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Entry Level Luxury Performance Sedans



  • joe131joe131 Posts: 972
    at what cost and detriment to gas mileage and reliability?
    And do you lose any factory warranty if your motor blows up?

    Ain't no free lunch.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Dinan mods are fully supported and warrantied by BMW. Use of other tuners are at your own risk.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Some info about it I came across (Motortrend):

    For the U.S., expect the engine range to be the C280 V-6 (228 horsepower), C350 V-6 (268 horsepower) and the C550 V-8 (380 horsepower), all with the automaker's seven-speed automatic. After a year a C55 AMG is expected. If the current German horsepower war continues, there's room under the hood for a C63 AMG, ready to out-gun even the upcoming V-8-engined BMW M3.

    The new C-Class uses front strut suspension with two lower-arms, and a multi-link rear axle - familiar Benz principles. The main chassis innovation is a new type of amplitude-dependent damper, able to provide extra compliance over small bumps for ride comfort but stiffening up during bigger movements caused by sharp steering maneuvers. The system is entirely hydraulic - there's no electronic intervention.

    The bodyshell is a claimed 13 percent more torsionally rigid than before, enhancing comfort by reducing vibration, as well as giving the potential for more precise handling. Around 70 percent of the new body is high-strength steel, which improves the strength-to-weight ratio. There is no significant aluminum in the body, and less in the suspension than competitors use.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    C550 V-8 (380 horsepower)

    :surprise: :surprise: :surprise:

    MB has truly gone mad...I guess they really want to take over the horsepower king title huh?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "MB has truly gone mad...I guess they really want to take over the horsepower king title huh?"

    Not as "mad" as their AMG counterpart. They decided an R63 - 500+ horsepower minivan - is just what the neighborhood soccer mom needs. The should use Forest Gump as the ad man on that one. :surprise:

    If the uber-horsepower addicted engineers at Mercedes/AMG would wake up, they would realize that the former C32 was already within spitting distance of the M3 in straight line performance, but light years away in terms of handling, driving dynamics and the real "fun to drive" department. So what have they done to fix that? Why add more horsepower of course. Like complaining to the restaurant waiter that your Salmon filet is undercooked and he simply refills your wine glass.

    And louiswei, just to show fairness and consistency, I think AMG is considerably more abysmal than Lexus in their pig headed stubbornness not to engineer a manual transmission in ANY of their cars, period. Not a single one. What do they think? Us Americans (70%+ of AMG sales) can't count horsepower and shift gears at the same time? The SLK55 might actually be a fun car to drive if it weren't attached to a sloppy, slow shifting slushbox (in fake manual mode). The owner of my Acura dealer sells Mercedes and even he steered me to Porsche (and drives a Cayman S himself) :confuse:
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,671
    This is a great idea!!

    How about you let me drive your M3, while you are gone?

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  • any of you rear wheel drive fans see the S6 come a tenth of a second behind the M5 at Button willow, and then "beat it handily on a shorter figure 8 track?

    Benz AMG vehicles are a joke, they are built for the rich guy with bad taste in cars.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    habitat1, looks like Lexus is following MB's footsteps by not offering manual (not even SMG/DSG) on their -F series cars. Rumor has it that the upcoming IS-F might have 500 HP (previously reported 425 HP) but will be mated to LS' 8-speed automatic transmission. If Lexus won't offer manual on the IS-F then I don't like the chance of GS-F and SC-F getting it. Hopefully Lexus will wise up and decide to give their upcoming halo car, LS-F, either a manual tranny or SMG straight from their F1 cars.

    Let me make myself clear first, I am not trying to defend AMG's decision on not offering manual on their entries, however I think there are at least 2 reasons:

    1. AMG is more of a super luxury cruiser with sports aspiration. Those cars are not serious "sports" such as Porsche, Ferrari or even M and Audi's S/RS. Thus their targeted market is vastly different and mostly aren't interested in "shift-'emselve".

    2. Americans traditionally buy more automatic than manual. I believe the auto-to-manual ratio for the 3-series sold in US is around 70-30 and this maybe your most "sporty crowd". Taking that into consideration I don't blame MB (or any other manufactures in this case) to not offer manual here on their cars. However, in Europe and Asia then that's a different story.
  • circlewcirclew Posts: 8,354

    I think there is a dichotomy that the tuner teams at the respective manufactures are playing off of.

    Some people define luxury as a slushbox vs. rowing in traffic jams and would never track their cars unless they could have a latte and be on the cell while their instructor drives!

    The sport or performance set know how to make their rides do what they were designed to do and have fun driving.

    The AMG guys and gals just want the designer set to have bragging rights! (IMO)

  • I went back to the BMW dealer today to test drive the 335i again.

    The salesperson told me that while I could not switch the module to Sirius, I could add an aftermarket unit, hid neatly in the console and plug it into the Aux input that is located there. I would just have to install an aftermarket antenna.

    After my visit at BMW, I went to a very reputable Audio installer, explained the scenario, and he said, "I can't touch a BMW. They will void the warranty, if they find out that it has been added to the vehicle".

    All I'm looking to do is wire up the XM antenna and run it to the console, where I will have the aftermarket unit plugged in.

    I'm going to be leasing this vehicle. Is this true, that I can't have this done without voiding the warranty? Can I ask the dealer if they will do it in their service department.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Adding an XM module in the manner described by your dealer is no different than hooking up your iPod via the same method. Your dealer is correct.

    Best Regards,
  • Shipo,

    You may be correct. The installer had explained that I have 2 options to get XM in the vehicle:

    1. An upcoming "box" that would plug into the Sirius module in the vehicle and "translate" the feed to XM. Apparently this box works both ways (XM to Sirus and Sirius to XM), it was designed for just the scenario I have been describing. It's about $300, and will be availabe for BMW shortly, he says.

    2. Wire up an XM aftermarket antenna into the console and plug the aftermarket XM unit into the Aux input located there.

    In retrospect, the installer must have meant that he could not pursue option 1 on my vehicle, as he mentioned that BMW does not allow you to "plug in" any device to their electronics without voiding the warranty. I assume this is similar to an owner who wants to "chip" the engine.

    If I pursue Option 2, and plug in an aftermarekt unit in the console, how will it be powered? I can't recall if there is a charging port located there. Anyone know?
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282

    I agree with your points on why AMG does what it does. However, I would note that, at least in my area, a previous generation M5 (6-speed only) has a much better resale value than a previous genration E55 (auto only). And the E55 cost more to begin with. I believe that that is because the former E55 was focused upon only horsepower (and luxury), which gets quickly superceded by more horsepower (and more luxury). The previous M5 was a complete enthusaist's car and the joy of driving one doesn't wear off just because it may no longer be king of the hill at the dragstrip.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    I am not surprised a bit about M5 having better resale value than the E55. To me, although not an enthusiast but I think AMG's not as prestige as the M.

    Also, generally speaking, doesn't BMW usually have better resale value than MB to begin with? According to Kelley Blue Book:

    2004 BMW 530i: $36,865
    2004 MB E320: $34,865

    I believe back in 2004, a new E320 would cost more than a 530i.
  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    2500 miles is a long way to travel just to drive my 20 year-old BMW for a couple weeks!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,671
    As I always say... "Beats working"..

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  • goodegggoodegg Posts: 905
    plug in an aftermarekt unit in the console, how will it be powered?

    The power ports are for that
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    The percentage of automatics versus manuals is skewed, though, since there are precious few offered in the U.S. to begin with. Yet the demand is definately there.

    Take the Honda Fit. It's the manual transmission ones that are hardest to find because they are all spoken for. Yet Honda in its infinite wisdom has decided to ship 85-90% automatics to the U.S. despite the split being about 70/30 in actual demand. Toyota(Lexus only exists in North America - its "Toyota" everywhere else), Mercedes, and all of the rest offer manual transmissions on their entire lines over in Europe. And I doubt that people are that different in the U.S. than in Europe.(ie - a LOT more people would drive manuals, especially in luxury cars, if they were offered)
  • My guess is that the aftermarket chips cause more problems than benefits. Otherwise, why didn't the manufacturers just put the 350 HP chip in to begin with?

    First, talk to VW 1.8T and 2.0T owners. Chipping has been really common with those engines for about a decade and they're all running fine. Yes, some blow up their engines or strip trannys but that's the drivers, not the engines.

    Second, BMW couldn't officially release the 335i with 350/400 tq for one simple reason: M3.

    The M3 is using a variant of that torqueless V10 in the M5/M6. It's going to produce - if they're lucky - 420 hp and 330/340 tq.

    If they released a 335i with more torque and nearly the same power they'd eat into M3's sales in a big way. Right now at 330 hp the 335i is pulling 4.9-4.7 0-60 runs. That's besting/matching the current M3. The next get M3 which will be heavier will be lucky to pull sub-4.6 second runs to 60. quite simply once you reach sub-5 seconds every drop from there takes serious torque and HP. Guys with chipped 335is are pulling mid 4 second 0-60 runs.

    What would BMW gain from having the 38k 335i run to 60 as fast as the 60k 2008 M3?

    BMW is not dumb.

    Correct, see above. They have to protect the M3 name.

    Capitalism. Its a system based on the old adage, there's a sucker born every minute.

    The sucker is the one who thinks a manufacturer limits power to increase engine life and not protect the top of its sales line. The profit margins on the M3 are surely insane and they sell in really high numbers. Look at the sales of the e46 M3 v. the e46 coupes. Not a big difference. Yet the price gap was massive. Look at the differences between the M3 and 330i of the e46...yeah the M3 sales were neck and neck and more profitable. Plus it makes the brand look better.

    Or am I just too cynical?

    Nah. Just not looking at the whole picture.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Lexus only exists in North America - its "Toyota" everywhere else

    Not anymore.

    Now Lexus is available in Europe, China, Taiwan and Japan as well.
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