I personally think that driving a car hard is not all that bad for it, especially if it's a well-engineered car. Sure, soft parts will wear out faster (brakes, tires, bushings) but I think an engine could care less.
Case in point: anybody know of a Honda that's gone 290k without ANY engine work, and burns no oil? I had such a car, an '88 Accord LXi, that I sold to my brother (who still drives it). I beat that car mercilessly for 250k of those miles, and did nothing more than provide it with meticulous maintenance (valve adj. every 30k, timing belt every 80k, oil every 8-12k using Mobil 1 5W30). To this day it runs as new.
Just for the Board's consideration. And BTW, I drive my 2 benzes pretty much the same