Last post on Jul 24, 2012 at 9:07 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz SL/SLK-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Convertible
Jul 08, 2002 (2:55 am)
Not to change the subject, but I hope the new E55K has a much improved chassis and suspension to go along with the 470hp engine.
AMG had already proven to me that they can build fantastic engines. I don't think they give up much, if anything, in that department to BMW's Motorworks. Although I happen to prefer the higher revving M3 and M5 engines, the C32 and current E55 certainly have more than enough punch.
However, IMHO, AMG is two or three rungs down the ladder in the handling department to their BMW counterparts. Statistics aside, the E55 feels like a much heavier, less nimble handler than the (heavier) M5. And from my test drives, the C32 can't come close to competing with the M3 in handling and steering.
I came damn close to buying a 1999 E300 Turodiesel. It drove like a tank, but it was a tank, without sporting pretensions. If AMG wants to get my attention in the future, they will need to build a serious driver's car (preferably with manual transmissions), not just put more and more horsepower under the hood. I, for one, wouldn't have bought the current E55 even with 470 horsepower over the current M5 with 394.
I don't think I'm alone in my feelings. I know of many former Mercedes loyalists who have switched to BMW on the basis of overall driving dynamics.
#221 of 786 It's the Mercedes "way"....
Jul 08, 2002 (8:11 am)
That's true, but that's just it...MB isn't trying to out-sport BMW. They aren't going to do manuals. AMG cars are more complete "cars", meaning something you can use everyday
AMG cars don't have the engine and trans problems of their M-Series competitors either. BMW will always be sportier, Mercedes will always be more well rounded and thats the way it should be. There is no lack of demand for either M or AMG products. Together along with the upstart "S" and "RS" products from Audi they rule! Jaguar's "R" cars are right there too, and now Volvo S60R (300hp) is in the hunt. They all can't be BMW clones.
Jul 09, 2002 (8:02 am)
Doesn't this constant griping about the SL not being a 'true sports car' ever annoy you? Why is it that people just don't understand that those of us who drive SLs largely have no interest in a 911 (which appeals to a different audience altogether). Why would I want a car with a plastic interior, a manual trnsmission for city driving, road and engine noise and an uncomfortble ride anyway?
To me this is like the idiot comparisons in the car magazines (meant to increase sales) where they compare different makes. And then declare a 'winner'. What people fail to realize is that every car is a compromise in some way and what I am willing to compromise on is something you may feel is non-negotiable and vice versa.
Please consider that we differ in what we want in a car and that the SL makes no pretensions of being a 'true sports car.'
I don't want a 'true sports car'--you got it?
Jul 09, 2002 (1:38 pm)
Yes, I got it.
Apparantly you misunderstood my intentions when I responded to "shoes". He seemed to be having buyer's remorse that the SL wasn't what he expected (in comparison to his 911).
I never intended to suggest that the SL was inferior in any way for NOT being a sports car. Rather, I intended to suggest that if one (i.e. "shoes") was looking for sports car like performance and driver involvement, the SL was not the best choice.
You and I seem to agree that the SL is not a sports car and that it's fine luxury attributes appeal to a different buyer profile / priorities than a 911. And I agree that comparisons between clearly differently positioned cars is of no useful value other than to sell magazines.
Let me be clearer on my point. Anyone fortunate enough to have $50k, $75k or $100k+ to spend on a car should take the time to know what THEIR priorities are and get the right car for them. Apparantly you did. As did I. Let's leave it at that.
#224 of 786 habitat1 - E55K and thumbs up on the MB active suspensions
Jul 09, 2002 (11:49 pm)
Did you really find the M5 lighter than the W210 E55? I feel actually the opposite after fairly extensive test drives.
While I agree with you on the M3 handling much better than the C32, I personally prefer the more neutral characteristics of the E55 and find it more nimble than the M5. To me, where the M5 wins is the steering feedback which is less artificial than the E55. Funny I do feel the E55 being a much lighter car than the M5.
For normal street driving where I use my sedans, I enjoy the big engines with lots of low end torque so that I can easily merge without the fuss and the uncivilized loud engine noise that goes hand in hand with the higher revving engines. For this purpose, I prefer the automatic as well and I want a user friendly car with lots of room. This is my biggest criticism of the current 5 series, way too little room in the back.
Of course, track is another animal altogether and a manual is a must.
I have much faith in the handling department of the new E55K after being totally impressed by the suspension setup with the ABC in the new SL. The heavier car with less tires has less roll than the old E55! I can take a corner much more quickly which is something I did not expect from a cruiser SL.
If the E55K has a similar suspension set up, I am quite sure I will be more than pleased with it and it will be miles ahead of the handling of the W210 E55. And who knows where BMW will be heading with the new 5 series. While the new 7 handles beautifully (thanks also to the current superb active anti-roll electronic suspensions), its iDrive is a failure in my opinion. Too slow between screens making it difficult for users to familiarize with the system.
I think I'm going off topic but the bottom line is, to me, the E55K will be a superb all rounded car. Would I pick the E55K over any other high performance sedans out there? Definitely, no competition when it goes on sale next year. Would I look at the new M5 a year or two down the road? Surely!
Jul 10, 2002 (12:09 am)
No Audi RS6?
#226 of 786 Conflicted no more
Jul 10, 2002 (9:13 am)
I am keeping the SL despite my dealer's offer to buy it back for more than I paid (nice). When I want to feel coddled and comfy, this is the car I will drive. Also, we had some nice weather in San Francisco and I have been driving it with the top down and really enjoyed it.
The Porsche 911 is my gonzo car. This morning I raced with a motorcycle across a mountain road and came to work feeling energized. So what if the interior is cheap and all the plastic rattles. I had so much fun driving it, I forgot to even open a window or turn on the radio.
I would also like to rant a bit about those AMG boys. I joined a group named "German Auto Tours" for a weeklong trip to Germany last Fall and visited the AMG factory. These guys treated us, their loyal customers, like we had the plague. They can do this because they sell everything they make, but I don't like it and may not buy any more AMG cars because of it (I suppose this is like not going to a particular doctor because he has no bedside manner). I have owned a couple of E-55's and AMG doesn't understand ride quality at all, plus the handling is just good, not great. Of course, the engines are amazing. I just wish BMW would make an automatic (or even an SMG) M-5 so I had an alternative.
Jul 10, 2002 (11:42 am)
Funny, I was on the wait list for a C32 last year and had an interesting experience with an AMG rep who was in town for a charity promotional event (for which my company was a co-sponsor). We had fun chatting about the latest developments at AMG, but when I politely asked him if the C32's were experiencing any of the electrical/key problems I had heard of in the standard C-Class, he got very testy.
A couple of months later, I ended up buying an S2000 after I decided to go the roadster route instead. I don't think the AMG rep's attitude had anything to do with my changing car types, but I certainly didn't feel like they were customer friendly. When I had a faulty latch on my S2000 roof, the regional Honda rep personally called me to schedule a service appointment and called back after the repair to make sure I was satisfied.
On the M5, have you ever driven the 6-speed? It is as smooth as silk, IMO.
#228 of 786 merc1
Jul 10, 2002 (6:01 pm)
Not really excited about the RS6.
After test driving the A4 and A6 back to back (both non sports suspensions mind you), I was totally disappointed with the way the A6 handled. Of course, the RS version should be completely different but without a test drive and also considering the questionable resale value, I'll probably stick with the E55K or the new M5.