Let the AMG/Ducati tie-ins begin

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Category: Dailies

When AMG announced it’d be sponsoring the Ducati MotoGP team back in November, it was unclear, beyond AMG logos on Rossi and Hayden’s bikes, what the partnership would involve. Aside from those logos, this ad is the first visible instance of the two companies working together.

The one question this all-white fantasy raises is why?

What does sticking a mid-capacity supersport — the Ducati 848 Evo — into a car ad say about the Mercedes C63 AMG Coupe? Is the C63 a four-wheeled equivalent to the Ducati? Not really, while the C63 is surprisingly fun and capable for a slushbox-equipped luxury car, it doesn’t even approach the hardcore performance of a performance bike. Nor is it meant to, the Mercedes range doesn’t incorporate any true race-level performers, but the Black Series occupy a niche as close to that as is possible within the German luxury brand’s parameters.

In the ad, the C63 is seen to beat the 848. Is the Mercedes faster? Not even close. In sedan format the C63 makes 451bhp and weighs 3,924lbs. That gives it a power-to-weight ratio of .115 bhp/lbs. The 848 Evo makes 140bhp and weighs 370lbs, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of .378 bhp/lbs. As you can see, the 848 Evo would win any conceivable race under 100 miles or so, at which point the bike would need to stop for fuel.

Is it about the experience? Well, I’ve spent a lot of time behind the wheel of a C63 both on-track and off and never once felt like I’d forgotten I was driving a car. While the AMG is fast, capable and fun, it still swaddles you in dozens of airbags, leather seats, stability control, crumple zones and automatically adjusting climate control. When white biker chick walks into the white restaurant, she has to take off her white leathers. Do you think white car driver dude had to do the same with his white driving loafers?

No, sadly we know the answer to why — image. Mercedes is trying to make people think its C63 AMG Coupe means the same thing as a Ducati 848 Evo. It doesn’t, for the reasons detailed above, but it’s perception that counts here. Ducati as luxury lifestyle good? Sadly, that’s what’s going on here. Ducati as image, not experience.

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