Me & My Car: a Mercedes diehard's earth-shaking AMG E63
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In this week's Me & My Car, we meet AMG enthusiast and Ponsonby property salesman/marketer Andre Bodde.
You’re driving a white 2016 Mercedes Benz E63 AMG?
I bought it last year. I’ve had many European cars before and some don’t last the distance; I had a C63 AMG before this and it was bulletproof. It was sturdy and fun to drive; safe. I had that for five years and it was time to move on. This E63 has more space inside. Each engine has the mechanic’s signature on it. It’s white and my last car was black so this is easier to keep clean. It is the last of the 5.5L hand-built 585hp (430kW) engines.
I didn’t just want a white car; this is the midnight package with black stripes and black panorama sunroof.
Was being a family man a big part of the equation?
I have two growing boys and they’re getting taller. The C63 was compact and the boot was smaller. This has heaps of room in the boot. And it has an amazing Harman Kardon sound system, heated seats, climate control, it’s self-parking and has GPS. You touch it and it locks itself. You can drive in comfort around town and then if you’re going away you chuck it in sports mode or sports-plus.
Probably the power, having it on hand when you need it. I do a lot of road trips up north and south to go skiing. It is so responsive; it adapts to your driving because it has so many computers.
How does it suit your lifestyle?
It suits my lifestyle having a young family as we put a lot in it, like diving gear or sports equipment and it’s still comfortable to go away with five people. And the privacy glass offers privacy obviously but it also protects the leather and the dashboard.
Anything else in your garage?
My partner has a Honda CRV.
What do you keep in your car?
My first-aid kit that came with the car; my phone so I can pair Bluetooth; and a radar detector. Describe your driving style ... Sporty on the open road, safe around town.
Favourite road trip?
Either to the mountain skiing or we have a beach place on the Tutukaka Coast.
How many cars have you had?
18 or 19; this is probably my favourite. My first car was Hillman Viva I bought for $500. I was 15. Any you’ve regretted selling?
No, because I drive them hard and it’s usually time to move on.
I like Lamborghinis, the lines, the sound, the power — and they’re fun.
Favourite screen car?
The Fast and Furious movies have stunning driving.
Favourite sounds when driving? Old ones like Dire Straits, Talking Heads, UB40.
Thoughts on the proposed reduced speed limits?
I think they are good in certain areas like Ponsonby Road. I’ve seen one person killed and another hurt there. And Queen St is 40km/h. Definitely around schools. But I don’t think it should be standard everywhere. It’s important in some areas for safety but it shouldn’t just be a revenue gatherer.