We got our best number on the second attempt with the traction control switched off while trying to use a torque-brake start. We could not get the transmission to stall because just above 2,100 rpm, the passenger side tire started to spin so that the tranmission never did stall. We decided to get the rpm up to 1,500 which was the point at which you could hear the supercharger come up on boost and then back off 100 rpm and try to soft-launch it. Even with a softer launch we were not able to get the times as well as when we spun the tires noticably coming off the line on the second run. The transmission shifted just above red line with solid, crisp shifts but did not allow manual shifting, as it would just shift for you ignoring your desires to shift at a higher rpm. Still with shifting this good, who needs a manual shifter? Our only disappointment was not matching Mercedes' published times.
Our shortest braking distance came on the fifth run, and it took until the sixth run for the number to increase, showing that not only was fade not an issue, but that the brakes worked better after repeated use. Under braking, you would get a very slight rumble noise from the ABS system accompanied by a slight vibration in the steering wheel and pedal, but nothing to cause concern. We experienced no noticable nose dive, which in turn contributed to the arrow-straight stablity, and excellent overall system feel.
We had nothing but praise for the C32 AMG on our handling course. Notes included statements like "excellent balance, no body roll, awesome tire stick and an excellent rack-and-pinion steering system." The steering showed the difference between the C32 and the SLK32, which proved that the SLK32 could really use the upgrade to this type of steering. The torque-enhanced supercharged engine was able to take full advantage of the wonderful chassis balance, which in turn allowed us to use a very controlled point-and-squeeze technique for driving the car through the cones. This car produced some of the fastest times through the cones we have ever generated. Who would have ever thought that a Mercedes-Benz could have equal or better balance than a BMW M3? It does! Neil G. Chirico