, but when you do, it’s comfortable enough. Low range is available at the press of a button, as are front and rear and centre diff locks. Coupled to an electronically- controlled traction system, this vehicle is only limited in off-road ability by your choice of tyres. The G is designed to withstand submersion up to 600mm and has 210mm of ground clearance, w ith excellent front and rear departure angles. On the sealed road, the ride is fairly firm and the steering is quite heavy – and as you’d expect from a vehicle fitted with a steering box, a little vague. But as soon as you leave the sealed surface and head to gravel roads or off-road tracks, it all makes sense – the steering now feels exactly right and remarkably, the ride feel doesn’t deteriorate from the on-road dr ive. Almost 90% of vehicles sold are black, even though 13 colours are available. It underpins the fact that these vehicles are serious off-road machines – although with a level of class and comfort on the inside only that Mercedes could deliver. Like one? Pricing for the G 350 BlueTEC is a touch over $162,000 with the 55 AMG commanding more than $217,000 plus on-roads. Winter checks to keep your car on the road No one likes getting up on a cold frosty morning, least of all your car. Vehicles starting in these conditions will suffer from hard starting and excessive cranking. Although these don’t seem like a problem at the time, putting your car through this has a huge effect on the motor and also the electrical system. The best way to avoid your car not starting in the morning is to follow some simple steps. Keep your car in the garage. This w ill protect it from the cold. Starting will be a lot easier and less strain will be put on the batter y. Make sure the batter y is not loose, as vibration can cause damage to battery plates. Ensure terminals are cleaned regularly during every major service. Ensure your batter y water level is always topped up. If you have a standard or low- maintenance batter y, you should remove the filter cap and check the water level every month. Make sure it is topped up with distilled water to just above the plates. Mop up any spillage. Listen for early war ning sounds. One of the most common signs of a weak battery is a grinding sound, or iginating from the motor when the ignition is tur ned. If this happens contact R ACT Batter ies. Check the age of your batter y. Older car batteries are less likely to start your car in the winter. If your battery is more than three years old and you believe it needs replacement, call RACT Batteries – we will test the charging system thoroughly before installing a new battery. RACT Batteries are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with free delivery and installation for RACT members. Call today on131111. Life on the move June / July 2011 35 6446
Apr May 2011
MNJ Aug Sep 2011