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As a child, I could never wrap my head around mathematical word problems. If Johnny had ten chocolates, why should he beat himself up finding a way of distributing those amongst six people and not simply enjoy them all alone. Today, though, it is different. I am on a quest of finding the solution to a problem for which I will go to any lengths. Here’s the word problem:

A BMW S 1000 RR M-Pro makes 210 bhp while a Mercedes-AMG A 45 S makes 421 bhp. With twice the cubic capacity, horsepower and the number of wheels, is the AMG twice the fun, too? It should be, right? More power and grip to exploit that power? But it isn’t.

The S 1000 RR produces a staggering 1085.27 bhp per tonne while the AMG puts out 260 bhp per tonne. So, that’s it? The BMW beats the world’s most powerful 2-litre engine just like that, on paper? Can’t be. And that’s exactly my issue with these mathematical problems — they don’t tell the full story. They can’t. Plus quantifying fun on the paper with numbers and words? That’s not possible. Oh wait, that’s what I do for a living.

But you get my point, right? Reading the AMG’s spec sheet prepared me to be floored by its 50.9 kgm of peak twist, but nothing told me that I’d be shoved into the seat, laughing maniacally while the turbo spools and sends me from nought to 100 kph in a mere 3.9 seconds. I anticipated that the raunchy number from the exhaust would persuade me to go faster, but every damn time over the course of almost a week? That can’t be on paper.

The spec sheet also didn’t mention how deceptive the S 1000 RR is. After all, 210 bhp and 11.5 kgm mercilessly wearing out the rear wheel has no place on Indian roads. But I was pleasantly shocked by RR’s mannerisms. The numbers on the spec sheet suggested that I carry an extra pair of inners, but nope. This BMW was kind and patient with me as if it wanted me to understand the ways of the modern litre-class supersport.

When you don’t want the numbers to scare the passengers

But if the numbers matter that much, the AMG and the RR can throw real-time figures at you and make you feel ashamed for even trying to make sense of them. And just a cautionary advice: don’t glance at them while you ride/drive. Because knowing that stepping on the pedal is dispersing close to 39 kgm before you even finish reading this sentence will send a shiver down your spine. Or better yet, you are leaning into a corner at 47 degrees on a Rs. 25.25 lakh motorcycle while the traction control kicked in 15 per cent should be enough to get you in line. Well, it straightened me up, literally, too.

you are leaning into a corner at 47 degrees on a Rs 25.25 lakh motorcycle

And when I did, I knew exactly how much work the Nissin-sourced ‘M’ brakes were putting in. The data was right there to show me that there was still a long way before I could even come close to flirting with the limits of those brakes, which I think I did on the AMG… a lot. With ground clearance that won’t take the car over a can of coke, stopping it just before tackling our colossal speed bumps meant the brakes were under a lot of duress on most occasions (remember, it was pedal to the metal all the time).

The ‘M’ and ‘AMG’ badges on the calipers assert the serious performance

Another thing that no paper can ever tell is the sheer joy and excitement that machines like these can bring. On the Beemer, the only way I could explain it to my wife was taking her pillion, and by the end of the ride, she was in the same dilemma as me — how can she explain that the very sense of time and distance she had was left behind as the RR accelerated with sheer brutality in the ‘Race Pro 2’ mode. Luckily, the AMG was right there to explain it all.

Experiencing the ruthlessness of the AMG’s powerhouse from the backseat is an experience that I can only tell by the abuses hurled by my family as I went on to give a demonstration of the word problem I was trying to solve. Oh, and this was in the neighbourhood-friendly ‘quiet’ exhaust mode. Can’t comprehend what would have happened if the car was in the ‘race’ mode with the exhausts full chatter. Nonetheless, experiencing a supercar-like performance with your family is priceless.

The seriousness in those eyes says it all

And so was the look on the faces of the people around wherever I pulled over with the RR or AMG. In fact, strangers might have clicked more pictures of the RR cumulatively than Kaizad. Yes, the brochure and images on the internet show how beautiful the supersport looks, but in the flesh, when those angry eyes stare in your mirrors, you will give way. As for the AMG, I probably went unnoticed a few times and had to use the roaring exhaust to assert my presence in traffic; not because it’s not as attractive as the Beemer, but because it probably sat too low for the mirrors of buses and SUVs.

Guess the S 1000 RR was curious about the AMG’s exhaust trick, too

After clocking close to 1000 km on the RR and the AMG, do I have a definite answer for our question? Well, I don’t think so. The S 1000 RR, despite its bonkers performance figures, is a friendly, easy-to-use weapon that, if and when needed, can scare the living daylights out of me. More importantly, I can actually use those 210 horses or most of it almost anywhere I want. And that’s where the Merc takes a hit.

Nonetheless, experiencing a supercar-like performance with your family is priceless

I would require a pristine, long, wide stretch of tarmac to enjoy the car’s full potential. Sure, any set of twisties outside the city can be fun with the AMG, but knowing that I’ll be scraping its belly most of the time to get to that road dissuades me from having fun on my terms. But you know what the AMG can do that the RR may never be able to? Have oldies laugh and revel like teenagers and that’s a lot to not consider.

Guess, some things can never change. I for one can never deal with hypothetical problems like this, and just like my solution for Johnny’s problem, I would rather keep both than waste time picking a side.