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Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK (all models)



  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "That's because you don't know the difference between an ancient NSX and a redesigned NSX-R. "

    WOW sphinx99 I had no idea. Thanks for such enlightening info.


    Since this NSX-R is such THE track car it should have won over those more street oriented cars, ain't no miracle happening there. That was a given. That doesn't say much for the NSX-R to win over the SL55 and 575M both being around or over 4000lbs. Was the 911 GT2 present? If not then the NSX-R had easy pickings.

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    "WOW sphinx99 I had no idea. Thanks for such enlightening info."

    You're welcome.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    "Or can we expect to see supercars from Toyota & Nissan running with the ones from Germany and Italy? I bet on the latter!"

    I'm not so sure. Right now the domestics seem to be hungriest to challenge the German crowd (new Viper, new Ford GT, new C6 Corvette all in the stretch of a year or two) while Japanese automakers seem to have been focused on utility and sport sedan markets. My guess is that the last thing Toyota and Nissan want to do right now is start trying to compete at this level when they're fighting tooth and nail in the sedan and truck markets. If anything inspires Toyota and Nissan to build supercars for the U.S. market, I doubt it'll be the German competition or the American competition, but rather Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi. These smaller Japanese companies are adding a healthy dose of sport to their lineups, all three have had a tradition of building streetable race cars, and I'm sure at least one of them is thinking about the idea of a six-figure supercar.

    I don't know if it'll happen, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Mazda or Mitsubishi near-exotic concepts at auto shows two years from now. Depending on who does it and how it's received, perhaps we'll see a glut of Japan-sourced supercars five years from now. Until then, however, I think the NSX will continue to be Japan's sole exotic "supercar."

    Is Mercedes thinking about building a stripper SL55 as a track-oriented car, or are they leaving everything to the SLR (or whatever it's called)?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The "Domestics" have always had the Viper and Corvette and they still haven't dented the Euro crowd's supercars' appeal or anything else. The Viper is too hot, literally. The Vette is well a Vette, it gets no respect from that crowd. Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Lamborghini aren't in the least bit worried.

    As far as the Japanese doing anything, Toyota is the one to watch. There maybe a SC500 to truly challenge the SL500. Toyota also has a V12 or V10 supercar on the drawing board, has for some time now. I can see Nissan doing a twin-turbo 350Z eventually, and the next GTR is coming here also. Mitsubishi, I doubt it. Then there is the next NSX to ponder, as secret as it's engine and specs are.

    The true "sportscar" or supercar from Mercedes will be the SLR. I doubt if they'd ever strip down a SL55, thats not their game.

    Of course the Euro crowd isn't sitting still either. The new Lamborghini Gallardo will be unveiled in March at Geneva. The Ferrari 456 replacement is also due in 2003 as is a facelift for the 360 Modena. Aston-Martin has the DB5 coming. A mild facelift of the 911 is due in 2004 (997). The Carrera GT, Pagani Zonda, and a rumored BMW V12 supercar are all due in the 2003-04 time frame. The Japanese aren't going to be able to keep up with this. Only Toyota has deep enough pockets and they can't take on the whole continent.

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I know it's a bit off topic here but,

    "Toyota also has a V12 or V10 supercar on the drawing board, has for some time now."

    They do?
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    but not supercars. So do Focus & Peugeot. I doubt if Subu & Mitsu have the financial and technical whereabouts to develop supercars. Among the Japanese, only their big 3 have the means.

    I doubt if the detroit Big 3 have it either. Vette still has OHV, for Chrissake! Ford GT probably will leak from whichever holes, and they can only build 3 of them next year.

    The real supercar battle will be fought over by the Germans and Japanese. I'm very interested in that super beautiful SLR. The Italian makes, including Ferrari, may be foreign owned before too long, just like the British.

    For now, the Japanese do not seem at all interested in putting super engines in their sedans, undoubtedly because their premium makes are not well established like the Germans. But that will probably change in the future.

  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    NSX-R won that evo contest eventhough its relatively low on HP, 280 (conservatively), which is less than the Lancer Evo in the same test. The car in second, 911 c4s, has 320, also few nowadays.

    The new RS6 & E55 are more powerful than the M5 but still trail the Bimmer in handling & finesse, by all accounts. So are some German makes emphasizing hp too much, and not emphasizing enough the really hard arts of handling and balance?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    No they aren't becuase the RS6 and E55 are probably better all-around cars than the single purposed M5. Outside of the "track" either are easier to live with. And it's not like the E55 and RS6 are "poor" handlers. The M5 just happens to be that much better.

  • Can't wait until it comes in. I am told 2 years is worst case. But I was able to buy a new 2002 Porsche Turbo with no wait. Has anyone recently picked up a new SL 55? For people who already have the SL500, any problems with the top?

  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    Had my SL500 since September. No problem with the top (it's the nav system I still dislike). I have an order for a 2004 SL55 which we'll pick up late 2003. This one will go to my son. Another dealer would not even accept a deposit for this car (the same one I got my SL500 from!!). I am thinking of putting deposit down on a 2005 SL600 (late 2004 delivery), hoping that it will be more refined and quieter than a 55 and still deliver respectable performance.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The local dealer here (MB of Naperville) has a very sinister Black SL55 in their showroom right now, unsold.

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Yes, mariner7, I do believe that AMG in particular has gone off the deep end with respect to horsepower. In my opinion, they would be far better served addressing some other deficiencies in their model line up. I can somewhat understand why Audi, with their checkered past, needs to do something extreme to get attention. But as an owner of an original 300SEL 6.3, I hold AMG to a higher expectation of true engineering excellence.

    I currently own an 2002 M5 and my nearest neighbor owns a 2001 E55 which we have traded on several occasions. Neither of these cars, with a mere 350 to 400 horsepower, are lacking for power. But, with all due respect to the E55, it's chassis and (subjective) handling feel are stretched to the limit. Some would say beyond.

    merc1: Please explain what, pray tell, makes you think the E55 is a "better all around car" than the M5? I trust you have put both of these cars through the paces yourself? IMO, the E55 achieves it's improved handling through a considerably harsher ride compared to any other E or S class Mercedes. For normal driving, the E55 is not as smooth as the M5. Under more "spirited" driving, the E55 performs well, but still feels considerably heavier and less nimble than the M5 in spite of both being 4,000 lb cars. That's not just my opinion, but my neighbor's as well. The ONLY reason he bought an E55 is that his wife doesn't drive a stick. So if an automatic transmission and bigger back seat are what make the E55 a better all around car, they are the only reasons I've identified in driving both.

    Across the board, AMG had already raised raised the bar on horsepower and torque. And, as far as automatics go, the AMG units are the best in the world. But the idea of further increasing horsepower seems to be almost an affront. It suggests that those that can afford an AMG are basically of the same IQ level as the motorheads that drag raced GM and Ford muscle cars in 1/4 mile sprints in the 60's. Which, by the way, would still beat the newest E55, if 1/4 mile bragging rights are really that important.

    I certainly wouldn't buy a 15,000 square foot MacMansion because it is "bigger" than my neighbors. Give me a 4,000 square foot Frank Lloyd Wright arts and crafts home that uses real stone and real wood. I hope some of the AMG engineers are old enough to remember the 300SEL 6.3 and hold themselves to a higher standard than simply jamming the most horsepower and torque humanly possible in a 4,000 lb sedan (or worse yet, a 4,300+ lb 2-seater).

    Maybe if I lived at the Bonneville salt flats I would feel differently. But I actually drive my M5 the equivalent of 20,000 miles a year and some of those roads have curves.

    Happy New Year to all.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I am a past E55 owner and was in the situation where I seriously considered the M5.

    I find the E55 far more user friendly in the real world, as some of you have pointed out, my biggest complaint about the M5 or the 5 series is the lack of rear seat leg room. For me, it is an important issue as the reason why I needed a performance sedan was the 4-passenger space.

    Sure, the E55 has a bigger trunk too, it can fit two of my large Hartmann suitcases while the M5 cannot. I also feel more confident taking long road trips in the E55 as it has the spare tire and the M5 doesn't.

    I personally find the E55 more nimble with its lighter weight, I enjoy the M5's more precise steering but find the E55 much faster than the M5 for daily stop and go driving between office and home, phone calls, radio, etc. Yes the autobox has something to do with it too, just so user friendly, point and shoot with the massive torque.

    For spirited driving up the mountains, one may find it hard to believe but I find the SL500 more enjoyable than the M5 or the E55. It's not unlike a video game with its flat cornering it has less body roll than the M5 and the E55 if you put the ABC in the sports mode. It's the heaviest car of the 3 but somehow, the active suspension makes it kind of fun perhaps I'll grow out of the novelty testing the ABC's limit.

    I hope the new E55 will handle as well as the SL500.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    What did you replace your E55 with? If it was the SL, I'm curious as to how its rear seat leg room compares to the E55/M5?

    Just kidding, but I am surprised as to how many times I hear from some E-class owners (and Mercedes sales people) size being a deciding factor in their choice of an E. It's a bit bigger for sure, but to hear it described, you'd think they were comparing an 3-series coupe to an S-class. I suspect that for 95% of the buyers out there, the decision to go with and E over 5 or vice-versa is based upon another factor, whether they realize it or not. Namely preference for luxury vs. performance. AMG blurs those lines, but still maintains the basic Mercedes values. And in spite of the unexpected luxury upgrades the M5 offered over my previous 540i 6-speed (interior dash, door, headliner materials, standard navigation, unbelievable "M" sound system), I still wouldn't have bought if it only was offered with an automatic transmission. (The next M5, purportedly to be offered only with an SMG, will not likely be on my future shopping list.)

    Back to the SL500, I must give the AMG engineers credit for maximizing the handling capabilities of a 4,300 lb 2-seater. That's not an easy task. It's hard for me to objectively compare the SL500 to an M5, since it's a different category, quite a bit slower, and I really do prefer a manual transmission for a (almost) sports car. But for those who have traded up from the previous SL, I have heard nothing but high praise. It certainly looks beautiful and I congratulate anyone who is fortunate enough to own one.

    P.S. My 2002 M5 (and previous 540i) came with a full size spare standard. Fortunately, they've never been needed.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    Have they put in a spare tire in the M5 now? Last time I checked, they only have a spare for the regular 5 series and you're only stuck with the M mobility kit with the M5, at least in North America.

    Regarding the SL500's handling, I'm curious whether it's the center of gravity, the active suspension setup or whatever that resulted in a car that handles in my opinion, better than the W210 E55, considering that the car is almost 500 lbs heavier!

    I think most M5 buyers pick it over the W210 E55 for the manual transmission, I would have picked it for the superior steering response and higher interior finishing.

  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I was talking about the new E55 compared to the M5, as being a better all around car. No I haven't driven the new E55.

    Going purely by the few reviews of the new E55 I would find it to be a better all arounder than the M5. It's bigger, rides better and is faster for starters. The M5 only beats it in the corners. The new E55's air suspension will undoubtedly give it a better ride than the M5. Don't get me wrong about BMW and their M products, they're great, but I don't hear anything nice about them when it comes to actually "living" with them. There are too many engine issues with most M products as of late, things I don't hear about AMG products. Yes, BMW gives you the ultimate track car, but out in the real world I think AMG products are easier to live with. There is a reason they BOTH sell so well.

    As far as AMG increasing HP, they have too don't you think. They aren't going to be competitive with M products and their manual transmissions unless they offer greater hp/torque to overcome having a automatic.

    We've had this conversation before about AMG and M cars and I fully understand where you're coming from, but Mercedes just has their philosphy about cars, as does BMW and those views are even more pronounced in their tuner products.

  • My '03SL's tire pressure monitor has been malfunctioning -- and the local dealership can't seem to fix it, although they replaced it once already. Anyone have this problem -- anyone get it fixed? Other apparently chip related problems as well, such as the alarm going off for no reason (with no one in car); lights going on for no reason (with no one in car); massage seat going on for no reason (without hitting the controls on the seat). Also, the phone system did not capture all the input in the V60 phone when inserted (only bits and pieces were captured by the car's system, even though the phone itself had all the information Anyone have any of these problems? If so, what did you learn? Thanks.
  • ejerodejerod Posts: 86
    And I have noticed that my brakes squeak on my 03SL500, at first I thought it was because I did test to see if it would really do 155 and it did and I forgot to downshift and really put some wear and tear on the brakes. Then I drove my 02 S500 and noticed the same squeak when I brake. It seems that the brake liners tend to do this in lower temps. The brakes are fine. No unusual wear and tear were found by the MB techs. So I have no complaints about my toys. My wife's GS 300 still gives me a kick too when I decide to run to a 7-11 or something. Somehow I still find ways to make what should be a 10 minute trip turn into 30 minutes or more...
  • Just got word from my friendly dealer that my SL55 is being built in March. Can't wait. I am still curious about the top. anyone having any problems? Meanwhile, my Porsche Turbo is still rolling along. It is probably the most well-built, perfect car I have ever driven.
    One problem I had recently, however, involved the battery discharging after the car sat for about six weeks during a rough winter month in New York. Is this a usual occurence?
  • hsteihstei Posts: 6
    FHILL1, Please advise history on your order; ie when did you order, what date did dealer indicate, is your build date earlier than previously stated and any other info. you can provide.
    My reason for asking is I ordered one, and yet to hear date other than 4th quarter this year.

    Thank you.
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