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Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK (all models)

until MB releases our new SL 500 from the docks in Maryland.Our dealer pirated us in to see the car at a MB training session at a local hotel, wow, everything the pictures portrayed it as.Ordered a year ago from a faxed order sheet from the factory, seemed a little odd to order a $100K car from a fax, but that's MB, alittle quirky.Next week the dealers see the car at Boca, then us mere mortals get our hands on it.Any one else waiting? Any one interested in our 2001 CL 500?


  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    I just got back from the dealer putting my name first on the list for the updated S-class (I own a S500) and got a chance to be there when a deal was closed on a new SL. The waiting list is 4 YEARS!! The deal closed on a "market" SL. In other words a car that was flipped. (buyer never intended to purchase just unload at a high profit) The buyer paid 145K for the car. This is the current going rate for the "market". Unbelievable. I may just put my name on the list for a next generation CLK convertible because it looks like an SL (front) and E back with a hard top convertible...I want to make a killing$.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    During my run yesterday afternoon, I went straight past the MBUSA headquarters (where I usually turn) and continued down the hill past the CAC (Customer Assurance Center where all calls to and from MB customers start/end (in theory)). In the lot, I saw a heavily disguised black four-door sedan, which out of the corner of my eye, I thought to be a C-Class. I then asked myself, “Why would MBUSA disguise a C-Class?” Hmmmm, time for a closer look.

    Said disguised car turned out to be the new W211 E-Class, however, sitting right next to it (undisguised, but hidden from street view by a couple of bushes) was a new 2003 SL500 in silver with a light gray interior. This car is absolutely gorgeous, inside and out, to my eye, it is the best-looking SL ever. Not that I am currently in the market for such a car (price wise or practicality wise), my only complaint about this car is the transmission. I know this is a personal thing (and maybe a few decades of psycho-therapy will help ;-)), however, I still prefer to stir my own gears, and I gotta tell y’all, to me, that car just cries out for a 6-Speed manual gearbox.


    Congratulations on your new ride, I trust you will enjoy it to its fullest.

    Best Regards,
  • bobobo2bobobo2 Posts: 6
    I ordered my car today, and wil have it this Tuesday. I couldn't believe I actualy paid close to 100K for any car, but this car looks and drives incedibly well. The MSRP for their launch car is $97,450 and does include a number of added cost options in that price. I paid sticker (another thing I hate to do), but was told if it was not for the number of cars I had bought from this dealer, I would have had a long, long wait, or paid at least 20K over list. I was also guarenteed that they would buy this car back at what I paid if I got rid of it in 9 months or so. So what did I have to lose?

    I did inquire about this car 2 years ago, and placed a verbal order which they said was as good as a deposit, so another reason why I was able to get it as quickly as I wil be able to.

    More to follow.
  • newbloodnewblood Posts: 8
    Has anyone heard of any comparisons of the SLK32 AMG vs. the base SL500? I just want to make sure I make the right decision... 30k+ price difference is nothing to sneeze at.
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    enough Benz SL boards up????? Let's talk about something else that is overpriced like the Volvo C70....uh...I mean the new 2003 CLK.......
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    The SL500's have now been released to sell by the dealers and the base pricing is slightly lower than the outgoing car at around $85,000.

    I arranged European delivery for mine on my birthday next month and cannot wait to open it up on the Autobahn.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Did you see the article on Road & Track, March issue?
  • macbestmacbest Posts: 55
    They are marking up the special launch version between 10-15K in the San Franscisco Bay Area. Car is gorgeous, however. Base at around $87 with the big heavy ticket packages added to the launch version (designo at 10K!) and then a 10+K markup making the selling price $107K. And this is not even the SL55 with the supercharger! I'm surprised that MB, who in the past has allowed no sticker markup is allowing the gouge this time.

    I agree with a previous post that the SLK32 is looking quite good about now, in a different sort of way.
  • newbloodnewblood Posts: 8
    release a launch edition for 5k over msrp.. It's ready now... but I am still need help deciding if i want the SLK32 or the 'base' SL500. Can some one help?
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Why troll here when your comments can actually impress others on a Toyota board? Design-wise, the C70 Coupe is a good styling exercise... especially for Volvo. But, it "ain't no Mercedes!"

    When you get the opportunity to see the new CLK in an upcoming show and can experience the design in 3-D, then offer your thoughts...
  • imaramimaram Posts: 36
    Ya know, as a confirmed, long time Benz-o-phile, it really chaps my hide when a Benz-twit sticks his nose up in the air and spews something stupid like "it ain't no Mercedes."

    The cars are good enough to stand on their own merits and handle the criticism without flinching. Maybe the owners should be as well.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    It is equally annoying when someone can't discern the difference between seriousness and jest. The little "it ain't no mercedes" quip is totally in jest, as so many supporters of other marques without much of a definable history slam MB at any turn. Sorry you took it personally the wrong way.

    I'm the 1st to offer praise to any other marque for values they do well... including the Volvo C70, which our Toyota friend mentioned in a negative connotation relative to the new CLK. I even see the value and uniqueness of the new SC430. Heck of a vehicle, but more my wife's cup of tea than my own. Take a pill and relax...
  • imaramimaram Posts: 36
    Oh yeah, totally in jest. Great save...NOT. Good try, though.

    "I even see the value and uniqueness of the new SC430."

    You see a lot more than I; I only caught the "uniqueness". While I hardly think the C70 is trying in any way to be a Mercedes, or vice-versa, I can't say the same of the SC430. Now, if you'd said the SC "ain't no Mercedes," I'd just have to sit back and nod agreement in silence.

    Oh, and I don't use pills. Bottle of Absolut in the freezer seems to work just fine. Matter of fact, I think I'll head that-a-way right now!
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    This afternoon I saw at my dealer the 2003 SL500 Lauch Edition. They parked it right next to a previous generation. Very nice redesign. I got a chance to sit in play with some of the controls and watch that amazing top. A very beautiful car. The color is a very unusual silver with a blackish interior. I like the wood inlaid steering wheel and the thin five spoke wheels. Only the color of the tail lights bother me. I wish they had much more of a jewel effect. It is a designo addition. Close to $10K over list. Plus the dealer mark up they are asking $110,000 for the car.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    I think, as silly as they are, emoticons are the best solution to avoiding misunderstanding in online forums. Since we can't hear the tone of voice in your head it is a way of letting us know what you mean.

    For Example...

    You guys are #$%!** petty little bitches.

    May seem like I am being an A-hole, but...

    You guys are #$%!** petty little bitches. ;D hahahaha

    is obviously a light hearted little jest...
    well maybe not.

    You get the point anyway.
  • toyotas1toyotas1 Posts: 134
    it doesn't take many pictures (or dimensions) to se that Mercedes is still mystified by the legendary design of the original SC400. The current CLK pales in comparison, and the new one is a stagger backwards.......and inaram...... no the SC430 may not be a Mercedes, it might be better.......
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    The CLK is one of the best looking cars on the road. Since when has MB taken styling cues from Toyota, er, Lexus? The LS is a total S-class rip off, the fools didn't even bother to copy the latest model, they copied a discontinued one. Imitation is the most serious form of flattery. MB remains, the standard of the world.

    Now you think the SC430 is a better car than the '03 SL500? or was it the CLK430? Either way you have done nothing more than make yourself look foolish by suggesting that. the SC is a boutique car, very pretty (to some eyes), but connnot hope to compete against the SL500. The CLK is not a good comparison as it has real rear seats unlike the SC. Either way the MBs stomp the Toyota IMO.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Normally I don't get into answering your every post, but if you think the SC400 of the past has anything to do with the current CLK, you're breathing fumes from Toyota. Yes I did like the 1992-1996 SC400, but after 1996 they completely ruined the car in typical Japanese fashion. The Japanese in general are the biggest copiers in the world and Lexus is the worst offender.
    If anything was copied it was Lexus who did the copying. BTW, the SC430 isn't anywhere near being on the same level as the SL500, yet alone "better". And Automobile picked the CLK430 Cabrio over the SC430 also a few months back, since you want to go there.

  • imaramimaram Posts: 36
    Have to agree with v12 on the new SC (well, maybe not the "foolish" part), but hey, you probably already knew that. The old SC was a seriously beautiful car. I think the main reason for its success was that it was never aimed directly at another auto maker, but a fresh design calculated to stand on its own. The new SC is a shot fired directly at Mercedes, IMO, and as such, misses.

    I think Lexus has other weapons that are more devastating. Clearly, no one has been able to tap into the (again, stand alone) design qulities of the GS. I believe the new 7-series is aping (unsuccessfully) some of its idiosyncracies. And if BMW isn't frightened at all by the IS300, well, they should be.

    As far as the SL500 goes, retractable hard tops seem to be the lux coupe oyster just now, though I've never cared that much for the concept. The SL accomplishes everything that the SC tried to, but with style, grace and just plain "oomph" that the SC, in its current iteration can't hope to match.

    The problem here is commenting on performance without having driven the SL. So, at this point, I'll just have to say I'd much rather have the SL in my garage, so that I can come out late at night and just stare at it, than the SC. By a long shot.

    Price. I think it's kind of silly to pay a premium for first shot at this little beauty. I've never really understood the "first one on the block" attitude, when it comes to paying extra. Every time I see some new model commanding premiums (premia?), I'm reminded of the introduction of the digital watch. Remember those guys who spent $400 bucks for the first Pulsar watches? But that's just me.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Well said imaram. Lexus seems quite capable of standing on their own, and when they do so they seem to enjoy a great deal of success. The IS300 really is a blast to drive, the old SCs were beautiful cars and the new LS430 seems to have grown up into a car of its own. But then you have the LS400 and the SC430 and the SUV lineup which don't aspire for much more than to copy the competition.

    I'd like to see a Lexus exotic, the NSX of Lexus just to see what the company could do.
  • imaramimaram Posts: 36
    Not to get into a Lexus conversation, but the RX300 seems pretty much a segment definition, IMO. kind of has the M-Class on the mat, until you hit 500 or 55, and no domestic maker can touch it. The 470 is a joke, as far as I'm concerned. That's rebadging at its worst.

    LS430 is a winner, but I still think they're aiming at Mercedes, not quite hitting the mark, and scoring points in spite of themselves.

    In this class, I'd still rather park the SL500 in my personal garage. That or an XKR. Hmmmmm.
  • shoesshoes Posts: 131
    I got to write a check for my new SL500 this week, but because I am taking European delivery I have to wait a month before I drive it and then another 6 weeks before it returns to the US.

    Anyway, my sticker was $91,500 which included the comfort package, wood package, bi-xenons and maybe one other option. I placed my order more than a year ago, so there was no mark up.

    There seems to be quite a few designo editions in the first shipments to all the dealers, which are $10K more than the others. Also, Mercedes, which had been pressuring dealers not to mark up cars, seems to have relaxed this restriction. My dealer told me that the first car they sold went for $30K more than MSRP. Forget about the SL55, those cars when they arrive in the late summer, will be very rare and probably sell for $50K over.

    I spent time in the new car and was very impressed with the attention to the details, with only a few slip ups. The HVAC dials look like they are right out of a Chrysler and the plastic shroud over the speedo is cheap (the SL55 covers this in leather). However there are so many other positives about this car, I feel very happy that I am getting one.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Mercedes leads, Lexus follows, it's always been that way it seems. Just line 'em up from 1990-2002, model to model, and you'll see who is following who. Lexus was BORN as a Mercedes clone (and a darn good one, too!) This is not to deny Lexus innovation of its own, nor its own deserved good reputation, but they have always dogged Mercedes, because they know where the blue chips are. Benz is the star, Lexus the understudy who hopes the star breaks her leg some night. (And she may, she may).

    While I am tempted to beat every SC430 I see with a baseball bat, I have to say that it is one of the FIRST cars from Lexus that attempts to step out and take charge in styling and concept. For that I give them a thumbs up. Now try again.
  • prattsterprattster Posts: 59
    The CLK may look good on the outside but the inside is pure ,downmarket, cheap looking materials and plastics a step above Chrysler junk especially in dull grey. The SC blows it away in materials and richness, fit/finish is tighter no doubt. Typical Lexus high quality.

    The new SL500 continues this trend with cheap looking details a big no no in this price car. Center console doesn't even have leather console lining like the SC or the rich brushed metal HVAC stereo surround. Audi still has much nicer interiors than these new benzes of today. This all new car still uses an old SOHC engine design.

    For this price give me an NSX anyday handbuilt, super high quality, much rarier bargain priced exotic. Mercedes also copies Lexus details as in the door hinges of the big CL Coupe are straight off the old SC coupes. One hellva durable design for a door hinge though. Don't think M.B. doesn't study Lexus as did Lexus M.B. for 8 years developing the 1st LS. Lexus also pioneered multiplex wiring which is the most reliable design in electrical systems.

    Lexus will hit M.B. again with a big V-12 ultra sedan in a few years and all new high perforance models of the GS sedans with 4wd. The boys in Tokyo want to be number 1 and the boys in Stuttgart will surely feel the heat.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    To really appreciate a Mercedes you need to saw it in half. No, I mean that seriously. So much about that car is not seen by the observer. Even if the Benz doesn't have the "brushed metal" stereo surround or the 1960s Chris Crafty wood trim, you can be sure Mercedes put the money in the chassis or in some facet of engineering that you will never see in a million miles of driving.

    German cars have never been about obstentation. They are all business, sometimes even humorless in their obsession with function over form.

    The history of both Lexus and Mercedes as we know them today actually goes back to Cadillac, of all places. Cadillac, in the 1950s, showed the world that one could mass-produce a quality car in enormous numbers. Mercedes took a hard look at this and basically blew Cadillac out of the luxury market. Then in 1990 Toyota took a hard look at Mercedes and made a brilliant transition into the luxury car market itself. I'm sure that the LS400 was not wanted German car makers wanted to see!

    But that doesn't mean that either Cadillac or Lexus IS, therefore, a Mercedes. In some ways, either car can excel a Benz in certain areas, no doubt about it. GM and Lexus engineers are not stupid people.

    But overall, in all the details, the Benz is still "engineered like no other car in the world" and no amount of pretty little details or avant garde styling is going to dethrone them.

    Mercedes reputation is at the end of the wrench, not in the marketing department. The company still delivers on its promises, even if the days of silver-plated trim and rosewood tea tables are over for all automakers competing in mass-produced markets.
  • v12powerv12power Posts: 174
    "This all new car still uses an old SOHC engine design"

    I think I know the one you mean. It uses three valves per cylinder, two spark plugs per cylinder and a magnesium intake manifold with two stage ressonance. Sounds like a pretty outdated design to me (right!).

    I also like your thoughts on "rich brushed metal". You mean the stuff on the dash of my old '77 Trans Am, right? That is much richer than real wood.

    Keep dreaming, MB remains the standard of the world.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Just a FYI - ALL car companies study other car companies. It is endemic in the industry and the company that thinks it can develop top-of-class products on their own is usually the first to stumble. And while there will always be style, value or feature leaders and followers, everyone gets to the finish line in their own way, and innovates along the way. Hence you have Mercedes building some of amazing suspension mechanicals that Lexus could only dream about, and Lexus producing cars with gap tolerances that Mercedes is a decade away from duplicating. Each company innovates, all have their unique strengths, and innovation never, ever stops at body shell design or window sticker feature list.

    I just wanted to inject this into the "so-and-so innovates and so-and-so clearly just copies" discussion.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    The historical record is there for all to see nonetheless. I'd be interested to know what distinct and readily identifiable engineering or styling feature Mercedes copied from Lexus. I can't think of any, but I don't know everything, so point it out please, year and model would be helpful.

    PS: Nobody really has to do this. It's rhetorical. I'm just making the point that it would be hard to think of anything, whereas with Benz being copied the list is pretty long. Right off, I can think of the "little armchair" electric seat adjuster (law suits flew on that one) , the multilink rear suspension, the grillework, the trunk lid (just about everybody got that one!), the use of ohc V8s in luxury 4-doors, the "look" of the interior/console area, the middle sun visor (recent Audi rip-off of Benz idea) , the entire S series concept (which is what the first Lexi and Infinitis were).

    I'm sure there's tons more. Even the ABS and ESP stability systems you find on many cars (their own versions) today were premeried on Mercedes-Benzes (1978 and 1995). ABS comes from the German "antiblockiersystem."
  • imaramimaram Posts: 36
    Well, to fair, I remember the release of the LS, GS and SC fairly well, although I'm sure you remember them better, Shifty. I think anyone'd have to be blind to suggest that the LS wasn't, and isn't, a blatant attempt at copying Mercedes, but I never saw a real Mercedes connection with the GS or the original SC, which is why I found both of those very appealing on their own merits.

    I'm not suggesting that they aren't using MB (and now BMW) as a benchmark, but at least those two examples had seemingly independent style.

    As far as technical innovation goes, this not now, nor has it ever been a key to Japanese success. Refinement of other's technologies and the processes by which they are utilized, has been the MO.

    Still, one can't say that at least, oh, Honda hasn't presented the world with some significant engineering, IMO.
  • jstylejstyle Posts: 129
    I just talked with an associate in CA and we were discussing the new SL. He said his dealer told him that those with early allocation of the SL55 AMG are going to ask close to $US180,000 because this is what some people are offering for the car. I guess it really is a competitor for the Ferrari 360 in more ways than just performance. Mercedes is allowing these mark ups on new cars I guess.
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