Our Engine Builder - 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,237
edited August 2014 in Mercedes-Benz
imageOur Engine Builder - 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

A thrill to meet the man that built the 6.0-liter, 604-hp, twin-turbo V12 that powers our long-term 2005 Mercedes CL65 AMG.

Read the full story here


  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Member Posts: 671

    "Thank you, Andreas. If you're ever in Santa Monica please stop by. We'll go for a ride and enjoy your wonderful craftsmanship."

    Assuming it is running on that given day.

  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Member Posts: 365


    Haha, that is what I was coming on here to say! I mean, in all honesty it is not the engine's fault that the car's electrical and hydraulic systems are crap, but still.

  • quadricyclequadricycle Member Posts: 827
    edited August 2014

    It is quite humorous that this post should follow one about the CL65's unreliability and associated repair costs.

    That being said, it should be remembered that this Andreas Schulz didn't design the engine, he's just the one who put it together. As @mercedesfan also pointed out, he didn't even touch the rest of the car. All Mr. Schulz can control is his own work, and having his name on probably pushes him to do a good job. That's the reason that I've always liked this little touch, it assumes personal responsibility and pride in one's work.

    Mercedes and AMG should still invest more (they may have since then) in QC and making reliability a bigger priority in the design process though. Reliability and durability always suffer when going after the cutting edge, it will obviously never be a Toyota Corolla. Not that anyone was expecting it to be...

  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512

    Most people reading What's Hot know this already about AMG engines.

  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Member Posts: 365


    Thankfully, under Zetsche they have reinvested heavily in quality. Their meteoric rise in reliability/quality surveys of late are decent evidence of that. This generation of Benz was simply the apogee of prior Daimler CEO Jurgenn Schrempp's incompetence. It can all be traced back to the Lexus LS400. That was the car that forced MB to reevaluate its business and market strategy. Prior to the LS400, MB was not particularly well known for its technological innovation. It certainly had its breakthroughs, but its reputation was really based on unsurpassed reliability/durability. The LS400 brought equal measures of quality and a more modern feel. That was the car that pushed MB to become the innovator that it is today. Unfortunately, the huge investment that was made in technology for cars like the W140, W202, and W210 severely cut down on MB's profit margins. Schrempp was brought in to fix that, but as an outsider he never understood the real core philosophy of the brand. He ratcheted R&D spending on technology up while simultaneously cutting costs elsewhere. This led to shorter-than-necessary development times and products being built with components that weren't spec'ed with enough tolerance for long service life. Schrempp's incompetence in merging Daimler with Chrysler to spread out costs only further emphasized how badly he misunderstood MB. Zetsche, however, learned a few things about cost-effective manufacturing from his time at Chrysler and has been able to mesh that with a real understanding of the brand's principles.

    There is a reason that the W221 commands ~50% more money on the used market than a W220 did at the same point in its history. MB has finally rediscovered how to build proper cars again. There are obviously still issues when they try to explore new areas (think CLA), but their bread-and-butter has gotten back to their roots.

  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878

    Reliability and dependability do not not have to be sacrificed for innovation and technology. Mercedesfan says that the Lexus LS400 is what pushed Mercedes to innovate. Toyota introduced the LS400 as it's first V8 luxury car and it was the most reliable vehicle in it's first year of production. The first gen Toyota Prius was far more complicated than any other car in the world but it was a reliable as a Corolla. The Acura NSX was the first exotic Japanese super car but is as reliable as a Honda Accord. The Chevy Volt is the most trouble free car GM makes.

    I think it really depends on the expectations and failure rate that the manufacturer deems acceptable. Mercedes used to be known for making the most dependable cars in the world. Their Diesel engines were as close to indestructible as you could get. Somewhere along the line German manufacturers began to compete on tech and innovation and started introducing overly complex and often unnecessary parts. For example, their love of the electric water pump and electrically heated thermostats. Neither one really performs any better than their traditional counterpart but have a much higher failure rate and far more expensive to replace. The first generation BMW N54 engine had these components but was notorious for going to limp mode due to high oil temperature. Ford avoided this with the Ecoboost V6 by adding an old school external oil cooler and designing a cooling system that causes coolant to continue to flow pass the turbos after shutdown by using the existing pressure in the system not an electric water pump. Ford calls it reverse siphoning. In fact, Ford says that they tested this engine the equivalent of 1.5 million miles. It was put on a dynamometer and run at full boost for 2,500 hours straight. Ford was taking a huge risk by introducing a turbo 6 in their iconic F150 and failure was not an option. Ford says this was the most tested engine they have ever built.

  • quadricyclequadricycle Member Posts: 827
    edited August 2014

    @mercedesfan said:
    Jurgenn Schrempp's incompetence.

    Oh I'd completely forgotten about him... I only remember him peripherally, as I don't pay enough attention to the management profiles and politics of automotive (well, any) companies. I find it rather boring and pedantic, even if it is important. I still don't understand what was ever going on in his head though, not that I really try to. Anyway, it's good to hear that Mercedes-Benz is pulling itself back together now under the monopoly guy.

    new areas (think CLA)

    Sure it's a new model, but the platform is shared and so are the engines. The panels are just from the CLS and then put into a big dryer. Kidding aside, MB isn't new to the smaller, cheaper car segment. They've had the A, B, and arguably C-Class for a while now. Regardless, it's not a terrible car by any means.

    @allthingshonda said:
    Reliability and dependability do not not have to be sacrificed for innovation and technology.

    Theoretically, no, but it's not easy nor cheap to have these four holding hands. There's also different ways of innovating and technology is a broad term. Some of it is easier than the rest. Also, the LS400 and NSX had massive developmental time, expertise, and money poured into them by extremely large and successful automakers. That's fine for creating the Lexus brand or developing a halo car, but it isn't a profitable business strategy that you can implement for every model. The Prius is complicated, but if you look at the ways in which it is complicated, it really isn't that bad. It's also from a company that prides itself on reliability, and seen among some of those cars, it isn't by any means one of its best examples of that. I had not heard about the Volt's reliability, so I did look that up. Consumer Reports crowned it with a sample size of 100 and the average time of ownership is 3 months? Let's not use that as a data point, sorry.

    As for Ford's direct-injected turbocharged engines, or "Ecoboost" if you're into branding, that's one of their major engineering and marketing offensives right now. The resources being poured into it are extensive, and none of the products are wildly innovative. Reliability so far seems good, but by no means spotless.

    I do agree with you on the technological arms race that the luxury German auto manufacturers seemed to be having during the early 2000's. BMW's water pump is infamous, as well as most of the electronics from that era.

  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649

    @mercedesfan said:

    Haha, that is what I was coming on here to say! I mean, in all honesty it is not the engine's fault that the car's electrical and hydraulic systems are crap, but still.

    I think you can blame the engineers for that one. Maybe the suppliers. At the end of the day, the only thing the technician should be worrying about is assembling the engine correctly.

  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Member Posts: 365
    edited August 2014

    "Reliability and dependability do not not have to be sacrificed for innovation and technology. "

    I totally agree with that, and I never said different. In fact, that basically sums up my argument. MB was forced to transition from a reliability-focused company to a technology-focused company in just a few years to counteract the effects of the Lexus LS. They weren't prepared to do this and were being led by incompetent leaders who placed profit margins before core brand values. MB's from the late '90's and early '00's are crap and there isn't much argument around that. They played a game of covering up cost cutting with technology, but in so doing released poorly vetted technologies that were overly complicated and manufactured with substandard parts.

    However, under Zetsche's leadership MB has managed to find that happy medium between technical innovation and reliability. Most Japanese cars are still going to be more reliable because they are simply a lot less innovative, but MB's are now consistently above average in reliability which is where they should be. If they are going to chase cutting-edge technology they aren't ever going to unseat Lexus as the world's most dependable brand, but they should still be better than most. That is how to stay true to their history. For the time being at least, they are doing that.

  • notfastnotfast Member Posts: 93

    Each LS7 engine in the C6 Z06 was signed by the builder too. The plaque is mounted under the plastic rocker panel cover :)

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