The best Mercedes-Benz I’ve ever driven is an autonomous machine

It’s not just a car but the world’s most powerful sport-utility. The CR450 AMG is that rare beast: a daily driver on a highway or an outside the box speedster on the gravel or…

The best Mercedes-Benz I've ever driven is an autonomous machine

It’s not just a car but the world’s most powerful sport-utility.

The CR450 AMG is that rare beast: a daily driver on a highway or an outside the box speedster on the gravel or dirt.

It is, in a word, amazing.

The 160 mph top speed and 265 lb.-ft. of torque sure make it scream as it rides on nearly 15 inches of luggage space.

And thanks to air suspension, not to mention all the increased-intensity LED lighting options, which includes yellow for the hood turn signals, the headlights, and taillights. The DSG gearbox is quicker on the tachometer (fast), but does heuristics homework to make sure it drops down when you need the power (fast) or start your engine to coast into town (slow).

The excellent Mercedes-Benz design also nabs, on its lush black, silver, red, black, silver, blue, tan and carbon-fiber wraps.

It also has some cool moves. Top speed on standard range is 205 mph. I negotiated 230 mph. Vroom, vroom. Vroom, vroom.

It’s made to go 80 mph, not an arbitrary number. But it doesn’t have a track as its home.

You’d still be hard pressed to find a truly brilliant hybrid sport car, but here is one.

The Stalag will test the limits of your limits.

It’s a self-propelled, four-mode exploration machine. Standard is a performance sport that can tackle all types of road conditions. It goes fast. This is a car for racing.

But a sport and performance car can’t stand out by dint of its sporting appearance.

Take the standard AMG Silver Metallic (red and black paint) which looks good but isn’t so outrageous that it threatens a back seat.

In fact, the car, among the others I’ve driven, features plenty of cargo space. I loved the interior design, complete with a heated and cooled bucket seat for all five of the rear passengers. It is an engineering triumph for any car of any size.

The features are numerous and varied. They include ambient lighting, rear heated seat, remote keyless entry and keyless access.

The car also has Mercedes connectivity, such as Apple’s CarPlay (iPhone), on board, Android Auto (Android phone), Bluetooth, Aha Radio and Google Search.

A five-speed transmission is standard. There is a seven-speed automatic on Black, and a six-speed automank). The nine-speed automatic is not, so for speed ramps you’ll need to try the six-speed.

To watch my test ride, click on the video below.

The automaker chose to fit all of the limping, rolling pieces with five-inch rear scoops, for a little more force to the front wheels. The front is decent, too.

My test drive began in a nice quiet village near my birthplace in East Germany. I left Frankfurt for Werne (a 40 minute drive), which brought me into a Berlin-like city, where people and traffic were busy but not too overwhelming.

The road often showed solid lines and speeds.

There’s a moment in the video that actually made me smile. I stopped to see a truck stuck in the snow. Quickly, several cars passed by. A quick trip downhill gave the city my first surprise.

But that was where the fun began.

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