AD #1264 – Best of Both Worlds, Garmin’s 3D Nav System, Is Porsche Losing Its Way?

November 22nd, 2013 at 11:45am

Runtime: 8:40

- Best of Both Worlds
- Garmin’s 3D Nav System
- Autoline This Week Preview
- Lux-SUV and Car Buyers like AFVs
- Is Porsche Losing Its Way?

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Hello and welcome to Autoline Daily. I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist, putting an exclamation point on the week. In the second half of the show, I’ll share my thoughts on how Porsche may be losing its way… then again, maybe not. But now…the news.

All-wheel-drive systems have their benefits, especially to those that live in winter climates, but they add complexity, weight and are less efficient than front-wheel-drive systems. So, in steps BorgWarner with a new unit that gives you the best of both worlds. It’s an electronic limited slip differential designed for the front transaxle of a front-wheel drive vehicle that anticipates the torque needed for different driving situations. Using the same vehicle sensor inputs as an AWD system, it can improve acceleration in low traction situations through more effective use of available engine power, shift more power to the outer wheel for better cornering or shift it to the inner wheel for better stability. BorgWarner’s front cross differential technology will make its debut on the 2013 Volkswagen Golf GTI with the Performance Package.

Do you want a faster, more intuitive and easier to update navigation system because the unit in your car isn’t cutting it? Garmin may just have the solution. Called the Gemini, it’s an in-dash unit that has advanced 3-D graphics, more features and over-the-air updates. Map drawing, route calculation and searching are twice as fast with Gemini when compared to Garmin’s previous software. The unit also boasts more natural and intuitive guidance, the ability to adapt to driver behavior and range can be displayed for gas or electric vehicles. We’re sure automakers will look into Gemini because it may get customers to use the in-dash unit rather than their smartphone.

But is all this technology helping to improve the residual value of cars? In the following clip from Autoline This Week, Larry Dominique, the Executive Vice President of TrueCar, explains which type of new technologies are having the greatest impact on car values.

(The ATW preview is only available in the video version of today’s show.)

Also joining John for that show is Joe White of the Wall Street Journal and Craig Trudell of Bloomberg. And you can watch that entire interview now at

Speaking of technology, more and more vehicles these days are being powered by something other than gasoline. They are often referred to as AFVs or alternative fuel vehicles and include electrics, hybrids, fuel cells and natural gas. But are people in the market for a new vehicle really willing to consider one of these for their next vehicle? According to data from Phoenix Marketing International about half of all customers are neutral on the subject, but when you look at the extremes some interesting trends appear. Nearly 36% of luxury-SUV and non-luxury car buyers are “very likely” or “extremely likely” to purchase an AFV. But on the other end of the spectrum are the truck buyers with almost 20% saying they are “very” or “extremely unlikely” to consider one as their next vehicle. And when you take a step back and look at the industry, this seems to be reflected in where AFVs are being adopted.

And now its time for the results from Monday’s survey about the EPA’s proposal to cut the number of gallons of renewable fuel that’s blended into gasoline. Autoline asked you if the U.S. should back off the mandate, require cellulosic ethanol instead of corn ethanol or keep the standard as it is? And of the nearly 400 people that participated, 68% of you said that U.S. should back off the mandate altogether, while 24% wanted the switch over to cellulosic ethanol and only 8% said it should stay the same. Thanks to everyone that participated.

Coming up, the “new” Porsche wants it all.

With the introduction of its new Macan crossover at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, Porsche could transform itself into either the most desirable limited mass-market brand in the world, or yet another sad automaker that simply lost its way.

But wait a minute – haven’t we been down this road before with the introduction of the Cayenne? The large sport utility so far afield from the Porsche sports car mission that it seemed like a rolling misprint? Yes, to a degree, that is true.

The implications for the Macan are different, however, because this is Porsche veering into a mainstream segment overrun by product entries that typically qualify as suburban workhorses (along with other derogatory monikers, such as “mom mobiles”).

That Porsche was once exclusively a maker of sports cars that had a narrowly defined appeal with a hard-core group of enthusiast drivers seems like a distantly quaint notion now.

This “new” Porsche couldn’t care less about what it used to be.

Yes, of course, they’re going back to the 24 Hours of Le Mans next June to kick everybody’s ass, and they believe that by doing so they will remind the Porsche enthusiast faithful of the authenticity of the Porsche brand promise etched in stone so long ago, so that they will re-up for another couple of decades of unbridled adulation.

In other words, Porsche management wants to have its cake and be able to eat it too.

They want to see volume and profitability grow exponentially with each new product foray, and yet while doing so they expect to be able to hold the attention and feverish devotion of its enthusiast faithful at the same time, with no residual damage to its image or credibility.

In short, they want it all.

But each deep dive into a “non-traditional” segment that Porsche doesn’t belong in erodes the brand. And with each new product offensive into segments that seem questionable, more of the Porsche faithful will simply fade away. And even though it happens in an almost imperceptible fashion, there is no doubt in my mind that if enough Porsches start showing up at soccer games across America on Saturdays, any specialness attached to the brand will eventually fade away too.

At some point, however, there will be a cost.

And at some point, the “new” Porsche will end up being – horror of horrors – just another car company.

And that’s the High-Octane Truth for this week and also the end of today’s show. I’m Peter De Lorenzo, the Autoextremist, thanks for watching and have a great weekend.

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107 Comments to “AD #1264 – Best of Both Worlds, Garmin’s 3D Nav System, Is Porsche Losing Its Way?”

  1. Ziggy Says:

    Peter, I am glad you are taking that position on Porsche because like most things you comment on it will turn out just the opposite of the way you predict, so Porsche should do just fine, which makes me happy. Have a great weekend everyone.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Instead of adding another small CUV to the 50 already on the market, Porsche should sell a rear drive car-height wagon, so there would at least be one such vehicle in the U.S. market.

    Sorry, I get repetitive on this topic.

  3. Bob Aubertin Says:

    “Lowering the Brand” , to have it all, will never happen. When you have the Best German sports car line up on the planet, why would you want to Risk loosing your Sports car customer loyalty for the sake of a lower level product.

  4. HtG Says:

    Didn’t Porsche’s van Paten mention to John in LA that the Macan was likely to be interesting to women? Also that they weren’t interested in making cars costing below $50K. Germans gotta eat, too, and sports cars aren’t enough.

    I think the Porsche brand means racing excellence and technology. Why should Macan suddenly alter that? A nimbler CUV from these guys is going to wow the journotesters, I bet.

  5. Chuck Says:

    The real concern is will the 911 be able to continue winning races, not how many support vehicles they can sell to grow the revenue stream…IMHO.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From initial reports, it sounds like the Macan may be more Porsche-like than the Cayenne in the way it drives, and may be a more appealing daily driver to the Porschephiles.

  7. HtG Says:

    I keep in mind that Herr Peter von Lorenz is himself a long time Porsche devotee. That will be one interesting review. They’ll prolly fly him out to the Ring and shine up a black one. Good luck hating it.

  8. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Porsche cuv’s/suv’s/abc’s……oh hell,it’s a damn car so I don’t care,lol.


    On the Porsche losing its way issue I think if they had years ago bought the Tatra brand and used it for sedans and SUV’s they could have preserved the Porsche brand as a maker of sports cars only! They could have got Tatra for a steal it seems to me! Come visit your Porsche/Tatra dealership Today!!

  10. ColoradoKid Says:

    Is Porsche Losing the Plot ?

    Yeah … as much as it pains me to say it … they are .

    911′s though better in some ways spreading generously in both girth and weight

    AudiQ5 derived ‘ new ‘ Macans ‘ { for the record the Cayenne came first from the Porsche brain trust with then the Toureg and Q7 being derived from it ]

    The supercar ‘ travesty known as the Porsche 918

    Diesels … of all things in the snouts of Panamera’s and Cayennes ( and the Macan in the EU as well )

    Cayman/Boxster’s gaining weight and spreading at the hips as well … not to mention costing as much or more to maintain as their big brother 911

    Seriously .. ‘ Lost the Plot ‘ is an understatement . Ever since VW-Audi’s take over of Porsche they’ve even forgotten what book they’re supposed to be in

    But then again … on the flip side . Who these days hasn’t completely lost the plot ? What with Ferrari’s $400 hair dryers /SheikMaranelloLand / Ferrari Pit Experience ( at an EU mall nearest you ) / more emphasis on marketing than engineering … McLaren promptly forgetting all the lessons learned from their ground breaking F1 road car and having gone the overly complex over weight supercar for the MMtB * masses …. the plethora of overly homogenized Cosmic Jelly Bean designs amongst all the so called ‘ supercar ‘ manufactures ( with the Audi R8 being the sole exception ) …. Caterham now aiming at building Sedans SUV’s and MMtB supercars as well…. Lamborghini ( excuse me AudiGhini ) growing softer by the minute … BMW MINI getting fatter by the day .. and don’t even get me started about BMW’s M division …. and on and on and on … ad infinitum

    Everyone’s losing the plot . En masse . And we’re all the losers for it … unfortunately

    [ MMtB = More Money than Brains ]

  11. ColoradoKid Says:

    #2 – Even better … a 911 and a Cayman based ‘ Shooting Break ‘ …. with AWD as an option …. but they won’t …

  12. ColoradoKid Says:

    11 .. continued

    Something like …… this !

  13. ColoradoKid Says:

    #3 – Greed for one . The fact that now VW-Audi calls the shots for the other

  14. ColoradoKid Says:

    6 – Its an ever so slightly upgrade Audi Q5 … which is to say … it won’t be bad per se …. but it’ll still only be a slightly upgraded Q5 in the end .

    So why are the Journo’s all sining the Macan’s praises ? Cause like everything else … positive news sells copy .. and negative reviews will get you off the manufactures ‘ Test/Review ‘ Drive list …. toot suite

    The major mistake Porsche’s making with the Macan [ thats got a nice flow to it ] was basing it on the quasi mid sized Q5 .. rather than going downsize … missing out on the hottest automotive sales trend worldwide … that being ‘ compact ‘ up market SUV’s

    But … we’ll see

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14, Yeah, an Encore size would have been good, but I guess there wasn’t a proper one available to build it from in the Audi/VW lineup, except maybe the Tiguan. Maybe the V6 engines wouldn’t fit, though.

  16. gary susie Says:

    Benz said they wouldn’t make cheap cars but now we have a $29000 mercedes. Whats that Excutive going to say when he looks over a sees a blue collar guy driving one.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16, When I visited a Benz dealer a few days ago, the CLA’s they had were all in the $36-38K range. They had only three new ones, and one that was traded in after 600 miles. The salesman said that one was traded in on an E-Class, because the guy was too big to get comfortable in the CLA. There might have been more reason than that.

    A very professional looking woman took the lightly used one for a test drive while I was there. While I don’t much like the CLA, and what it stands for, that used one looked very nice, with pearl white paint, and a two tone black/light grey interior.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well, there are plenty of certified pre-owned Mercedes that are better than that phony Hungarian FWD thing!

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Can you buy a CLA through a US dealer and take delivery in Hungary?

  20. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oh, a lovely place to visit, I’m sure. Look here Mr Gerhart, if I have to fly over to Hungary just to save a few bucks on this phoney baloney Mercedes, I’d rather keep my Crapola and use that money to go to the Fiji islands on a barefoot cruise, and down a few tropical drinks as I wade in knee-deep clear, azure, warm waters.

  21. HtG Says:

    I’ll bet they get asked that a lot. :)

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I was being facetious. Actually, I looked it up, and as I suspected, you can’t. These are the ones you can get through the MBUSA European delivery program:

  23. HtG Says:

    I saw the blue Macan in the background the other day from LA, and I’ll say it now…that thing’s going to be a huge seller. Imagine if Porsche and Audi (and Toyota too) make Le Mans into a great race?

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Actually, I wouldn’t mind visiting Hungary sometime, but not to buy a Benz by Nissan.

  25. ColoradoKid Says:

    19 – Despite what the website says .. I inquired … yes you can .. but Germany actually .. go figure *

    Hungary ? IF … you’ve got an insider there … Its well worth the trip .. fascinating people – incredible food – very interesting culture . Without that ‘ insider ‘ though … all bets are you’ll be steered towards all the BS touristy things they think we Americans want to see

    * One thing that never ceases to amaze me when it comes to M-B customer service is how many ” Off Menu ” things you can get ( especially as a repeat customer ) by simply asking nicely

    Example ? My lease extension . All the ‘ official ‘ stuff [ on paper and when you call/inquire in person ] says Six months and Six months only

    After one very pleasant conversation though with MBFinancial … and there’s the one year extension ( as requested ) waiting to be signed

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    Yep, it seems that the former Soviet block countries have indeed become very nice places to visit, Czech Republic among them.

  27. ColoradoKid Says:

    23 – Yeah … like the CLA … most likely … but that takes nothing away from the fact that Porsche well and truly have lost the plot

    As to the GLA-45 and moi … the only thing attracting me to the car is the fact that the engines architecture is bespoke to the AMG GLA ( and CLA ) 45 … designed from the get go to be Turbo’d [ rather than modified to accept a turbo as 99.999% of all turbos on the road are ]…… and the fact that AMG really do ( even with the A Class ) build the entire car in shop from body in white .

    But … its gonna have to be mighty good to get my hard earned …. or truth be know … Franz gets its final adoption papers …..

    Unless …. Subaru actually does drop that BRZ Cross Sport … in which case …. hmmmmmmn …

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    Did anyone read that Cr report that says Tesla S owners are the most satisfied new car owners? I just wonder how many of the 300k plus respondents were Tesla owner, let’s say a very small sample compared to other cars, would not be fair, I doubt many Tesla owners subscribe to this magazine, they just buy whatever they like, regardless of ratings or such!

  29. ColoradoKid Says:

    28 – Did you also read the one about the NHTSA today … telling Musk to drop all his safety claims BS about the S or else ?

    As to CR … all I can say is thru a TESLA S owner [ membership only ] I’ve read the independent TESLA forums …. and the majority aint very complimentary

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    I pass over a bunch of man-hole covers that are lightly raised and I just wonder if the Tesla is low enough to hit one of them and catch fire, ditto for poorly made or maintained drive way entrances, speed bumps, etc. One thing is to scrape your underside, another one is to start a freaking fire, or fearing that you will, I have at times accidentally driven too fast over a speed bump, hitting the underside of my car.

  31. HtG Says:

    25 CK, you’re letting out these secrets too, now? :)


    GLA, come on man, that thing’s a beast. In Yeti white you’ll scare half of Aspen half to death.

  32. ColoradoKid Says:

    Mercedes Benz CLA sales .

    Despite the success i know they’re having … this one comes as a bit of a shock ;

    Yikes ! Brand trumps Reality .. again !

  33. HtG Says:

    I bet Tesla is working on a fix, which they’ll offer to all owners, and then play it in the media as no recall at all.

  34. ColoradoKid Says:

    31 … b) Yeah … and no doubt raise my insurance premiums to the stratosphere ( due to using the things potential ) along with no doubt placing my license at risk in six months or less

    Seriously HtG .. I’ve got my name on the list just in case … but its gonna be one heck of a hard sell ….. especially to SG ! ;-)

    a) Thems aint exactly secretes … more like a little ‘ insider ‘ info we’re kind of encouraged to share . And … you do need to be a customer in good standing taking excellent care of your current Benz to get to the ” Off Menu ” goodies

    And people don’t see the sense of operating even with a lease at a high level of standards . At least with Mercedes … little do they know

  35. HtG Says:

    34 See CK, most guys driving these performance cars just tickle the tiger once or twice. They smile to themselves about what the car can do ‘any time they want.’ And that’s how they stay out of trouble. Pretty much the definition of torture for me, or to be graphic, sharing Paulina Porizkova’s bed but you can’t touch. (we’re talking about central Europe’s charms this afternoon ;) )

  36. pedro fernandez Says:

    #32 And here I thought consumers were getting smarter and wiser with their hard earned money, I guess I was wrong!!

  37. Roger T Says:

    Who are we kiddin’? Porsche lost its ways with their first horrendous freak – Cayenne. Or Habanero? Either way it’s hard to swallow.
    Porsche ain’t supposed to make attractive family cars, instead a quirky & damn good sports car. I guess I’m part of the crowd that lost interest earlier than others who are still debating this baloney.

  38. dcars Says:

    Porsche is just a VW “Brand” like Skoda.

  39. XA351GT Says:

    Is Porsche losing it? No, they already have. They are now lust another car company. With the introduction of the Cayenne and the Panamera they left behind the specialist part of their brand. I remember back when it was Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi. Each of those brands had it’s special place. Volkswagen were cheap economy cars, Audi was mid level cars and Porsche was the sports car brand. The lines have blurred so much there they might as well just be one brand. VWs and Audis look alike are priced nearly the same Porsche sells a rebadged VW SUV. Yeah the old Porsche we all knew and loved is gone.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I was in Czech Republic, during the last few months that it was still the western part of Czechoslovakia, and it was very interesting. I was at a world championship model airplane event east of Prague near what is now the Czech Republic/Slovakia border, and the organizers put together a tour of Prague and nearby areas for we English speakers. It was great.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It’s interesting, but not too surprising that the CLA is taking sales from Camry and Accord. People see the adds for the CLA at $29,900 and think, “I can have a Benz for the price of a Honda.” The will learn that, similarly equipped, they will pay thousands extra for the CLA over a V6 Accord, and have a turbo 4 instead of a rather nice V6, but the CLA looks good, and that 3 pointed star adds a lot of value to many Americans.

    Also, these people will like the M-B dealer experience much better than the Toyota or Honda store. That should be good for “moving them up” into an E-Class in a few years.

  42. ColoradoKid Says:

    A Bit of Wisdom for the Auto Industry ;

    As of 2015 … the Alpha and Beta ( in equal measure ) will be in control of 70% of the disposable income in America [ WSJ AARP Bloomberg etc ]

    Which is to say ……. Y’ALL’S BUILDIN N’ MARKETING TO THE WRONG DEMOGRAPHIC !!! … Jackwagons !

    So wake the ____ up and get a bloody clue !

    { Old Guys ( and gals ) Rule )


    41- Gonna have ta disagree on this one . The CLA’s taking sales from Acura and Lexus ( ES ) ? Completely understandable

    But from Camry’s and Accords ? That … shouldn’t be happening .

    I can tell you flat out … knowing what I know about all three brands in question …. If I were shopping Accords and Camry’s the CLA wouldn’t even so much as be on my list .

    Fact is … you aint touching a CLA for anything less than $36k ( which is damn near the price of a base C-250 ) That $29k is a myth perpetuated by M-D’s marketing to get you in the door … The cost of maintenance etc is near double that of Honda and Toyota … and insurance is a fair bit more as well

    No Kit …. this one’s off the radar and completely incomprehensible …. { fact is its coming as a complete albeit positive total shock to MBUSA as well } ….. unless you place the ‘ Brand/Badge ‘ factor into the equation

    So …. all bets though is that the CLA’s gonna bury the Cadillac ATS in sales by next year ? Especially in light of the fact that the CLA-45′s first wave is already spoken for before it even has hit our shores … never mind the showroom floor .

    I’ll guess the CLA’s stealing ATS sales left and right as well … doing what GM wishes the ATS could of done…. seeing as how ATS sales are in a dead stall as of late

    Nope ! I called this one ( CLA ) completely wrong . Totally underestimating the power of Brand/Badge Consciousness in the US

  43. ColoradoKid Says:

    42 .. should of said Alpha an Beta Boomers

  44. HtG Says:

    My pet theory on why olds don’t get the obvious attention is that marketers don’t find persuadable. Also, didn’t someone say that youthful image also appeals to older people?

    CK, I do believe that I may have said CLA would do well. I’ve got the common touch ya know.

    slow clap please.:}>

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    People go to the Benz dealer looking for the $30K CLA, don’t find it, and buy the $36K one anyway. That likely happened a week ago, before my eyes, when a sharply dressed youngish women headed out for a test drive in a CLA.

  46. HtG Says:

    I guess there may be some pride involved in those MSRP numbers. The monthly nut is the reality. CLA also stands out on the street, whether close up or at a distance. Less of a commodity good.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Yes, a lot of Americans are very badge-conscious, which is helping sell the CLA. Except for appearance, the CLA isn’t as good of car as Accord, Camry, or Impala as a transportation device, but it’s a Benz, or at least it looks like one. That is worth thousands of dollars to some people. Probably most CLA buyers don’t know which wheels make it go, and they are even less likely to know which wheels drive a C250.

  48. HtG Says:

    Porsche and Ferrari are also quite good at monetizing their brand. I don’t think they can make it on just their sporting cars, but worldwide desire for their logo is strong.

    Story time. At my sister’s college graduation in ’89, Tom Wolfe gave a speech where he connected the vulgar logo displays of the lower classes to nice rich elites. He didn’t see much difference. (This was right after the hit with Bonfire of the Vanities)

  49. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Kind of related to a youthful image appealing to older people, a 70-some year old friend who mostly drives Chevys, likes the LaCrosse, but won’t buy one, because he “isn’t old enough” for a Buick.

  50. The Autoextremist Says:

    The word from inside Porsche is that dynamically the Macan is sensational, with a much more aggressively-tuned suspension than the Cayenne – at least in base trim – with the over-the-road performance to match. And the Turbo is even better. I don’t doubt it.

    And more inside information from Porsche suggests that in clinics it tested off the charts with women. I don’t doubt that one bit either.

    I think it’s going to be a huge hit in the market. But at what cost in terms of image deterioration?

    And will Porsche be able to retain its Porsche-ness with each new product foray?

    It’s all a giant “we’ll see.”

    Thanks all,


    (Well except for No. 1, who clearly doesn’t have a frickin’ clue as to what he’s talking about. But then again people like that fire me up even more to bring it every damn week. Over and out.)


  51. HtG Says:

    Another narrative that interests me with Porsche is their intention. What are they trying to achieve, now? Here’s a video they put out on YouTube some weeks ago. Will Macan be successful in expressing Porsche’s goals? Watch them.

  52. HtG Says:

    And video about Porsche’s mission to LeMans.

  53. T. Bejma Says:


    “seeing as how ATS sales are in a dead stall as of late”

    Data? I thought not…

    ATS sales for October up 120% over 2012 (2,782 compared to 1,266) along with Cadillac up 58% YTD over 2012 (83,970 compared to 53,003).

  54. C-Tech Says:

    @ #53 Good facts ruin a great story, see Samsung paying Apple judgement in nickels.

  55. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “So …. all bets though is that the CLA’s gonna bury the Cadillac ATS in sales by next year ?”

    As far as sales numbers for the year, quite likely. As far as the CLA taking sales away from ATS, not really. People buy the CLA for the 3 pointed star, and for the way it looks. People buy the ATS for the way it drives. Unfortunately, the Cadillac crest doesn’t have much panache these days, and it will be hard to win it back, not matter how good the cars may be.

  56. T. Bejma Says:

    Loving this car…

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d think the Macan would be much more appealing to Porsche drivers than the porky Cayenne. Porschephiles have been buying Cayennes to have a roomy vehicle that is “within the family,” but I suspect the arrival of the Macan will kill Cayenne sales. Another “we shall see.”

  58. T. Bejma Says:


    That would have been great though…

  59. HtG Says:

    57 that’s a really interesting point about Macan and Cayenne.

    53,58 wait till Apple and Intel drop a safe on Samsung. Who’s your daddy?

  60. pedro fernandez Says:

    Today I met a fellow with 3 Benzes, a couple of SUV’s (one diesel) and an AMG C55 and when I asked his opinion on the CLA he called it a “Toy for kids”

  61. HtG Says:

    But is the CLA buyer trying to impress this guy or their own set?

  62. Bob G Says:

    Aw, c’mon, guyz! You bemoan Porsche losing its way and remain silent while BMW builds electric city cars and invents niches for weird creations like the X6?

    Hmmm, I seem to remember mutterings about Cayennes “piling up on dealer lots like cordwood,” and calling the whole Cayenne product initiative “a train wreck.” Not so much, it would seem.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To me, the CLA is a car for posers, but it is a genuinely attractive car. I’d think kids, at least those with lots of spare money, would like that AMG C55 a lot better.

  64. HtG Says:

    My poser car would be a BMW Z4. In blue

  65. pedro fernandez Says:

    Today has been an automotive dreamland for me, the fellow with the AMG gave me full tour of the vehicle and what can I say? another fellow has a ’32 Ford coupe hot rod he built by himself and that was another thrilling experience for me, seeing one up close cause I’ve seen a bunch on TV, but very cool in person, that CL 55 has an interior that is out of this world.

  66. HtG Says:

    Agreed, Pedro. That car makes me sigh. The lines, the interior and gauges are the standard. Dreams

  67. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Pedro, did you go for a ride in the AMG?

  68. pedro fernandez Says:

    No, it’s his weekend baby, his everyday car is the M Class SUV and the old beater is an R class, my Crappola is my one vehicle for all moods, going from depression to suicidal to homicidal!

  69. pedro fernandez Says:

    I did get to sit in the CL and those seats should be mandatory in all vehicles, regardless of price point.

  70. HtG Says:

    It’s like there’s two Mercedes. The affordable one and the masters of the universe one. Two brands.

  71. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The last Mercedes I drove was an E350 a few years ago, and it was impressive. The ride, quietness, and powertrain were great, and the interior was classy. One would expect that in a $60K car, but a Lincoln Town Car cost that much toward the end of its run.

  72. cwolf Says:

    I think the CLA will sell very well if they flood the market with a load of stripped models. After more than one option is added you may as well bought the real McCoy.

    TB, I share your likes of the Riviera. But, as I recall, many had vinyl roofs…and this would not be a good thing…. (funn’in)

    I’ve been at odds with many of DeLorenzo’s views for some time, but his thoughts of Porsche couldn’t be said any better. Dispite our differences,he always had my respect….even though he is as biased as I am.

  73. HtG Says:

    No one writes better about Porsches than Peter.
    (in vino veritas)

  74. cwolf Says:

    I’ve been jumping thru so many hurdles to finalize the sale of my house, I took a breather at the Eagles Club near my new house. In the lot was a “57″ Ranchero, one of my fav’s. Totally original, except for the paint job. It was black and white, with a V8. I think it is only 218 C.I.D.? Any hoot, it sure was a swell car to see. The owner inherited the Ranchero from his dad who died the week before and the dad bought it new. Boy, what a classic! Do you remember the Ford Falcon and its version of the Ranchero? The kid down the street had one when I was in high school and I had it on my want list ever since. The darn thing was rusty and had a 3 speed on the column, but it was pretty cool in my eyes. That Ranchero was so cool it made me shiver!

  75. pedro fernandez Says:

    I don’t think people who buy Mercedes here will go for any “stripped” model like they do in other parts of the world where you can get the E class with cloth interior and not much bling bling and they’re even used as taxicabs due to their build quality and durability.

  76. Kit Gerhart Says:

    73, A college friend had a Falcon Ranchero. It had a two speed autobox and the engine smoked a lot, but it was kind of cool.

  77. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Unfortunately, you can’t get a “stripper” Benz here. My dream daily driver would be a C wagon with a 4 cylinder diesel and manual transmission. Cloth seats and crank windows would be nice, but by now, they probably all have power windows, even in the rest of the world.

  78. cwolf Says:

    pedro, a true Mercedesist wouldn’t buy a CLA in the first place. It’s only my opinion, but there are so many better choices than an optioned CLA. This car is the perfect choice for the profesional single female with an attitude.

  79. cwolf Says:

    Kit, you are too much like me in many respects. Accepting change is always a challenge.

  80. pedro fernandez Says:

    CWolf the BMW 3 series priced itself out of the reach of many such buyers and the 1 has not filled that gap, so here comes CLA to the rescue! Perhaps now BMW will make a variant of the Mini FWD platform and sell it as an entry level Beemer. It already has excellent handling, just needs more luxury and panache.

  81. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It will be interesting to see how the next MINI is as far as “luxury.” To me, the biggest weakness of my 2010, for long trips, is the noise. The seats are comfortable, the ride, though kind of hard is fine with me, but it’s pretty noisy by today’s standards.

  82. HtG Says:

    Do you find the Mini’s short wheel base a little ‘hippity hoppity’ on the highway, Kit?

  83. cwolf Says:

    Let’s think about this for a minute, pedro. I recon the majority of BMW’ers lease,…therefore their mo. payments are almost equal having a “3.”, so why not? As far as any Mini variant goes,… it is not a wise choice. The CLA has already been scolded for its inablity to absorb road bumps. Imagine the reception with anything with a shorter or narrower wheel base. I doubt anyone could become that dumb, knowing you have a prestigious past peputation. I think the risk/profit margin would not jive.

  84. HtG Says:

    Brands are powerful, cwolf. We’re quite a tribal species.

  85. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Probably a little, but unless the road is pretty bad, it doesn’t bother me.

  86. pedro fernandez Says:

    My Corolla has a short wheelbase by today’s standard, (98 in.) but it does not have a choppy ride, but handling leaves a lot to be desired, I’m sure stiffer struts and springs would help, so would low profile tires, but not for me!

  87. cwolf Says:

    HtG, If”n you can afford a new BMW, you are either more well off than I am,don’t care how much this wonderful piece of technology will cost you…over and over, or conclude having a star on the vehicle will trasport you to heaven a tad quicker. I believe I may afford being included into the tribe you spoke of,but can assure you I am not of the same species.

  88. pedro fernandez Says:

    Guys, wheelbases can indeed be increased quite easily, so a BMW based on the Mini would not be too strange, as long as they add more sound insulation and work on the suspension.

  89. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The MINI is a niche car, and is fun, but not high on practicality. Mine is very basic, with 16 inch wheels as the only option. Equipped that was it is about $2K more than a much more practical Honda Fit. If you don’t need much space, it’s not a bad value. They even hold their value well. I would not ever consider an expensive MINI, though. You can load them up, even the basic body style, to the high 30′s. There are cars I’d much rather have for that money.

  90. HtG Says:

    86 We’re measured by our contribution, cwolf. Everything else is party hats.

  91. cwolf Says:

    A Mini is NOT an inexpensive toy, so how much more $ are these simple modifications going to cost me? When you venture into this price range, one can almost be assured there already exists something close and a lot less expensive.

  92. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The reason I am down on the CLA, is that it is just another 4 cylinder front drive sedan, but it is much more expensive, comparably equipped, than other front drive sedans that are better. Until I started reading reviews, I expected it to have the usual Mercedes-Benz virtues of a good ride and low cabin noise, even tough it is not a real Benz.That turned out not to be the case.

  93. cwolf Says:

    If you truely believe that,HtG,we are threads from the same cloth. Finacial donations make one feel good, but from what I have learned from being a 4th degree in the Knights of Columbus, I now know the giving of ones self provides the greatest rewards.

  94. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A MINI is fun to drive, it’s cute, it gets good gas mileage, and it holds it’s value well enough that the cost of ownership for 5 years is probably lower than for a Hyundai Accent.

    There would be few new cars for under the $20K MSRP of my base MINI that would be as much fun to drive. There are a lot of cars for that price that would have much more cabin space.

  95. cwolf Says:

    Kit, I get to ride in a Mini from time to time and I think it would be a hoot to have one…for an in-town fun car. But if the ride is near an hour,I’m glad the ride has ended. Either my butt aches or my ear hurt. Never the less, I like’em for a city car… bunches!

  96. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The longest “road trips” I’ve taken my MINI on are to Jacksonville, about 160 miles. To me, the worst thing for those trips is the cabin noise. The seat is comfortable to me. I may drive it to Indiana in the spring, and bring the Corvette down here in the fall. I might want to use ear plugs for the 1100 mile trips in both cars.

  97. cwolf Says:

    How silly is this,Kit? Because of my 86 mi. drive to work, I cannot stand cabin noise. But!…I’ll tolerate the same type distractive noise from a cracked window because I prefer fresh air over air conditioning. Go figure!

  98. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I like driving with windows open in town, but on the highway, I like the windows closed and use heat or A/C as needed.

    The one exception is my “antique” minivan. It has swing out windows in the back, and a cowl vent in the front. With those and the driver’s window open, there is no buffeting, and I kind of like driving it moderate distances with “open air.”

  99. cwolf Says:

    I’m excited and foolish, to boot and want to share it with you. My 69 MGC is in the process of being restored. Today I began to sift through the interior parts and pieces for the purpose of keeping as many original parts as possible. While stored in the attic above the garage and in the unattached garage, I noticed mice ran away with the window crank knobs and a few other chrome pieces not to be found. It’s no big deal really, until I began totalling the approx. total cost of the restoration. As frugal as many of you have expected I am, the cost of the restoration will exceed the value of the car when restored. Ya know what? This is the first car I ever owned and loaded with laughable experiences with my dates, one of which is my wife who pushed the car out of a snow bank at a city pier while we we parking; she couldn’t drive a stick! In short; I don’t care if the cost exceedes the value. I love cars, am passionate about old cars and am enthralled with old British cars. I couldn’t be happier , nor, more excited.
    However, I also feel a sense of decadence. Just from reading the posts, I know many could never afford such an extravigance. Yesterday HtG’s comment to me struck a tender spot with me about the fact that the importance of having money is not about what one posseses but what one does with it. When I think of all those worse off tham me, I,in a way, feel a sense of guilt….and for all of my efforts to help others, I find it tough to tell myself that it is OK to be treated.

  100. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Have fun with the restoration. It sounds like mice can be even more trouble than I realized. I’ve had them make kind of a mess, but never run off with car parts.

    Are there sources of parts in the US, or do you get a lot of parts from the UK?

  101. HtG Says:

    Cwolf, I was thinking more about work than what a person spends money on. How does what a person does contribute? It’s quite broad, but isn’t about what stuff you like. Just don’t over pimp the MG, please

  102. HtG Says:

    Plus, I’d had a couple when I wrote that. Like Hemingway said, ‘write drunk, edit sober.’

  103. HtG Says:

    Or was that Faulkner? Or Fitzgerald? Pretty good company, right there. Proust was lubed up on the Dragon, Balzac on Java. Just sayin’ ;)

    Don’t drink and drive, kids.

  104. T. Bejma Says:


    Don’t feel guilt cwolf, you work hard and you deserve to be able to keep your fond memories around a bit longer in the form of some British metal. There is no price you can put on the help you provide to others so don’t try and put a value on it. We are only here for a relatively small time and the most important thing is that you are a good person and when presented an opportunity to help, you take full advantage. Good luck on your restoration and maybe someday I can park my ’69 Cutlass next to your ’69 MGC and we can have a good discussion of cars and life ;-)

  105. cwolf Says:

    Thank guys. I needed those words of support and waited over 25 years for this. The house addition,saving for our son’s school’in,wife’s cherry cabinets, paying for both parents funerals and debts and now my sick brother…..;sometimes ya wounder if the money drain will ever end! Now with a new house in Huron,Ohio and a lot new furniture, I figure putting some to the MG is a now or never situation. Hmmmmm…will there be any cash left over for gas? Do any of you have a spare bedroom..just in case….?

  106. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Cwolf, remember what Ferris said, ” Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”.

    Do the MG buddy.

  107. RonE Says:

    Re: 98, cwolf, you might want to contact the nearest chapter of the SCCA or an English Car Club if there’s one in your area. You might find whatever parts you need for your MG at one of these places. You may find a member that is willing to donate or sell you parts at a reasonable price. Most club members are ready to help someone with the same interest as their own, plus you make some new friends. Good luck.