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  #1  
Old 01-03-2011, 07:25 PM
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2006 CL55AMG

perhaps i have completed my little bruno sacco collection as i stumbled into a cpo'ed 215 series in sfo just before christmas. and acquired it.

but, there are some mysteries about it that i am having difficulties in solving. and perhaps someone here has the answers...

1. the vehicle is painted in brilliant silver. and the interior is finished in java leather. according to some benz literature that i acquired online[ragtop.org] this combination was "not recommended". why would that have been?

according to the monroney, a special order charge was accessed. and i am assuming that was for the car to be fabricated with this "not recommended" leather color. yes? or no?

2. the official benz literature stipulates that this car would have a bose sound system.

but according to the monroney, it is outfitted with a harmon multichannel system.

can anyone here explain this?

3. wheels for this car are 19# amg monobloc alloys, fitted as a standard. yet the benz literature does not indicate that such shoes can be used with this vehicle.

was something out of the ordinary fitted to these 2006 amg 215 cars?

stranger still, though the running shoes are of 19" diameter, the spare is an 18". can anyone tell me why?

by the way, the cavity in the trunk has been manufactured to accommodate a 19" diameter wheel with full size spare.

4. another mystery is that the mbusa website specs for this vehicle indicates it can accommodate an ipod connection accessory, but the parts guys at the selling dealership tell me that this mbusa info is in error.

true or false?

5. finally, does anyone here know how many of the supercharged CL55AMG's were produced during their production years?

john olson tells me that benz stopped making this info public in 2004 as the result of a lawsuit lost by bmw concerning production limit claims[found to be false] concerning its M series production. true or false?

6. as a corollary, the dealer rep who assisted me in the acquisition of this car has told me that benz is radically reducing the number of AMG cars for this and future production years.

didn't have the exact numbers, but said that the number of AMG cars that will be produced for the future would be reduced by 80%.

the official benz explanation is that this is being done so as to prop up the resale value of AMG-designated vehicles.

thnx for any and all replies. and all the best for the new year.
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2011, 08:32 PM
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"6. as a corollary, the dealer rep who assisted me in the acquisition of this car has told me that benz is radically reducing the number of AMG cars for this and future production years.

didn't have the exact numbers, but said that the number of AMG cars that will be produced for the future would be reduced by 80%."

Point #6 makes sense since CAFE requirements must be met or MBZ will have to pay HUGE fines. Reducing the number of available AMG cars would help somewhat in that effort since they all get terrible gas mileage. I think they may seriously be bringing the A and B class cars to more markets including North America. They already make the S400 hybrid, and expanded the number of markets in which they sell a 4 cylinder diesel version of the S class. It may also be the reason why the Smart brand is still alive. Despite crappy sales numbers since the start, they continue to throw cash at it for new designs and updates.

I don't really think Mercedes-Benz cares about the resell value of their cars. At least, it would seem that way since about 1950.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2011, 09:12 PM
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i agree with you about the smart car. a disaster of design. and safety. i know benz pretends that they are as safe as a sonderklasse sedan, but i have seen one after a high speed t-boning. no survivors. and not much left of the car. benz is adroit, however, as they are able to squelch the airing of the photos of this. reminds me of ford and its pinto.

i have never understood why benz failed to make the sonderklasse diesels available in the usa. in france, some 8 years ago, my chauffeur used an S320CDI, as i recall.

and in montenegro some months ago, my chauffeur used an S430CDI.

both were wonderful cars.

no slouches for the tasks.

and of course, all the lebensraum that one wants from sedans of this stature.
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2011, 09:40 PM
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I personally dislike the Smart cars, but they do actually have decent crash results from a variety of tests (NCAP and IIHS). I think they would have been a huge success in America had they been priced more fairly and gotten at least 100% better gas mileage. If you look up the fuel economy numbers, it is a bit embarrassing... Yet, I still file a Smart car buyer as the same type of person that purchases a Prius.

Canadians apparently go ape$&#@ for them and I guess it does not help that they were only sold in the US as a grey-market car up to the 2008 model year.

As for the diesel powered Smart and Mercedes-Benz S-class cars not making it here, that is probably due to the fact that many of those diesel engines have had a hard time passing North American emission standards. (Particularly those of California)
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2011, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albertchampion View Post
i agree with you about the smart car. a disaster of design. and safety. i know benz pretends that they are as safe as a sonderklasse sedan, but i have seen one after a high speed t-boning. no survivors. and not much left of the car. benz is adroit, however, as they are able to squelch the airing of the photos of this. reminds me of ford and its pinto.

i have never understood why benz failed to make the sonderklasse diesels available in the usa. in france, some 8 years ago, my chauffeur used an S320CDI, as i recall.

and in montenegro some months ago, my chauffeur used an S430CDI.

both were wonderful cars.

no slouches for the tasks.

and of course, all the lebensraum that one wants from sedans of this stature.
I do believe there was a lot of attention spent on its safety and structure but the biggest problem is its small proportions in relation to other cars on the road. When you are being hit by a larger car, which is going to be the case almost all the time, you will be at a disadvantage. It would be great to see more diesel models brought over here. I bet a diesel C-class would be a popular seller to go against the 3 series diesel. I read somewhere that the 3 series diesel is doing very well and has even outsold its gas counterparts.
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2011, 12:38 AM
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yes, i know, while i waited for a car at the benz store in sugarland, tx, i visited with the guys selling the smarts.

oh, how they regaled me with its structural soundness. then the wrecker brought in the one that had been t-boned with no survivors. coming from the dps scrutiny, for a more thorough investigation.

that container had been bowling-balled.

it was interesting to notice how the smart sales personnel disappeared while a crane was lowering the compacted smart to the asphalt.

everyone should see such a pic.
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  #7  
Old 01-04-2011, 10:31 AM
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Hi Albert -

I have no real help to offer, but here are a few opinions to throw in the mix:

1. Silver over Java is an odd color combo, IMHO. Java typically pairs with the Smoke Silver/Desert Silver/Bronze or darker color combos. Silver is usually over grey or charcoal interiors. My guess - most people wouldn't buy the car because of the color combo.

2. Running changes in specification are common. The literature almost certainly has a disclaimer that changes may be made at any time. Frankly, I like the Harmon sound a bit better than the Bose sound, though the difference is not large.

3. My bet - the wheels have been changed. The 18" wheel you have in the trunk is likely standard. A neighbor of mine has this car, and it uses the exact same 18" wheels from the E55 Kompressor.

6. MBUSA has had to offer tremendous dealer incentives to move leftover AMG cars. The E63 had $20K in incentives near the end of the 211 model run. That would seem to indicate an oversupply, so it seems reasonable to reduce the production run. I find 80% a bit difficult to believe, however.

My $.02.
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2011, 09:32 PM
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oddly enough, the original monroney identifies the 19" amg monoblocs as the standard fitting for this vin #.

but the spare is an 18" steel wheel. talking with a benz parts manager, he told me that benz did/does a lot of this kind of nonsense these days. he thought it had something to do with the spare cavity in the trunk.

i did some additional research. the cavity is large enough for a 19" wheel and tire. and in fact, the cl65amg was fitted with 19" wheels and the same tires as were fitted to 2006 cl55amg.

but for some reason, undisclosed, the cl65amg was manufactured with a 19" steel wheel for the spare.

go figure.

i know one thing, i prefer the manufacturing standards of my pre-2000 benzes. all of which have the same size wheel, same style wheel, and tire for the spare as are the "running" shoes.

as to the exterior paint and interior leather spec, living in metro-houston, i am keen on light colors. silver and java works for me. actually i miss my favorite interior color, blue....

my 1979 450sel6.9 is silver with orthopedic blue leather

my 1986 560sel is platinum blue with orthopedic blue leather

my 1987 560sec is arctic white with blue leather

my 1995 e320 cab is white with blue leather, blue canvas top.

for some reason, benz torpedoed this interior color in after the 1995. and i have always wondered why. after it all, it was the interior color for all of the silver arrows.

to the best of my recollection, the historical benz racing livery was white over blue, then silver over blue.

why do you think benz ceased offering blue interiors?
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  #9  
Old 01-05-2011, 10:56 AM
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Thanks for the update and clarification. Neither have I heard of MB mismatching the size of the wheels and spare. Is the overall diameter of the 18" and 19" tires the same?

I really ought to go see what is in the trunk of my 211; it uses a compact spare with a small air compressor to inflate it. I too much preferred the days when every MB arrived with a matching alloy wheel in the spare tire well.

Residing in Texas, I understand your preference for lighter colors. That said, my 211 is black over charcoal. I have been rather pleasantly surprised at the minor difference in how warm it is relative to a light colored car. I suppose modern AC systems are so powerful that color no longer makes much difference.

As for the lack of blue interiors, I expect it is market driven. If people wanted blue interiors, MB would still be selling blue interiors.

Enjoy the car. That 55K engine is quite a monster, isn't it?
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2011, 09:09 PM
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no, the 18" steel wheel and tire for the spare is diametrically smaller than the 19" with tires.

as i mentioned, the parts manager at one of houston's benz stores related that he was not surprised...and had no answers.

but i can tell you that the post-2000 benz management became somewhat derelict. and has imposed their dereliction on their customers. here is my favorite story....

in the 2006 cl series operator's manual, the operator[owner] is told that the passenger-side mirror can be programmed to turn-down to reveal the right rear tire, right rear quarter panel when the mirror selection switch is tuned to select the passenger-side mirror.

after acquiring a 2006 cl500[cpo'ed] in march 2009, i found that this feature did not function. i took it to the selling dealer for a repair. and it wasn't repaired[the comment was that this "option" was not fitted to this vehicle]. but this wasn't an option. the operator's manual identified it as a standard feature.

so, i complained to mbusa. the response i received from a flak-catcher was that though this was to have been a standard feature, it was not installed in production, therefore the manual was/is in error - f*ck you, mr champion.

so, i wrote the president of mbusa, ernst lieb. within hours of his receipt of my letter, i received a phone call from the area tech rep so as to schedule an appt at a local dealer of my choosing to correct that deficiency.

it took him no more than an hour to retrofit that "standard feature". i now have a passenger-side mirror that turns down when reverse gear is engaged.

this 2006 cl55amg was supposed to have this standard feature as well. but it doesn't.

the california selling dealer tells me that this feature cannot be fitted now.

this is the "party" line. but, i have communicated with my area's mbusa tech rep who tells me to let him know when i have the cl55amg and we shall schedule an appointment at my favored dealer to do what we did in 2009 - add that missing "standard" feature.

squeaky wheels, you know. sometimes they get greased.
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2011, 09:24 PM
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as to blue leather, john olson, who publishes the sl marketletter, thinks that the tanning chemicals for blue are prohibitively expensive to dispose of.

perhaps his analysis is correct.

on the other hand, for a tie to historical benz racing colors, benz should continue to offer this interior color. and if necessary, charge the purchaser for it.

after all, when the first owner[lessee] wanted this "not recommended" amg java leather fitted to this brilliant silver 215 series car, benz had no problem accommodating that specification, but insisted on a relatively modest special order charge[$1,100]. as i understand it, today, this might only occur if a benz dealer went to bat with mbusa for the customer.

talking about this with the sales manager of a local porsche dealer today, i was told that porsche was willing to do anything for the customer. for a price. in other words, if i wanted an interior color that was not recommended for an exterior color, i could have it. for a price. $5000-$6000, for example. and that is the way it should be.

do you remember the benz era when there were virtually no options? when you had to take all the options[loaded] that mbusa imposed upon the car[true mostly of sonderklasse vehicles]?

this was in contravention to benz in europe where the opportunities to tailor a benz were virtually unlimited.
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  #12  
Old 01-07-2011, 10:14 AM
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Interesting stories. Do you know if enabling the tilt down passenger mirror requires anything beyond enabling the feature using the SDS? I can't imagine it requires installing or swapping in new/different parts. Though with Benz, anything is possible.

Relative to Europe, we still have a paucity of choice with regard to how our MBs are equipped. As I am sure you are aware, most models are available in classic, elegance, and avantgarde trim levels. And there are many individual options. I know of an individual that is making a small career out of installing Euro options onto American AMG cars - folding mirrors, trunk storage, DVD play on command, etc.
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  #13  
Old 01-07-2011, 05:51 PM
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I'm thinking that if it was just programming there would be no reason for the tilt feature to be an option instead of standard. Got to believe there is some hardware component to add (kind of like adding A/V features to the fiber optic loop--add the hardware then program through SDS).

Just my line of thinking...could be totally off base. I was once before.

Edit to add...i'll be out for the next week, but it sure would be nice to see photos of the non-recommended color combination when i return!! I'm having trouble visualizing, but it must have been attractive enough to motivate you to purchase it.
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Last edited by greenacres2; 01-07-2011 at 06:05 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2011, 08:58 PM
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this tilt feature was not an option. it was supposed to be a standard feature.

but, the initial info i received from the mbusa flakcatcher was that for some reason, it failed to be installed in the initial production of these cars[and this went beyond the 215 series according to my research].

when the production error was caught, benz decided to let it go. figuring that few customers would read the operator's manual and figure out that a standard feature had gone missing.

when i caught this and returned the vehicle to the selling dealer[mike jackson's autonation] for a correction, the ro noted that this car was not fitted with this "option". BUT IT WASN'T AN "OPTION". IT WAS A STANDARD FEATURE.

but fitted neither as a standard nor as an option on any 215 series cars[and others].

the nominal mbusa party line when this missing feature was/is noticed was, "well the factory made a mistake and none of these cars had this standard feature installed during production."

and most customers seem to have accepted this explanation. not me.

as i said, i wrote ernst lieb a nasty letter[never forget, i have been buying[mostly new] and owning benzes since 1973.

so, ernst lieb responded by charging the area rep to install this "standard" feature.

it was only a matter of an eprom. done within minutes.

and now that feature shows up in my settings menu. i can turn it on or off.

benz could go back and install this "standard" feature for thousands of cars.

mbusa would prefer to respond only to the squeaky wheels. saves them a lot of money.
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2011, 11:53 PM
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Death by Smart

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbzman View Post
I do believe there was a lot of attention spent on its safety and structure but the biggest problem is its small proportions in relation to other cars on the road. When you are being hit by a larger car, which is going to be the case almost all the time, you will be at a disadvantage. It would be great to see more diesel models brought over here. I bet a diesel C-class would be a popular seller to go against the 3 series diesel. I read somewhere that the 3 series diesel is doing very well and has even outsold its gas counterparts.
Here's a video of a new C-Class vs a Smart which speaks for itself. On the same page is a link to a W220 vs a Smart which is even more telling as the poor Smart ricochets off like a beachball.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKSPxQjPOm0

As to diesel C-Classes, when I ordered my 2008 C300, I would have added the V-6 Bluetec diesel from the E-Class had MBUSA offered it. Even though they charged a premium price ($1000 in the E) but now after three years plus in the gas car, I'm not so sure it matters. Since MB charges so much for the diesel option and at the same time de-contents the car (think 260E as one example) the buyer ends up spending a bundle adding the equipment MB left off.

Further, in my new copy of Auto motor und Sport from Stuttgart, they publish the fuel economy numbers for the new engines and the new direct injection 3.5 for the 2012 C-350 is just slightly more economical
(.1l/100km, not much) than the V-6 Diesel in the same car, still not offered in the US, looks like.

My 2008 C300, driven conservatively can reach 30mpg highway on 92 octane.
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