Category Archives: Mercedes Benz

TEST DRIVE: 2016 Mercedes Benz C300 AMG Line & C180 Avantgarde

This is one of the latest test drive reviews over at motoring-malaysia.blogspot.com. We tried out the W205 Mercedes Benz C300 and C180. 
“This article is supposed to be a short drive article, but since it includes thoughts on two variants and two generations of car. It will be pretty long actually and it is about the Mercedes Benz W205 C-Class. The C300 and the C180 variants as well as a comparison with the W204 model that preceded it (in terms of ride and handling).”


Head over here to read the rest. Over at Motoring-malaysia.blogspot.com.

The Mercedes-AMG GT

I am not going to say much about this new Mercedes-AMG sports car as I simply think that its fabulous. It looks smaller, lighter and svelter than the Mercedes AMG SLS. It changes the game slightly from a bruiser of a GT to a smaller, more nimble one for Mercedes-AMG. The SLS may have had more presence, this is more compact.

Taken from Mercedes-AMG:
The Mercedes-AMG GT, the Mercedes-AMG sports car brand is moving into a new, top-class sports car segment for the company. The GT is the second sports car developed entirely in-house by Mercedes-AMG. Its front mid-engine concept with transaxle and the intelligent aluminium lightweight construction form the basis for a highly dynamic driving experience. Its likewise newly developed AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine underscores the hallmark AMG driving performance. The first sports car engine with internally mounted turbochargers (‘hot inside V’) and dry sump lubrication is configured in two output ratings: as a GT with 340 kW (462 hp) and as a GT S with 375 kW (510 hp). The new GT combines driving dynamics and first-class racetrack performance with superb everyday practicality, and efficiency that sets new standards in the segment!

Top figures such as 3.8 seconds from zero to 100 km/h and a top speed of 310 km/h,

BRABUS Tuning for the W205 Mercedes Benz C-class without sport package

BRABUS  W205 without sport package. I wonder what that means. I am guessing it is for a normal C-class that comes without the AMG sport package that has the ‘A’ shaped bumper beneath the grille and more aggressive AMG designed bodykit. BRABUS takes the basic W205 C-class and adds their own sport bodykit to it making it a BRABUSified, if there is such a word, W205 C-class.

Fairly new and still unavailable in Malaysia, the W205 C-class still makes waves around the world where Mercedes Benz are sought after. Even here in Malaysia sales of Mercedes Benz cars have hit an all time high. This isn’t counting the grey imports that seem to be flooding the market now with very reasonably priced W204 C-classes out there. You can get a base W204 C180 SE for around RM130,000 unregistered these days. Cheap compared to the authorised MB Malaysia cars that go for around RM245,000 nowadays (A final edition C200 with AMG Sports package).

So these pics of the BRABUS W205 C-class are for those who want to dream of something different to their upcoming W205 purchase. The car pictured is the popular diesel powered Brabus D4 C-class. It would have a Brabus powerchip and that quad piped sports exhaust system as well as what you can see in the pictures herein and some interior trimming. Usual tuner car stuff.

The all-new Mercedes Benz C-class should be here by the end of the year in CBU form with local assembly sometime next year.

Source: BRABUS

Unlike some other brands, the difference between a VW Group car from another is….

a heck of a lot……..

This staid lookimg sedan drives better than…….

Over the years I have driven a fair number of cars from various makes or manufacturers. What makes me want to try car after car is the fact that every one offers a different driving experience from one another. In some cars the interaction between man and machine is so satisfying that this car would be the one to drive. Some cars are so clinical they feel like an operating theater on wheels. Some give you that five star hotel feel on wheels. Some would feel like you’re driving in the LeMans. Whilst this is quite true, it could be otherwise as most car companies have become predictable in how their cars drive. Or handle.

…that this, slightly newer designed better equipped hatchback.
Take for instance Proton. Most of you have driven one and most of you would have read (even in motoring-malaysia) that Protons handle quite well. You could buy any Proton out there on sale today (Persona, Preve, Suprima, Inspira, Accordana) and the car will actually be a pleasure to punt around some hillside road. The same could be said of a BMW, or a Mercedes Benz for that matter. Get yourself in the driver’s seat of a BMW you would find out that a BMW will always feel like what a BMW should drive whether that BMW is a lowly 116i or a even a hulking 740i. It’s this predictability in most car manufactuers that make us want to keep buying the cars one after another.
In a Mercedes, you automatically assume that the car will not be as sharp around a handling circuit than any BMW but you get a chassis that is adequate to deal with most road conditions and still be able to excite you at times. Jump into any C-class to a CLS class or even a S-class a Mercedes would handle like a Mercedes would. Usually in the case of Mercedes Benz, it goes from adequate, to slightly sporty but still conservative, to sporty but not BMW-like (but darn easier to drive everywhere) until you reach to AMG levels, which could be either slightly better than average (SLK55, CLS63), good but not great (A45) or sublime (C63,E63). But no matter what the thing is, the bar is set usually at average upwards and there is a consistency to the cars.
I mean if you get into a Toyota Vios, Corolla Altis or even a Camry you would notice that they basically feel almost similar only the size goes up. Of course chuckability of the car is reduced the larger it is but it still feels pretty similar to one another. So when you buy a Toyota sedan you automatically know what the heck you’re getting into – Toyota standard quality with high resale value on your mind instead of anything to do with the thrill of driving. But again, you clearly know what you’re getting into when you’re buying a Toyota sedan.
The Audi TT, whilst looks super cool and drives quite well does not feel as thrilling as a MK5 Golf GTI hatchback.
However, there is only one automotive group which I think bucks this trend. The Volkswagen Audi Group. This is expecially so when it comes to their ‘bread and butter’ models but not their premium Bentley, Lamborghini or Bugatti or anything with a silly pricetag. When it comes to Volkswagen and Audi, you have to test each individual model to be really sure of what you want. I have driven a base Polo 1.6 hatchback which I loved, an Audi A6 which I didn’t, a Golf 1.4TSI which was good but too clinical to drive, a Audi A4 which was great, a Jetta that outshone the Golf by miles and then read about the RS5 being average but the RS4 fantastic (same engine and all). In fact, a Golf GTI Mk5 feels sooooo much a better drive than a second gen Audi TT.It’s not that the Audi TT is bad, it has its flaws (a softer suspension setup – more roll, less bite, much more twitchier compared to the similar engined Golf GTI) How is that possible? – Well, maybe the shorter wheelbase, but who knows.
You see, with the other makes they all start out having the same expectations and basic feel. But with Audi or Volkswagen, it could be said that the people there must have two or three separate teams for chassis development. You can tell the parameters for the Golf Mk7 was totally different from the current Jetta. Whilst the Golf is the newer chassis and the better overall car, it still felt a little cold compared to the Jetta. It isn’t like a small difference to me. It is like night and day. How can a car based on an earlier model be actually be more fun to drive? It definitely boils down to what the manufacturer wanted from the build of the car. It could be a simple as that when VW built the Mk7, the team in charge of the development put more effort into other stuff instead of handling whereas the team that built the Jetta knew how to milk the chassis better than the team on the Golf.

I suppose other companies have a more focused chassis development team compared to the VW Group. This is the only explaination I can think of aside from the fact that they are putting the development money into other parts like interior design, drivetrain and styling. But I think the VW group has no fixed focus when it comes to chassis development and engineers have a freer hand. Or less time for Car A compared to design team on Car B. Who knows.

Of course, the issue for this would be that if I were seriously hunting for a certain car and if there were two or three VW group cars was on the list, I’d try each and every model from VW Group. This is because the difference in handling, and therefore fun would be quite glaring compared to jumping in one BMW to another.

But that being said, we should try all the cars that we intend to purchase. There are other things aside from great handling that would need to be addressed before one buys a car.

Interesting cars around town: Classic Mercedes Benz 220se cabriolet

This was spotted by a friend over in Shah Alam recently. A nice Mercedes Benz 220se cabriolet from the 1960s. It sports a new number plate and I believe it is a recent import using a classic car status AP. There are two or so importers specializing in these sort of cars and I am glad there is a market for it.

Would love bringing in an Audi Quattro, a Lancia Delta HF turbo  (versions from 1985 should qualify) or the Integrale (first versions may qualify)  or even a Mercedes 190e Cossie from the 1980s if I had the dough.

Driven: 1995 Mercedes C36 AMG – Something fabulous from AMG’s past.

My C180cgi meets its older, yet more aristocratic sibling
A couple of weeks ago a friend asked whether I was free to accompany him and take a look at an old Mercedes Benz that happened to come on sale. I agreed as it wasn’t an ordinary old Mercedes Benz. It was a C36 AMG from 1995.

The Mercedes Benz C36 AMG was the first official production AMG who by the early 1990s had decided that their product line needed something to go head to head with BMW’s M3. It was the first official collaboration between the manufacturer and the tuner company after Mercedes had begun its buyout of AMG. At that moment Mercedes were more like partners with an intention to purchase the company wholly and the 1995 -1997 C36 was the first of many.
But unlike more modern AMGs, the C36 was somewhat a half and half thingy. It was Mercedes testing the water carefully before plunging in head on. Whilst sold through Mercedes Benz dealerships, it was still a tuner car at heart. The engine, a 3,606cc 6cylinder twin cam engine was taken from a C280′s 2.8liter engine, bored and stroked with an AMG specific cylinder head which made 276hp (some made more – up to 287hp as it was hand built like AMGs of today) and 385Nm torque. All did not come with a manual transmission but the ubiquitous Mercedes 4 speed automatic (later a 5 speed for a short, short period before the C36 was replaced by the V8 powered C43 AMG). It had no traction control and had a tuned suspension kit which lowered the car by 25mm. Aside from this mods, the C36 was given the subtlest of all bodykits and twin squared off tailpipes. It actually looked like a C280 Sport if one wasn’t concentrating but if you happened to be beside one at the traffic lights, you’d then find out that it could do 0-100kmh in about 6.7secs and on to a speed limited to 250kmh.
We were greeted by owner Colin who was a very nice chap who showed us the car and its paperwork. I have noticed about three other C36s before this one here in Malaysia and this one is slightly different as it is in the greenish black and the others were silver in colour. It sits more squat than other W202 C-classes and has that stealth car look to it. Most wouldn’t notice that this car is a thoroughbred stallion even if it passed by.
We managed to have a go at the car after Colin too us for a spin in it showing us what the car is capable of doing. You will notice that the car drives like any other W202 C-class from the 1990s. It has that same driving position and steering wheel (albeit with grey leather on the base of the steering wheel) as any other W202 out there. It also has the same dashboard with the exception of the higher end automatic climate control located above the radio player. Now even though people say that the W202 does not have the same bank vault feeling of the previous 190e or that of a W124 E-Class I’d say that it still is rather more solid than any car from the 1990s ought to have been.
And then when you’re on the move you find out that the supposedly harder sports suspension is actually extremely comfortable by modern standards. It is a revelation how something with supposedly 276hp rides. Yes it is harder than some W124 or W210 E-classes out there but compare this to even a newer W204 C-Class it actually is bloody comfortable. Owner Colin says that the shocks may be slightly worn but even a change to new ones wouldn’t make the ride that much harder. I think even Mercedes Benz AMG have forgotten how to make cars ride this good these days. If we were to compare this to any modern car, you’d be surprise with how much damping and compliance the ride has even though the C36 has to handle 276hp and 385nm torque. These days try sitting in a A250 and think why does 204bhp and 350Nm feel like a brick? I know everyone wants that feeling of firm ‘sportiness’ but after trying out this old girl I can’t think of any reason of why would you want to? 
They C36 AMG still uses that totally lifeless recirculating ball steering wheel that all W202 C-class uses. Yes, you can place the car where you want to but don’t expect any actually feedback coming through its helm. Even some modern day electric motor based steering racks have more feel and this is one of those typical Mercedes idiosyncrasies from the days gone by. Of course, it makes stress free driving as no vibrations will get to you through the steering rack. You also note that everything comes from the standard W202 C-class and the steering wheel somehow sits more on your lap instead of being able to be brought up further for a proper sporty driving position. It goes against the convention of how a sports saloon should be due to its ‘proper’ Mercedes Benz upbringing.
Now with that 3.6liter engine the C36 is extremely fun to drive. Even with the numb steering you can actually place the car where you want to by pointing it where you want to and then let the engine put you where you want to. The accelerator pedal is springy and a little weightly like most Mercedes Benz cars of this era but this time it is consistent. You don’t have to go through the hassle of learning some two step throttle action whilst driving it. It is very possible to modulate or do throttle based adjustments with ease in here.
When it comes to full bore 0-100kmh times, the C36 feels average. It does not do starts from a standstill very well as it only has four gears spread out but mid-range pull is quite immense. What you don’t get from this is a gradual buildup of speed until all goes ballistic between 60-120kmh and more. It feels quite explosive between this speeds. Much like a small snowball slowly gathering up snow and speed until it suddenly is massively big and fast. This car is all about mid-range pull and high speed cruising rather than anything else. What’s also fun is the engine itself, it sounds slighty tappety and rough on startup, much like something from a tuned car instead of a Mercedes Benz. The sound goes all hard edged and gruff when you stroke it a little and you can tell that this is something slightly different. And not the ordinary Mercedes Benz or any normal car for that matter.
And oh, it has no driver’s aids whatsoever. Your right foot is the traction control and what would stop the tail from coming around. That being said, it is not that easy to do so in the dry. Of course these days you could get the same feeling or even a more accelerative feeling from a turbocharged 2.0liter 4 pot.
However one must note that the C36 is not a super saloon in the mould of the C63 or E63 AMGs of today. It can be considered as a sports saloon or a tuned saloon as it has that type of vibe. Why so? 276hp is the norm for most 2.0liter turbocharged sports saloons these days and even super saloons have at least 500hp and ooodles of torque too. It feels fast, but not mega fast. If you want just all out speed you may have to look elsewhere. And you have to take into account all the idiosyncrasies that all Mercedes Benz of that era have and all the performance hardware you’d think that this was a totally schizophrenic type of car.
Imagine, numb and low set steering, springy throttle pedal, conservative gearbox and styling but with a tuned 3.6liter straight six, explosive mid range, top speed and good handling. But if you think of it as a gentleman’s bruiser then it’s something special. It is akin to someone like a suave secret agent, in his tuxedo but capable of throwing a few deadly punches.
What the C36 AMG is these days is a reference point to where AMG came from to what it is today. It showcases what it did when it was a tuner company with great engineering prowess, able to create a better engine from a base engine and tune up the suspension of a regular car by making it better. These days you get everything thrown into an AMG. Take the C63 AMG from example, you get over 500hp which is more than triple what a regular C180 makes and instead of just changing the shocks and springs, AMG now does complete front or rear suspension systems (the C63 has a wider front end compared to the normal C-class). In that sense you see that having a C36 gives to an insight to what AMG was before.
And God, that compliant ride. Why can’t Mercedes Benz do this sort of performance car again?
The car is still listed for sale on Mudah.my. You can see it here if you’re interested. I would, if I hadn’t had a house to renovate earlier this year.

Some Mercedes Benz news over at motoring-malaysia.com – Run out W204 C200 and SL400

Mercedes Benz Malaysia has brought out the final edition W204 C-class before it starts bringing in the W205 by the end of this year. Only one model, the C200 CGI Avantgarde with AMG Styling will be sold at regular C200 prices. A ‘bargain’ at RM254,888.00. It basically has everything included in the previous C250 and C300 sold here but with the 184bhp C200 specced engine. Take a look at it over here at motoring-malaysia.com.

Over in Europe, Mercedes Benz has discontinued the SL350 for a SL400. This is a downgrade in engine size – 3,500cc to 3,000cc BUT a change from normally aspirated to turbocharging has enabled an increase in horsepower and torque. Good for road tax expensive Malaysia when it comes here. Click here to go there.

Mercedes Benz news: SL 350 dropped for SL 400

SL400Mercedes Benz downsized its entry level SL-Class roadster coupe from an E350 to an E400. Now how does a downsize sound like an upsize?

Well, firstly do not listen to the ’350′ as a 3.5liter or a ’400′ as something larger. Continue reading

800px-Mercedes-Benz_CLA_200_(C_117)_–_Heckansicht,_13._April_2013,_Düsseldorf

Mercedes Benz CLA200: April launch in Malaysia at RM235,888 estimate

800px-Mercedes-Benz_CLA_200_(C_117)_–_Frontansicht,_13._April_2013,_DüsseldorfSources say that the Mercedes Benz CLA200 will finally be launched in Malaysia at RM235,888 (est.). The car will be in fully imported CBU form and will be the cheapest Mercedes Sedan you can buy as soon as stocks of the current W204 Mercedes Benz C200 run out (and replaced with a run off edition that has the AMG sport kit at a price estimated at around RM240,000 (w.o insurance) before being replaced by the W205 C-Class at the end of the year.

The CLA200 will come with a 1.6liter 4 cylinder engine that makes 154bhp and 250Nm torque.  It has a 7 speed Dual Clutch Transmission.

800px-Mercedes-Benz_CLA_200_(C_117)_–_Heckansicht,_13._April_2013,_Düsseldorf