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Drew Dowdell

Mercedes-AMG Unveils the CLA 35: Comments

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On 4/10/2019 at 11:24 AM, Drew Dowdell said:

:rolleyes:

It has about as perfect a torque curve as one gets for a non-turbocharged engine..... this idea that you have to "rev the hell out of it to get any torque" is absolutely false, and here's the receipt to prove it.   

 

Why do people always say this? 9X outta 10 they have never driven a 3.6L in GM vehicle. In the Camaro it pushes the RS to 60 in 5 seconds.. in the BLAZER.. 6 seconds. This is me in a CT6 3.6L a few months ago. It in no way felt slow:

 

 

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What GM needs is a "high output" version of the 2.7T 4-cylinder. A simple G25-550, or like sized turbo, with air-to-water intercooling will effortlessly make 420 hp @ ~ 5300 rpm and 420 lb-ft @ ~2200 to ~5200 rpm. That, for all intents and purposes, is enough. Boost levels will be no higher than on the LTG. Compression will be in the 9.0~9.5:1 range. It'll be perfect for the CT4-V, the Camaro or any of the crossover V or SS trim cars.

If you don't mind some extra lag (like you'll find on the AMG M133 2.0T engine) you can easily make about 480 hp @ ~5500 rpm and 500 lb-ft @ ~3500 rpm. Same turbo and CR, but more boost. We are not even straddling the line here... the turbo itself is capable of supporting about 550 hp with low enough compression and if you don't care about linearity.

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On 4/11/2019 at 12:54 PM, Drew Dowdell said:

I dunno... even 6-speed to 6-speed between the Regal and the prior generation Lacrosse, the LaX was just giant a rocketship.  I'll give you that the Pentastar is probably smoother, but in terms of big cruisers, a LaX and 300C are pretty dern close in capability and comfort. 

I think the pentastar in the Pacifica is a revised version of what might be still in the 300C, but i will check into that.

 

I will agree, pre-2018, the regal 2.0 was not really as good as the last gen LaCrosse.  I recall driving a LaCrosse in that 2013 time frame where the motor seemed quite zippy.

9 hours ago, Cmicasa the Great said:

Why do people always say this? 9X outta 10 they have never driven a 3.6L in GM vehicle. In the Camaro it pushes the RS to 60 in 5 seconds.. in the BLAZER.. 6 seconds. This is me in a CT6 3.6L a few months ago. It in no way felt slow:

 

 

Blazer i drove recently, despite being quick in numbers had a klunky drivetrain, wasn't smooth, seemed a bit unrefined.  Just not a good time.  then i drove a Ct6 3.6 and it was smooth as glass.  I don't get GM.

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4 minutes ago, regfootball said:

I think the pentastar in the Pacifica is a revised version of what might be still in the 300C, but i will check into that.

I will agree, pre-2018, the regal 2.0 was not really as good as the last gen LaCrosse.  I recall driving a LaCrosse in that 2013 time frame where the motor seemed quite zippy.

The Pentastar is more refined than the LF1, LLT or LFX engines because Pentastars are NOT Direct Injected. It's as simple as that. Direct injection is the biggest step backwards in engine refinement in the last several deecades until the advent of the Start-Stop nonsense.

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You know, GM could just build engines like Lexus did with its V8 for years:  Port and Direct injection.  GM could also build new pushrod I4 and V6 engines, but doing both would require buying a clue first.  No need to emulate questionable Mercedes Benz engineering.  Horsepower is nice, but torque is a requirement.  Too many DOHCs are weak on torque.

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12 minutes ago, dwightlooi said:

The Pentastar is more refined than the LF1, LLT or LFX engines because Pentastars are NOT Direct Injected. It's as simple as that. Direct injection is the biggest step backwards in engine refinement in the last several deecades until the advent of the Start-Stop nonsense.

http://media.fcanorthamerica.com/newsrelease.do?id=17218&mid=

 

I have to admit, i had forgotten that the pentastar was still not direct injection.  I know they added EGR for the 2017+ Pacifica.  It accelerates smoothly without fuss and racket.

The Pacifica 9 speed is good, not great, but it does take advantage of the torque band of the engine fairly well.  I feel like the newer GM's with the 3.6 the powertrain is tuned in a way that just doesn't make the 3.6 feel smooth.  I felt that way with the Regal GS. 

Edited by regfootball

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26 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

You know, GM could just build engines like Lexus did with its V8 for years:  Port and Direct injection.  GM could also build new pushrod I4 and V6 engines, but doing both would require buying a clue first.  No need to emulate questionable Mercedes Benz engineering.  Horsepower is nice, but torque is a requirement.  Too many DOHCs are weak on torque.

That is more of a cam profile issue than a valve train layout issue. To get high rpm breathing, it is necessary to have high lift and long duration cam grinds. These will have poor aspiration and low intake velocities at lower rpms, and hence reduced low end torque and probably lower peak torque as well. To have high tumble or swirl from high intake velocities, and minimal overlap induced back flow, loss of effective compression or early loss of the power stroke you MUST use a short duration cam grind with low lifts. The means toqur will fall off at high rpms and the engine wont make much power.

Unless you have a camswitching system or a variable lift system, you can have one or the other or a compromise between the two,, but you cannot have both. Even with switching, there will be a step jump in the engine character when the switching occurs. This is true of pushrod engines and it is true of DOHC 4-valve/5-valve engines.

The laughable thing which most people don't get is that 2-valves per cylinder is fully capable of supporting the airflow requirements for a power peak at or around 6000 rpm. Any engine that makes its maximum horsepower at or around 6000 rpm -- which includes most Toyota and Honda DOHC engines -- do not their DOHC valve train and do not benefit from the added friction, complexity and cost associated with them. For a DOHC 4-valve cylinder head to serve a useful purpose, the engine must make its peak power at or above about 7000 rpm. Then, and only then, do you need or benefit from the freer flowing DOHC heads.

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I mean, it's a cool little car, but in typical Mercedes fashion, it will be expensive for what it is. It's coming to the scene with current Golf R power levels, and price tag that is sure to be 5-6K more. Just as the Mk8 Golf in a year's time will see the GTI almost reach this power level, and the R climb to ~350hp. With nigh equal levels of refinement and build quality.

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2 hours ago, Frisky Dingo said:

I mean, it's a cool little car, but in typical Mercedes fashion, it will be expensive for what it is. It's coming to the scene with current Golf R power levels, and price tag that is sure to be 5-6K more. Just as the Mk8 Golf in a year's time will see the GTI almost reach this power level, and the R climb to ~350hp. With nigh equal levels of refinement and build quality.

Well, Mercedes has a lot more brand kudos and image than Volkswagen, Most people will pay $6K more to have a Mercedes over a Volkswagen even if both cars have identical performance, equipment and quality. That's reality.

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Saw my first A series hatch on the road yesterday on the way home.. nice looking little ride.

 

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On 4/13/2019 at 11:38 AM, dwightlooi said:

Well, Mercedes has a lot more brand kudos and image than Volkswagen, Most people will pay $6K more to have a Mercedes over a Volkswagen even if both cars have identical performance, equipment and quality. That's reality.

 

Actually, in this segment- hot hatches/sport compacts- I think you'd be surprised how many won't. 

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13 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

 

Actually, in this segment- hot hatches/sport compacts- I think you'd be surprised how many won't. 

Badge snobs will be badge snobs and pay even though they could get a superior auto for less from another OEM. With that said, you are right, I do believe many will look at the MB offer and then at others and go with others.

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1 minute ago, dfelt said:

Badge snobs will be badge snobs and pay even though they could get a superior auto for less from another OEM. With that said, you are right, I do believe many will look at the MB offer and then at others and go with others.

Badge snobs will be badge snobs, but badge snobs don't buy hatchbacks. This sedan might do ok, just because it's 'conventional'. 

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47 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

Badge snobs will be badge snobs, but badge snobs don't buy hatchbacks. This sedan might do ok, just because it's 'conventional'. 

That might be true here in the US, but seems to be a very different thing in the Asian rim as well as Europe.

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Canada is getting the hatchback version of the A-class it looks like. 

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1 hour ago, Frisky Dingo said:

Badge snobs will be badge snobs, but badge snobs don't buy hatchbacks. This sedan might do ok, just because it's 'conventional'. 

You can call them that, but I will call them "STATUS REALISTS". The same kind of people who buy a Rolex never mind that watches costing 1/10th as much often have as good a movement or finish. They are realists because (1) a Rolex is recognizable by everyone and that is half the reason to spend $10K on a stainless steel watch, and (2) a Rolex actually GOES UP IN VALUE year after year. They are the same kind of realists who will buy a home with a hole in the roof and mold in the walls BECAUSE OF THE ZIP CODE. It is you who is arrogant and ignorant when you think that people do not, or should not, buy a car (or anything) based on the prestige and status its badge confers.

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8 minutes ago, dwightlooi said:

The same kind of people who buy a Rolex never mind that watches costing 1/10th as much often have as good a movement or finish.

Those mass produced movements aren't near as high quality as an in-house movement from a company like Rolex. They also don't hold their value whereas there are plenty of Rolexes in high enough demand you can pay MSRP and make money off them. Those 1/10th priced watches lose 75% of their value as soon as you look at it. 

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Can't tell you how many times my attitude towards another person has changed dramatically once I bent down to peer at what watch brand they were wearing.

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Watches are interesting as jewelry, but have no purpose in the era of cell phones...haven't worn one in at least 10 years...though I have a few.  With dead batteries. 

Edited by Robert Hall
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18 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

Those mass produced movements aren't near as high quality as an in-house movement from a company like Rolex. They also don't hold their value whereas there are plenty of Rolexes in high enough demand you can pay MSRP and make money off them. Those 1/10th priced watches lose 75% of their value as soon as you look at it. 

LOL... The first Rolex Daytona is basically a Zenith movement. Also, a well regulated ETA-2892-A2 will perform as well as any Rolex 3100-series and was used in everything from IWCs to Omegas to Breguets to a gazillion independents. Rolex doesn't even really "finish" their movements since they don't use glass backs and didn't think it matters. The only reason so many "high end" makers do their own movements these days is because Swatch Group is refusing to sell them their ETA movements. In house movements are more expensive but they are frequently less reliable and less accurate than proven, mass produced, calibers from ETA. For in-house movements to actually be better you'll need to be spending 20K or more.

Anyway, that's besides the point. The point is that irrespective of any of that, BRANDS and the PRESTIGE AND STATUS associated with them MATTERS A LOT. That is true of all tertiary goods including but not limited to cars. Realists understand that and pay for that.

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55 minutes ago, dwightlooi said:

You can call them that, but I will call them "STATUS REALISTS". The same kind of people who buy a Rolex never mind that watches costing 1/10th as much often have as good a movement or finish. They are realists because (1) a Rolex is recognizable by everyone and that is half the reason to spend $10K on a stainless steel watch, and (2) a Rolex actually GOES UP IN VALUE year after year. They are the same kind of realists who will buy a home with a hole in the roof and mold in the walls BECAUSE OF THE ZIP CODE. It is you who is arrogant and ignorant when you think that people do not, or should not, buy a car (or anything) based on the prestige and status its badge confers.

 

Not as ignorant and arrogant that you think you know more on this subject in regards to automobiles and a given market segment than I do. You know, since I am actually in the car business and all, and you write articles. 😉

47 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

Those mass produced movements aren't near as high quality as an in-house movement from a company like Rolex. They also don't hold their value whereas there are plenty of Rolexes in high enough demand you can pay MSRP and make money off them. Those 1/10th priced watches lose 75% of their value as soon as you look at it. 

Yeah, I wasn't even going to touch the absurdity that is the rest of his argument. Comparing cars in general to watches or home values. 🙄

 

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8 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

Yeah, I wasn't even going to touch the absurdity that is the rest of his argument. Comparing cars in general to watches or home values. 🙄

Yeah, depreciating asset vs maintaining/appreciating in value.. 

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Some people aspire to own (or at least lease) a Mercedes Benz to impress their friends and neighbors and co-workers and their clients.  The rest of us need not indulge and will get the best for what we can afford.  The truly wealthy rarely (if ever) buy a Mercedes Benz, let alone a Bentley or a Rolls-Royce.

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^ I don't think that last statement is accurate, but 'truly wealthy' would need definition.
I have a number of clients I would put into that basket, and tho there is no 'automatic' vehicle class choice tethered to wealth, my observation is that it skews heavily toward 'luxury brands' (mostly BMW tho).

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