HOW many times have you said to your mate: “My nan drives better than you.”
Well, that insult has taken on a whole new meaning to me after this week.
I’ve just spent a day at Mercedes-Benz World watching three golden oldies drift like Ken Block.
My favourite hot hatch — the Mercedes-AMG A45 S — comes with a fun button that makes an average driver look like a pro.
So I thought I’d put it to the ultimate test.
Rather than ask a young, brash bloke to try it, I persuaded Sarah, 80, Susan, 73, and Heather, 65, to put down their knitting and come and play on Merc’s giant skid pan.
As you can see from the pictures, they NAILED it.
Heather’s instructor Chrissy said: “She was a little bit nervous at the start as anyone would be getting into a car with that much power.
“But by the end we were doing some massive drifts on the wet circle. I was really impressed. She could feel the limit of grip.”
Retired medical secretary Heather said: “I’m glad he was complimentary. I loved it. It was great to feel oversteer in a safe environment.”
Sarah normally drives a Ford Ranger pick-up “with the turning circle of an arthritic whale” but she had the A45 tail-out in minutes.
The gran-of-eight said: “Sometimes I got it and could hold it and then it went to rat s*** on me. But I felt totally safe. The instructors are lovely.”
Susan’s instructor Phil said: “She was laughing behind her face mask so I think she enjoyed it. Her percentage of improvement was probably the biggest.”
Toyota Aygo driver Susan said: “I think I got the hang of it. Phil was pleased. Can we come back tomorrow?”
Now let’s talk a little about the A45 S. Expensive? Very. But astonishing. This thing is light years ahead of its hot-hatch rivals.
Faster than an AMG GT V8 sports car from 0-62mph. Unstickable 4WD, unless you engage Drift mode, of course.
Superb ride quality. And Merc continues to make the best cabins this side of a Bentley.
Nerdy Drift mode explanation: The rear axle differential has two multi-disc clutches, one for each wheel, which means torque can be sent to the right rear when steering left, and vice versa, to provoke delicious power slides.
It takes five steps to activate — so you won’t pull out of the bowls club all cross hobbled by mistake.
If you haven’t visited Mercedes-Benz World in Weybridge, Surrey, put it on your list of things to do.
Entry is free and there are three floors to explore, including F1 displays, classic cars and simulators.
Drive experiences for all ages start from £50 but you must be at least 1.5metres tall.
All new AMG buyers get free tuition at the performance driving academy.
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