MOTORING: The new beast in town

Chiyangwa poses with his latest acqusition at Zimoco showroom last week - Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda
Chiyangwa poses with his latest acqusition at Zimoco showroom last week – Picture by Kudakwashe Hunda

Shout out to Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. All the best to Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in today’s Singapore Grand Prix.

LIQUIDITY crunch is all we hear and read about these days.

Yet it seems there is no such vocabulary in Phillip Chiyangwa’s world. “Everyday we are reading about money scandals in the Press involving executives and corporates. That is not news. Surely, someone must spend that money. It becomes news if you are not the one spending the money,” he said last week.

I could not disagree with him. Money must be spent one way or the other.

They say money can’t buy you happiness but surely money can buy you some wheels and those wheels will make you happy.

The GL63 AMG is the crème de la crème of Mercedes-Benz SUVs. Dr Phillip Chiyangwa took ownership of his seven-passenger 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG, which was officially handed over to him by Zimoco on Wednesday last week.

It is the first one of its kind in the country. I know someone will argue and say it is not the first GL in the country, but it is the revered 2014 GL 63 AMG.

The figures “63” and the letters “AMG” make it the first, and if you ask me what makes it different, my answer is simple: Try Johnnie Walker Blue Whiskey for US$250 and Johnnie Walker Red Whiskey for less than US$20 and you will understand what the word “Premium” means.

Eish, just opening the door, the smell of the Artico leather sport seats with AMG badges will tell you what success and money smells like.

AMG is the Mercedes-Benz car tuner that has its own suspension systems, transmission systems and engines different from the standard Mercedes-Benz. In short, AMG builds performance Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

There is Mercedes-Benz and then there is Mercedes-Benz AMG. No disrespect to those who drive Mercedes-Benz but the truth of the matter is that the AMG brand separates the boys from the men.

AMG separates those that “wanna be” from those “that have arrived”. AMG cars are no ordinary cars. Forgive me for hurting your feelings, but did you know that not anyone can just tour the AMG factory? Tours are only given to owners of AMG cars, or people with AMG cars on order. Only. Not even owners of your standard Mercedes-Benz vehicle can tour the factory. Be it the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S600 owner or GL500 owner, they cannot tour the factory. Only AMG owners and customers with cars on order! This makes this car pretty special.

Sorry, no offence. This one is not a vehicle for the faint-hearted and those who calculate how many kilometres they get from a litre of fuel.

The other day my friend Chamu Chiwanza and I taunted Dr Chiyangwa at his offices, saying that he had turned into a washed-up car junkie.

“Mdhara, mapera here? (Big Phil, are you broke these days?)” we asked him.

In response, he pulled out bank transfers showing us that he is still the “Big Phil” we know from back then in the day.

However, he refused to tell us what he had purchased from Germany and said it was a surprise.

And indeed it was a pleasant surprise.

Surely, with a top speed of 340 kilometres per hour, this is no ordinary engine. The GL63 AMG comes with a V8 bi-turbo engine that is handcrafted.

Yes, a handcrafted engine that is delicately and skilfully built by one man from start to finish and bears the signature of the technician that assembled it as a seal of unrivalled quality craftsmanship. AMG does not give away that seal with a technician’s signature light heartedly.

AMG takes great pride in its engineers and calls them “the greatest technicians on the planet”.

When was the last time you drove a car with someone’s signature to personally guarantee the quality of his work? This is a product of AMG’s “one man, one engine” principle. This engine is not assembled by robots but by the human hand. With AMG you drive your car knowing who exactly built your engine and these are some of the greatest technicians in the Mercedes-Benz AMG stable.

The new GL63 AMG 4MATIC that is now donning the “TSIVO” private plate is powered by an AMG 5.5 litre V8 biturbo engine, producing 557 horsepower and 760 Nm of torque.

The first Mercedes-Benz to be christened TSIVO was Phillip Chiyangwa’s S600, which caused pretty much a stir when it arrived into the country. This “new guy in town” features AMG Speed-shift Plus 7G-Tronic. This advanced 7-speed automatic transmission offers three distinct driving modes: Controlled Efficiency (C), which uses ECO star/stop to maximise efficiency; Sport and Manual, which offer shorter shift times and quicker response.

0-100 kilometres per hour is a breathtaking 4,9 seconds.

It can also come to a complete standstill from a speed of 100 kilometres per hour in just 3,3 seconds. This is impressive for such a big and bulky SUV with a kerb weight of over two and a half tonnes.

Airmatic shocks, which costs nothing less than US$2 500 from ZIMOCO, put this car and its maintenance far from the reach of many.

Its air suspension is active.

Active air suspension basically means that this car can automatically lower itself at higher speeds.

There is something so distinct about the sound of the GL63 AMG that hints to you that what is under hood is the pinnacle of performance engineering by AMG that indeed separates the men from the boys. Desgined for comfort, the grandeur design of this GL will blow one away.

This SUV is engineered like no other and offers luxury fused with power.

360-degree cameras, night vision assist, temperature controlled cup holders to keep your drinks hot or cold, massaging seats and the list of luxury and other electronic gizmos in this car is endless. I know one might be tempted to rubbish the GL63 AMG in comparison to the Range Rover Sport and the Porche Cayennes of this world, but, trust me, the GL63 AMG is the wrong rival.

They would be better off compared to the GL550 standard Mercs.

Some Mercs just come from Germany but the Mercedes-Benz AMG comes from Affalterbach, Germany, the home of Mercedes-Benz supercars. If it’s from Germany, you can be sure that it is superior engineering technology, unrivalled.


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  • Tsigayi

    “I could not disagree with him, money must be spent one way or the other”

    Wrong my friend, wealth should come with significance, not extravagance. Bill Gates is worth over $70 billion but have you ever seen what he drives? Strive Masiiwa is worth far much more than our flamboyant Chiyangwa but have you ever seen him in the papers flaunting his latest acquisition? We are not jealous of the so called Dr Phil, but there is something primitive about people who make it a point to show off in the press every time they buy the latest car. Unsurprisingly, its only black people who have this sort of habit.

    • MICRA

      Workers at his private school are not receiving a regular salary yet he boasts of a car. After all, that mec, however unusual, will not be able to travel at more than 120km/hr in our pothole infested and foot path-wide so called highways so Doc. Tsivo, your car is just as good as my Micra.

    • cc

      saka wanga uchida kuti Herald inotsvaga kuti Bill gates ano famba nemotokari rudzii.? This is local news for the local people and its lekker!!!!!!!!

  • Chiko

    No comment


    Zvinovanzwa kuti huroyi here? Let him show us so we fill encouraged that one day I will be owning a fleet of them. Zvinhu zvikasaparidzwa vanhu vanofa vasina.

  • JSC

    Zimbabwe is very poor, this is national news, really?

  • Phato Sthole

    Easy boys and girls. No need to get all worked up over nothing. Phil acts and behaves the way he does coz he knows he’s got an audience. You and me. Kana usingade kuvhairirwa, as soon as you read the headline don’t read the body ye story yachoka zve? Vamwe murikurara kun’anga, kumaprophet nekuma porofita but zero zero. Hate him or like it, blaz uyu anotsvaga and he’s successful at it. Zvekuti hee kuchikoro kwake haasikubhadhara hee what what hapana nyaya apa! if that enterprise cant pay its own expenses then he’s well within his rights to either prop it up or not to. Anyways who says mari yakatenga benz imari yekuchikoro? This ninja is well invested especially in property and like a true entrepreneur, he pounced on the city councils at their weakest and now he’s sitting on plenty of land all over the country and he’s smiling all the way to the bank. Kakara kununa hudya kamwe boys and girls, either you eat or you get eaten! Period.