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High Performance Luxury Sedans

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree with you on the manual trans issue, but I think you're asking too much of a 4000lb+ sedan to even come close to matching a Honda S2000 in handling. Likewise the Honda can't come close to matching those sedans in ride and comfort, every vehicle is a compromise. Even the S2000 was toned down for better daily use.

    Sure BMW and Mercedes could build a sedan to match a S2000 in handling if they truly wanted, but it would ride like it had no suspension at all and wouldn't appeal to anyone but dedicated track folk and lets face it most of the people that buy these cars still are luxury car buyers for the most part or at least expect some luxury (reasonable ride comfort) in these cars.

    M
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Sorry, I guess I should save my passion if I ever run for political office (or, better yet, the Board of Directors of BMW)!

    I agree that the "supersedans" are indeed sedans and, as such, they have a broader duty than a dedicated sports car. But I'll somewhat stick to my position that 500 horsepower is enough, already. Perhaps an adjustable suspension system, like the ones popping up on Porsche and VW SUV's could be further engineered to provide both luxury and a more serious sport setting. I know Mercedes utilizes an airmatic suspension, but it could probably be developed further if the AMG guys got their heads out of the engine compartment.

    Speaking of harsh, the S2000 wasn't. Sitting on 16" wheels with 55 and 50 series rubber, I didn't find the ride harsh except over serious potholes. No more so than our new Acura TL sitting on 17" wheels and 45 series tires. And probably less so than the "luxury" oriented E55 sitting on 18" and 40 and 35 series tires. Which gets back to my point, that, for the relative harshness of the former E55, I was not at all impressed with it's handling. The less harsh M5 handles much better, IMO. I have not yet had the opportunity to drive the new E55.

    IMO, the S2000's "harshness" wasn't the ride, but the noise. My wife never got used to the sound of the engine and interior even when cruising on the highway. I didn't find it too objectionable, but it certainly wasn't as easy on the ears as an Acura TL or Mercedes E-class. Still, I wouldn't trade the 9,000 rpm 2002 model we had for the new 8,000 rpm de-tuned version. Earplugs are cheap. 9,000 rpm was unique. It still hurts a little to be driving down the road in our insulated cabin, listening to a digital music DVD, checking the 8" voice activated navigation system for directions, calling a restaurant on the Bluetooth phone and then seeing a Spa Yellow S2000 cruise by with it's top down. Oh well, at least our TL has a "real" 6-speed!
  • portknoxxaportknoxxa Posts: 69
    Why have a M- Divison and and AMG division if you are not going go all the way with performance. 4 years ago a 394hp M5 was the king of the hill, and now you have the S65 with 600hp. I know this has probably been said before, but when Fast and Furious came out, men, women, and children wanted fast and sporty cars, weather coupe, sedan, suv, or truck. The story in autoweek did say that E60 M5 will have a launch button. The S2 Dinan recorded 0-60 in 4.2s. 0-60 times are very important to the M and AMG. I'm also curious to see the curb weight of the E60 M5. Not fare to compare sedans to roadsters. It's funny but in all the comparos i've seen for the M3, they've always compared it to a C32 AMG, Audi S4, and even a porcshe and corvette. Saw one comparo against a CLK55 AMG. I know i rambling but i admire the M5, mainly for not using turbo/super chargers, and having a true manny. How does a S2000 match up to a Z4?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    No problem with passion, I enjoy reading your posts.

    When I was talking about the S2000 I meant they made it more driveable/livable for everyday use, not just better riding. I didn't mean to imply that it had a rough ride.

    I agree about the old E55 vs the old M5, they old M5 did handle better without the ride penalty according to most, though Road and Track did say the E55 handled better - a curious decision.

    M
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'm going out on a limb here, but I am willing to bet that among the actual purchasers of $80,000+ M5's or E55's or $125k+ S65's, fewer than one tenth of 1% paid $6.50 to see the Fast and Furious.

    And to go a little further out on that limb, I am going to bet that fewer than one tenth of 1% of those that paid $6.50 to see the Fast and Furious will ever actually be able to afford an AMG or M car.

    The Motorsport and AMG divisions clearly have performance as a priority, as they should. I would submit, however, that prospective buyers that can actually afford their cars have a different and broader definition of "performance" than those that can't. And if I were in charge of AMG or BMW, I'd make damn sure I focused my attention on the former.

    As far as an S2000 matching up against a Z4, both are very good cars that achieve similar results using very different methods. The S2000 essentially has a half size Formula 1 engine. Low torque, 9,000 rpm redline (pre-2004) and perhaps the best 6-speed transmission money can buy. The Z4 uses a torquier ubiquitous engine that you can find in every vehicle they sell from the X5 to the 330i to the 530i. It gets the job done with power, but not as much sophistication, intensity or excitement. Similar comparison could be made between the chassis.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    I must take issue with your reported time slip numbers for the 70's-era Buick. "SS" was a Chevy nameplate. Also, no Buick 455 Gran Sport (GS) or any other flavor ever recorded sub 3-second 0-60's or sub 11-second quarter miles.

    Was this a Super-Stock (your use of "SS") modified Buick? ;-)
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Now that you mention it, I think it was a "GS" not an "SS". And it was somewhat modified, as I recall, with "headers" and racing slicks. But my buddy still drove it daily to his summer job working for UPS. I believe the year was 1977 or 1978.

    I am quite certain he showed me time slips in the high 10's / low 11's from the local drag strip. Just for the fun of it, I'll try contacting him and, if successful, report back on the actual times. My memory may be a little rusty, that was going on 30 years ago.

    My point was that you don't have to buy an AMG or "Motorsport" sedan if drag racing is your sole measurement of "performance". It's not mine. Wasn't back then, and I certainly didn't regress over the years since.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Absolutely... we buy the AMG or M-Sport BMW's for the engineering excellence combined with top-end performance. Built as high-speed cars for the wealthier buyers, they combine sheer performance, luxury, solidity and status in a single package. Many classes at this level of investment (911, DB9, SL55, etc) to whet your appetite for speed.

    My Submariner doesn't keep better time than my Seiko sports watch, but I certainly don't confuse them or their mission ;-) Although my 2003 530 SP does not offer the highest acceleration attribute of the performance equation, it does everything else to my sheer delight.

    Someone in an E55 ain't gonna get to work any faster than I can! This is why my dream garage would look something like Jay Leno's... something for every occasion and every mood! From the Subie WRX STi to the E55/M5... "it's all good".

    I dig the older American performance cars as well... 65-67 GTO, any pre-'68 Corvette, SS396 Chevelles, Boss Mustangs (302, 351, 429), and of course... HEMI Cuda's!
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Hi all, I was a fan here years ago when I was thinking 2002-2004 E55 as my lease on a 2001 S500 was ending. I couldn't get the 2004 E55 last summer and ended up with a Lexus LS430 after my S500 lease. After 13 months in the limo, I am very bored. The LS430 is indeed absent of the annoying panel squeaks, center console rattles, and tire noise of the S500, but drives like a Towncar.

    Rode in a friend's 2004 E55 recently, and that acceleration in a compact car is out of sight.

    Since my ride was short and I was busy talking business, let me ask those here with experience with both S500 and E55. Is the E55 better in terms of the annoying interios noise? I remember the 99 E55 was very quiet over even cobblestone roads and the side roads around Scarsdale NY.

    I had driven a E500 for about 10 miles and it was pretty rattle free, although that dealer demo had a loose part in the trunk.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Paul
  • pcvettepcvette Posts: 4
    A reply and a question.. I have an '04 SL55 and for the most part trouble free. If you get a 55 (E or SL or S) I'd strongly suggest you require Michelin instead of Pirelli. If anyone out there has an '04 55, do you experience pause/tick/hiccup starting out in "C" or "S"? Dealer tells me the supercharger if off at idle (also cruising)and kicks in at start around 1500 RPM. ??
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    merc1:

    "A bunch of relatively minor things with your E55 huh. That is Mercedes biggest problem because I'm sure if you get a survey it won't be good for Mercedes."

    Actually, no, I have been rather pleased and will complete the survery as such. My philsophy with cars is that the more expensive the car, the more things will go wrong and I will spend more time at the dealership. This I can accept as I am the driver who can truly appreciate the extra bells and whistles.

    The part that bothers me will be incapable mechanics and service departments. So far, I have been rather happy with MB as they fixed all my problems and they treated me well. Last time I serviced the car I was given a brand new CLK convertible overnight.

    Am I happy with the company Honda mini-van? Yes but I also expected much less. Am I going to continue bringing the car in to fix the endless rattles and brake noise? No, I learn to live with the problems.

    paulchiu:

    "Since my ride was short and I was busy talking business, let me ask those here with experience with both S500 and E55. Is the E55 better in terms of the annoying interios noise? I remember the 99 E55 was very quiet over even cobblestone roads and the side roads around Scarsdale NY."

    Paul, I recall reading about your purchase decision months ago. I have driven the S500, the 2000-2001 E55, and have owned a 2004 E55 for 9 months.

    The 2004 is as rattle free as my 2001 E55 and I know what you mean about the noises in the S500. I am extremely fussy about interior squeaks and rattles.

    pcvette:

    "If anyone out there has an '04 55, do you experience pause/tick/hiccup starting out in "C" or "S"? Dealer tells me the supercharger if off at idle (also cruising)and kicks in at start around 1500 RPM. ??"

    Yes, I can hear the engine slightly ticking when idling cold, but I felt the same in the 2003 SL500 as well so I concluded it was the characteristic of the MB V8.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Thanks W210.

    Yeah, I've been here for years, I enjoy the discussions, maybe as much as owning the car itself.

    I think it's strange that the 2005 E55 does not have NAV or the better lighting as standard equipment, as almost no dealer I called had any with NAV. Some have that 319 lighting package.

    BTW, I am happy to hear your lack of interior noise, the S500's was a main reason that drove me into a Lexus LS430. But, after 13 months, similar but less "regular" noise are inside the LS430 as well. I figure if I must live with interior trim noise inside a $70 to $100 car, I must have better 0-30MPH performance in the city!
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Paul,

    Yes I have enjoyed the Edmunds community as well. In fact, I posted a complaint about the new 7 series here and ended up having an interview with Businessweek and having my dissatisfaction published.

    I think we have similar sickening expectation on rattle/squeak free interiors. I have always been curious about the LS and it's interesting to hear it also has its share of interior trim noise.

    The COMAND option should be a no brainer as it only costs $1k in the US. I wonder if it's something the dealer can add as all 2005 cars do come with the large screen and if I'm not mistakened it is only a matter of adding the DVD player in the trunk?

    Here in Canada, the E55s come with bi-xenons, and I added the active cornering option. Another nice feature to add is the auto trunk closer. Very handy at a reasonable price.

    If you have any questions on the E55, don't hesitate to ask, here are my options:

    Ventilated Dynamic seats
    Active cornering bi-xenons
    CD Changer
    Trunk closer
    Nav
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Thanks! I think a great drive would be to take the E55 from New York to Toronto. I remember the half dozen times I did that in my 20's, right after college with my wife. Since my son, we have hardly driven longer than 80 miles at any time, and that's to the Lexus dealer for service.

    I remember the drive especially from Niagara to Toronto to be an area where you can really do serious speeds in an E55.

    I can imagine driving one at night with the kid sleeping in the back, listening to jazz, and with that quiet cabin, that fabulous grip of the ground at near triple digits speeds will certainly make one's mind go back in time. Perhaps even experience another level of perception as those Endorphins fires at full strengths!

    Paul
  • phudphud Posts: 4
    Hello M5 Owners,

    This is shameful but I admit that I cannot afford a M5 that is newer than 4 years old. Even when a 4 years old M5, the avg price is still in the $30K - $40k range. However, I see some of the unbelieveably low M5 prices listed in Yahoo autos. Their prices are range from $16K - $30K for 2001 - 2003 models and all the sellers are from in NY. What is your opinion of this? Is this some kind of a joke? Made in China BMW M5 :)?
    Would you recommend that I should contact on pursuing the purchase?

    Thank you for any advices.
    From M5 admirer
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Paul,

    While I'm on the west coast, I'm very familiar with the QEW/I90 stretch from Toronto to east coast USA. A very nice road to do serious speeding indeed. I used to take my 1991 Saab 9000 Turbo from Toronto to Providence/NYC/Philadelphia every few months to see my girlfriend. I wish I could afford a 500E then!

    After our daughter was born, we have not taken any road trips longer than 2 hours. Quite a shame as the E55 is really designed for highway cruising. It accelerates from 75 mph to 95 as effortlessly as going from 35 mph to 55 mph. How can I describe the feeling, you feel kind of liberated and free on the highway. You can get away from and into trouble so easily. You see that car tailgating dangerously close to others next to you, you step on it and you're 20 cars away in a split second.

    However, I'm sure one area it cannot beat the LS430 is the tire noise and slightly harsher ride. To address this problem, most E55 owners dump their factory Continentals for Michelin Pilot Sports, I may follow soon.
  • Those low prices in NY are a scam. They want you to send a $3000. deposit with a promise to ship car later. You won't get the car and you will lose your $3000. Don't do it.
  • Thanks for the advice. I figured so, some kind of the scam or some sort. It's too good to be true.

    Thx...
    D
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Pretty quiet on this board. Anyone here going for the new M5 or CLS55 AMG?

     

    w210,

     

    Do you still have your E55? What do you think of the CLS500/55?

     

    M
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Still enjoying my E55. I'm putting on some decent tires on the car as I type - Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s.

     

    With the replacement tires, I'm going 275 on the back to beef up the overall traction. Will report back on the improvement.

     

    I have a deposit on the M5 but turned down the CLS55. The CLS55 is not practical enough for me with a reduction of interior space (rear middle seat gone). The car emphasizes much on style but little on substance if you ask me.

     

    The M5 should be interesting (still 10 months away) and I'm still on the fence. I find the car quite ugly and not luxurious enough for me. Must test one out to see if I can live with all the buttons and harsh suspension day in day out.

     

    I enjoy effortless acceleration and performance in my daily sedans I hope the M5 can match the E55 in this area, without having to rev the engine to 7k, creating too much fuss and noise.
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