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High Performance Luxury Sedans



  • We hear all sorts of things...$75k...$88K who knows? I sell Benzes in Connecticut and we don't have anything firm as yet. AMG is going full tilt with the 496HP 5.5 Liter engine. Saw my first SL55 last week...even the engine is signed by the engineer that built it. Will have an S 55 here next week..will keep ya posted.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378

    Any news?
  • The new E55 looks like it is going to be the new bellweather for the "super sedan" market. At least until BMW ramps up the new M5, and even then if MB would offer a manual, they might keep the torch. I have an order on an RS6 because I like the 4 wheel traction. What is the aversion AMG has to using the 4matic tranny??
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    March 2003 edition has road test for 2003 E55. Priced at 74K. One reviewer said the M5 at 70 less HP is better; same as Automobile magazine.

    The speed numbers are most impressive, but handling is suspect, as it only pulled 0.83g, nowhere near the near 0.9 level of the M5, and even less than the previous E55.

    The reviewer also made bad comments on the brakes and steering.

    The seating comfort ratings were excellent. And the driver commented on no wind noise even in the triple digits.

    As for how outrageous is the speed. How's 9.8 seconds for 0-100 mph.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    As soon as everyone realizes that Mercedes isn't trying to build a track-biased car like BMW's M division does everything will be ok. That should be obvious to C&D by now. Mercedes has had since 2000 to study the M5 and go that route if they wanted to, but the clearly didn't. The E55 has an air suspension for a better ride over the M5 and previous E55, and no manual trans. Clearly they aren't going for a track car here.

    The E55 has that high-speed stability that German cars, Mercedes-Benz in particular made such a desirable and sought after trait. The price paid for that is somewhat less agility when asked the change direction. Getting .83gs on the skidpad doesn't tell the whole story about it's overall handling.

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Seems easy enough to understand. When will MB, Jag, etc. figure out that they need to offer a real manual transmission? And since they won't, maybe they'll finally put an SMG-type manual sometime down the road?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I hardly think the E55 not having a manual disqualifies it as a "supercar" especially when it outruns all the others in this class. Though I doubt they'll ever do a manual or SMG trans. If they're going to do that they may as well ditch the software and offer a good old-fashioned clutch pedal.

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    merc1... When you think of truly classic Ferrari, Porsche, Lambro, Maserati, Jags, etc., do you think of automatic transmission models? Know I don't. [Some (not me) might think slushboxes were good enough for late 1960s 2 ton Detroit behemouth muscle cars, but even then collectors really want the manuals.]

    That is why C&D, Automobile, etc. think and write what they do. Not too hard to understand.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    I too do not think supercar means manual transmission. Most of the race cars on the circuit are not the traditional clutch and pedal but rather electronic drive by wire trannies. Giving an inexperience driver a manual clutch and pedal in a car capable of 0-150 at 23 seconds is dangerous to others on the road.

    Read in the WSJ that you can lease a Maserati GT for $999 a month for 4 years. This is for a car that lists for 88K. This might have some effect on the pricing/leasing on the E55. Then again, might not, as I am paying north of $1400 a month on my S500 with ABC and distronics.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thats true, but we're talking about sedans here, not Ferraris.

  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I trust companies like MB and Jaguar knowing what the majority or their target customers really want... They do offer manuals in many of their more basic models. It's interesting that, as the price steepens, most of their models don't bother to offer a manual anymore...
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    merc1... I thought we were talking about SUPER sedans. Super equals manual transmission. (Don't forget, Ferrari has offered automatics.)

    pablo_1... Offering a manual transmission makes a certain statement in the market. Some marques want to make it, others don't. Jag and MB don't have the sort of performance image in buyers minds as say BMW or Porsche. That is one reason why both offer manual transmissions. It is just too bad MB and Jag won't get truly serious with their SUPER sedans.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    A sedan with 469hp, a 0-60 time of 4.5secs, 0-100 mph in 9.8secs isn't "super"? There are exceptions to ever rule, the E55 is just that. Manual or not the E55 is every bit a "super" sedan.

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    merc1... All I can say is I completely agree with C&D, Automobile, and others who have opined that the lack of a manual transmission is a serious issue that does significantly detract from the desireability of cars like the AMG E55 and Jag XJR. They may be Super, but the M5 is SUPER.

    For better or worse, having an automatic seems like losing 100 HP. Not to mention the loss of control. And the general loss of being in touch with your car. A slushbox in combination with all of the MB's computer-controlled braking, handling, steering, etc. systems might make one wonder whether you or the computer is actually in charge.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    We'll lets just say I completely disagree with that. Having a automatic doesn't "seriously" detract from the desirability of these cars. AMG sells everything they build. Mercedes and BMW just have different philosphies about performance. I also think you're reading too much into C&D says. The driver is still ultimately in charge of the car.

  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    It seems the majority of luxury car buyers in the US like power, but they also like the convenience of the auto. The M5 is the one that defies the super sedan norm here, and I do think that reflects the choice most buyers make. Everyone thinks the M5 is awesome, but when it comes to spending $70k on a four door they are not willing to forget about convenience.

    Personally, the degree of responsiveness a manual offers is something I value in a more compact, agile and sports-carish package. A motorcycle with an auto would be an aberration. A small, agile convertible or coupe with an auto is a shame. A full-blown sedan with an auto - that's in character.

    All in all, it's a good thing the market provides a choice. Personally, in California, I would never consider the M5 - but I know people who own one and adore them, and more power to them.

    If Mercedes and Jaguar offered manuals, I am willing to bet most buyers would shun that version of the car, and opt for the auto.
  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    My 2 dealer contacts told me either June or October for the E55. Also, not sure if it's a model year 2003 or 2004. Seems there is no option for even larger wheels/tires to perhaps compensate for that 0.83g.

    For M5 owners, is the clutch tighter than the one in a 540i sports?
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    E65 is coming! amp;cat_code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=08359898
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Automobile Magazine also hinted at this. Though I doubt they'll be an E65, but a SL65, S65 and CL65 are a given.

    I want Mercedes to do a naturally aspirated E600 with a true 6.0L V12 with about 420hp, fat fenders and every E-Class option the tradition of the W124 E500 model.

  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378
    Cannot decide on the color, need help!

    My last 2 Benz had been brilliant silver/charcoal and I wanted to try something new on my 2004 E55 order.

    Thinking :

    1) Pewter
    2) Desert silver
    3) Obsidian Black

    All with Ash interior.

    My main concern is that the blacks seems to show scratches very easily. Am I wrong?

    Thanks for any ideas.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well if you must have the Ash interior then go with the Obsidian Black exterior. Pewter would be my next choice, but only with a Charcoal interior.

  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378

    Have you had a black Benz in the past? If so, how hard was it to keep it protected from elements?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Nope, haven't had ANY Benzes yet....just been my experience with relatives/friends MB's. Black is the hardest color to keep "right" no matter what the brand. BTW, I went to the Chicago Autoshow today. The E55 is an awesome piece. I think you should consider a Pewter/Charcoal combination.

    After today I'm once again convinced that Mercedes' best car is the CL Coupe. Such a stunningly timeless Benz design thats just the right size. One of the Benz reps told me that MBUSA is still trying to decide if the 605hp CL65 is coming to the U.S! Also got a chance to see the new CLK55 AMG. The new CLK is growing on me, the cabriolet should put it over the top for me. The only Benz that fails to wow me is the C-Class, though the reps claim some "significant" changes are in store for 2004, due to tons of customer feedback about the C's interior, and it's feature/price ratio. Sorry for rambling.

  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378

    I put in the reserve for a pewter/ash. The sales guy called earlier.

    Actually, I do not think such a combo exists for the E55. Doesn't it have 2 tones interiors?

    I think pewter should take abuse, similar to my brilliant silver. I did see a pewter 2003 SL55 at the showroom. If I were not married with kid, I just might....

    Agree on the CL class, it's a classic. Where the CL is the hottest, the G wagon is butt ugly. Just do not understand why people prefer it over a Range Rover. Even the Hummer 2 looks better....

    The C class is just too small for me. Probably too small for my son. He has grown accustomed to the palatial rear seats of the S500 over the last 2+ years.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Pewter/Ash huh, that should be an interesting color combo, I've never seen that one. I'm sure the new E55 will offer AMG's dubious two-tone interiors this time around too. I've never been a fan of AMG's idea of taste when it comes to those red/black, silver/black leather combos. I hate those steering wheels when they're silver and/or white too. AMG should offer lighter woods, granite and exotic color leathers like the Designo program does, standard. Or they should just offer the normal leathers/woods in combination with the AMG specific seats. That aluminum trim in C-Class, SL and CLK has to go, its terrible. Wood is the only way to go for a Benz. All of this being my little opinion though.

    The G-Class has this following because for one it's "new" here, as most folks didn't know that Europa of New Mexico had been quietly importing them for years, but at 120K+ a piece. I suspect if the G's popularity increases we'll get the G500 2-door cabriolet and possibly the G400 CDI version too. While I like the look of it (Nato rescue vehicle and all) I'm not too fond of the interior. Around Chicago they're a common sight now and people still gawk. Amazing.

    Theres nothing wrong with the C-Class that an interior gutting, engine revamp and price freeze won't cure. I will say that I am disappointed by Mercedes' decision to sell that "Kompressor" 4-cylinder engine in the sedan bodystyle again, after they swore it was gone from the U.S. sedan lineup forever. The C's last chance to impress me will be this fall when the "facelift" happens.

  • paulchiupaulchiu Posts: 378

    Isn't the C already revamped just 2 years ago? Wouldn't any change be in 2004? That said, the C32 AMG is a beast, almost as wild as a M3. Think the M3 is still the best compact sports sedan, the C32 very very close 2nd.

    After driving the E500 for 15 miles last week, I have to say it's almost as sporty as the current 528i, or even the 540i. The body seems tighter over rough roads than the BMW, but the handling is not as good. Since the reports had better steering on the E55, I am not concerned about my "blind" order. In order to test drive a E55 these days, I'll probably have to wait for the 2005 model year.

    I wonder if I have to get these so called "value" packages to get xenon lamps with washers on a E55. The dealership still has no info when he called for my color choice.

    As for the ash, years ago, I loved the lighter creme leather interiors of my Lexus ES300. It was a 98 ES with metallic white pearl/creme leather. The interior looked so nice, and worked well when my baby was born. Then I went to a ML430 starting with the brilliant silver/charcoal with I still have in my S500 today. The charcoal, if not kept cleaned, looks pretty bad, especially after these snowy months. Sure, ash probably looks awful too, but probably can hide/blend dust better. Who knows....

    A G500 2 door? Sounds like an ice cream truck to me.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes the C-Class was totally redesigned for 2001, but for 2004 it will get a "facelift" not a total redesign. You know like the S-Class got this year and the E-Class got for 2000.

    With the new E-Class Mercedes seems to have hit the nail right on the head. It's good looking inside and out, of higher quality than the previous car and everyone seems to love the new Airmatic DC suspension.........even Car and Driver does! So far I haven't read about nearly as many problems with the new E compared to when the current S and C cars were introduced.

    Good luck with your choice of colors.

    Yep there is a 2-door G-Class in Europe, it's the same type of bodystyle as the Land Rover Freelander SE3.

  • Hello,

    My wife has a S430 and it's black (charcoal interior).
    Wax with the Zaino stuff. Looks very good
    newly waxed (for about 2 months) - looks
    almost liquid (but i guess some people hate
    that polymer wet look - they prefer that
    Brazilian wax stuff).
    However, difficult to keep clean during
    the California winter (rain) - have to
    wash it every few weeks or so.
    Park outside 24/7/365 (garage is filled
    with household junks...).

    Yes i do get scratches but not from washing,
    though (i use water blade, 100% USA cotton
    towel, etc...).
    I got the deep scratches from the bushes/branches when we go to visit various state parks.
  • tjm1198tjm1198 Posts: 10
    I am in the market for a new BMW and am seriously considering the M5. What an awesome car on paper! My only concern is how comfortable is the M5 as a daily driver? Any 2001-2003 owner's out there have any type of information about the car's high's & low's let me know Id be really interested in knowing what you have to say.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I would wait for the new model, although the new E55 seems to be a very good choice if you need to make the purchase now!
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