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Entries in Mercedes-Benz (13)


Mercedes-Benz S65 vs Bentley Continental GT

An entertaining episode of Head 2 Head with an S65 Cabrio and a Continental GT Cabrio...yes both cars are big money, with a 12 cylinder engine.




CLA and a V8 Sedan

We always urge you to connect your own dots in a fashion that resonates and makes sense to you. Obvious that when you connect dots, it might just disrupt some of your previous thoughts.

Some background...

As you probably know, we have been driving Benzes for a few decades, and have our own ideas of what is a Benz. Within the Strada Crew we have our own preferences regarding luxury sedans. Usually its at least mid size, ideally with a V8, ideally rear wheel drive, with a superb interior, a killer sound system, and a serious level of waftability, as well as some technology toys.

Every so often we engage in dinner discussions facilitated with barolo, brunello, ripasso and depending on the number of participants one bottle might not suffice.

One of the V8 sedans required service, and our local Benz dealer provided a CLA courtesy car for a few days. Its a huge event we have a CLA for a couple of days. We tried to get a CLA, but Mercedes-Benz Canada abides to pre historic, close minded guidelines for their press cars (you must be a member of a medieval guild). We do not agree with their guidelines, and they probably think that we are obtuse in our position.

At the end of the day Strada is our publication, we uphold our position.

The deal...

The CLA looks good, and you can quickly see where the cost savings have been applied to arrive at a price point. Agreed...most if not all experts, journalists, folks that have reviewed the CLA all have reservations about the car for one reason or another.

In our dinner conversation which started with a bottle of Tomasi Ripasso, and continued with a Fontanafredda Barolo and the simple question

"What is the difference between the V8 (twin turbo) sedan that is in for service and the CLA?

We could give a lenthy point by point comparison, which is also not accurate since the V8 sedan is double the money of the CLA. The engine in the CLA sounds like a coffee grinder (awful), its a mini CLS (good thing), its agile on surface streets, not much power until it hits 4,000 RPM. Its always in "sport mode" to get it to pull.

It rides rough, but still fun on surface streets. Reasonable power on the highway, will not get you in trouble like a V8 sedan. The visibility is challenging, some of the materials for the interior are cost conscious. The seats are comfortable.

What was surprising

Comparing a CLA to a V8 sedan of double the money, this CLA is suddenly not so bad (compared to a bunch of reviews). Agreed...there are numerous sedans the size of the CLA that are probably just as good. But its not a Benz, now the all important branding kicks in.

Its a generation thing

You could say that a V8 sedan is a "Boomer" car, while the CLA is a "Millennial" car. Now the demographics kick in.

Bottom Line

If you are seeking the classic and enduring Mercedes-Benz V8 sedan feel, performance, interior appointments the CLA is abosolutely not for you. It will come short in every parameter, starting with the coffee grinder sound when you start it.

If you are seeking a fun, stylish, 4 cylinder car for surface streets, with reasonable highway performance (compared to a V8) and luxury credentials. Then the CLA is worth considering especially for half the money.



Inline 6 Cylinder

During the past few days, there has been talk on the various web platforms that Mercedes-Benz is resorting back to an inline 6 cylinder engine. Its interesting to see the level of "pedestrian knowledge" that immediately gets disseminated regarding an inline 6 cylinder engine.

A V configuration for a 6 cylinder is not ideal, its not inherently balanced. We have known this for decades. At the same time a V configuration is ideal for any front wheel drive platform where the engine is transversely mounted.

Will every manufacturer revert back to an inline 6 cylinder? Its doubtful, since most platforms are front wheel drive with a transverse engine. As you can imagine an inline 6 transversely mounted in any vehicle is cumbersome, and takes up a bunch of space.

Mercedes-Benz having a rear wheel drive platform with a longitudinal engine, its easy for them to revert back to an inline 6 cylinder. Imagine for a moment a 4 liter inline 6 cylinder with a turbo...reflect on this.

As you can appreciate inline 6 cylinders have been around for generations (decades). The Chevy 216 on the photo was a work horse for countless years.

A modern inline 6 is a dramatically different engine.

It will be interesting to see what Mercedes-Benz announces as an inline 6 cylinder engine that is responsive to 2017.




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti, join the conversation. Please tell your friends. month to Christmas, our friends in the US are enjoying their Thanksgiving week end. Lets not forget Black Friday which as migrated to Canada.

This past week we featured more videos than usual, we must be in a video mood lately, or it must be content that caught our attention. Perhaps a mix of both, and hopefully you enjoyed the videos.

Don't know if you follow NASCAR, you have to admit that Jimmie Johnson becoming 7 time champion last Sunday is a huge accomplishment, and only the third driver to be a 7 time champion. Its immense, and Jimmie was emotional and speechless at the end of the race.

We first saw the S Class cabriolet at the CIAS in Toronto. The car caught our attention...its one of those when the metal resonates. A few days ago we were quickly perusing an S65 Cabrio in a showroom. You can understand the various options, its AMG, its supposed to be sporty. It seems someone does not understand the difference between a C63 (boy racer) and an S65 Cabrio (waftability).

This S65 looked like a truck and the stuff that made it look like a truck were all options. Who is going to buy or lease this thing?

To make it even more interesting, next to it is an SL63 in a colour combination that would be more fitting on the S65. The AMG performance package on the SL has a Renntech flair to it, the best one is the deletion of the electronic speed limiter.

When the metal does not resonate...

In case you missed it there is a new car company that started in Canada this past week...Genesis Motors Canada, with no brick and mortar only digital, and they will come to you with the car. It will be interesting to see how this business model evolves and disrupts.

This Mercedes-Benz metal resonates to this day...When M-B Dominated Sports Car Racing...its from 60 years ago.

Our usual old race cars from the Monterey Motorsport Reunion.




Mercedes-Benz S550 vs BMW 750i

An entertaining Head 2 Head...see which car wins.




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti. Join the conversation, and please tell your friends to visit the Vroom Room.

Is it just us, or do you also feel that time is increasing in acceleration, and velocity. Its almost incredible as to how fast time dissipates. an age of rampant technology its a huge competitive factor...huge, immense competitive factor.

A few days ago we were talking about a pivot in the last quarter of this year. Canadian sales will remain a record for 2016, while they are pivoting in the last quarter and in 2017. Who are we to make such statements? We will see in a few days, and months ahead.

Last year we told you about the metal epiphany. If the metal does not resonate purchase decisions are slower to being finalised. Its obvious that the folks that want the metal to resonate, also want to be engaged, entertained, satisfied, prior to finalising a decision.

Most if not all of the sound bites are about self driving cars, when the best application of the technology is with trucks. Watch the driver make his way to the sleeper compartment of this Otto truck while its travelling down the road with a full load of Budweiser beer.

By now you surely heard about the Mercedes-Benz pick up, the X Class, that is really a Nissan with a Benz interior. Its the GLE with a box, that will look good in front of the new head office in Atlanta.

Our usual old race cars from the LeMans Classic Behind The Scenes.




Mercedes-Benz 500E and Porsche 928

A cool video with interesting V8 cars, and stark scenery...enjoy.




Mercedes-Benz 350SL

Its a 1971 Mercedes-Benz 350SL, yes the first year of the R107 SL that endured till 1989.

If you remember the iterations, it started as a 350, then progressed to a 450, continued to move along to become a 380, and completed its life as a 560 in Canada and the US.

During that time on a per capita basis, Canada was one of the largest SL market on the planet.

As Harry mentions, they were expensive cars, not a sports car, while AMG barely existed back in the day.

It was a wonderful cruiser that made a compelling statement.

Harry takes the time to show how to put up the soft top. Imagine for a moment that up to 1989 these cars had a manual soft top that required several steps to put up or retract. While keeping in mind that the 380 version was very popular with women. Lets not forget...there was no headliner for the soft top.

The R107 SL captured the imaginations, and the senses in Canada for years, especially the 380 version.

Watch the video, spend a few minutes to see how it all started...




Vroom Room

Good Morning,

Its Friday, almost month end, its the Vroom Room, make yourself comfortable enjoy the cappuccino and biscotti. Yes...join the conversation.


We hope that you are taking the time to enjoy the summer, the warm weather, are catching up with your priorities, and taking it a little easier, or is it working more in your case.

Corvette Racing with its 100th win, its huge, really huge. We could tell you all about it, but here is Peter DeLoranzo with a great From a few years ago, Corvette Racing at CTMP.

You have surely heard all the noise regarding how FCA has been reporting its sales in the US and now its spilled over into Canada too. The campaign that sales have increased from month to month for who knows how many months has been enduring for some time.

These are the corrected sales for the can formulate your own opinion. In Canada FCA has been number 1 for a few years. Lets see how it will develop, once FCA reformulates the Canadian sales numbers.

You have to wonder "who else will quietly reformulate their sales figures?"

As the competition, and bragging rights for self driving vehicles heats up among luxury manufacturers it will become increasingly interesting. In the meantime Mercedes-Benz showing the new E Class going down the road with "no hands" on the steering wheel raised a level of concern.

If you remember the early days of air bags, followed by ABS brakes. In 2016 we simply expect all the safety features and technology in literally any vehicle. The smoother, seamless, intuitive all this technology is in any vehicle the better the experience for the consumer.

These new powertrains of a 4 cylinder with a turbo, and up to a 10 speed automatic transmission had better be smooth, seamless, and well calibrated to optimize performance. Take a look at the Apeal survey by JD

Our habitual old race cars Peking to Paris Motor Challenge 2016 an impressive photo gallery.




Mercedes-Benz Transporter

Yes...the famous transporter get a walk around with Jay Leno of his replica.