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  #1  
Old 01-28-2004, 07:02 PM
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CLK 500 as a daily driver in winter?

Hello,

I am looking at buying a new car and I am very interested in a CLK 500. I currently own an Audi (please no flame, this is a good car) and it has AWD. I live in the DC area where we get occasional snow/ice and the Audi is very good in these conditions.

The CLK would be my only car and I am a little concerned about driving this car during winter time (300 HP on the rear wheels).

Is anybody in the same situation? Do you really need to have a winter setup for the car?

Ultimatly, I am wondering if the CLK is more of a "nice day" type of car and that you should not get the CLK if it will end up being your only car.

What are your thoughts?

Thanks,

Yves.
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2004, 07:44 PM
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Actually Mercedes are very good foul weather cars.
It really is worth your while to purchase the book by Vic Elford `The Porsche High Performance Driving Handbook`
Also consider quality snow tires, you need all the help when driving on ice. www.nokiantires.com
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2004, 09:37 PM
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I believe you will be disappointed greatly if you replaced your Quattro with a V8 RWD Benz.

Maybe it's just my opinion, even with Michelin snow tires, my 400E is most dangerous car I have driven on snow and ice, it has way too much weight on front wheels and leaves little to the rear, and the V8 has too much torque for rear wheels to handle.

On snow and ice, because of too much weight on the front, the front end has very good traction, it never plows in a turn, it has large amount of understeer before loss of traction in the rear, it can suddenly turn into oversteer even with moderate of throttle, it is the lack of traction at the rear makes it a king of oversteering.

We have 5-6 months of winter here, almost half of these days I drive on snow and ice, and I have driven other rear wheel drive cars on snow/ice, none handled worse than 400E, next winter I will make my life better.

I have never driven a CLK500, but it shares some similarities with 400E.
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Last edited by carman850; 01-28-2004 at 10:59 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2004, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by carman850
...even with Michelin snow tires...
There's your problem. I threw out all our Michelin snow tires this fall and replaced them with Kumho KW-11's and Blizzak WS-50's. All our cars are transformed. Go with Nokians/Blizzaks/Kumhos and you're going to be much better off...
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  #5  
Old 01-29-2004, 08:48 AM
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Not to overburden this thread, but the CLK six cylinder may be a nicer ride in the Wash D.C, area. It will probably run cooler in the heat of the summer, and it has the same top speed as the CLK500- computer limited to 130mph.
I am not sure about weight, but if the six cylinder is lighter in the front, it may handle nicer than the eight cylinder.

Remember that traction control makes a difference in the snow.
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2004, 09:06 AM
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By simply adding 100-150 lbs to the rear of a car with sandbags, during winter months, and good snow tires, + traction and stability control on a CLK 500, you should be ok. BUT it does have lots of torque....so keep that in mind.
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Old 01-29-2004, 09:11 AM
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Carman850,
Try this. 150 Lbs in the trunk. On either side of your trunk you have "space" to place 1-2 sandbags. Go to a home store pick up the sandbags covers, fill em' up. Or use concrete bags, etc...40-80Lb bags each, and fairly small. Place them in a garbage bag for protection.

You will notice a HUGE difference on how the car rounds a corner, or takes off from a start, coupled with good winter tires ( a must )

Its all weight distribution. Maybe others can attest to this as well. Old trick.

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  #8  
Old 01-29-2004, 12:44 PM
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I too live in the DC metro area and have not had too much trouble with rear wheel drive cars: '89 780 Volvo Turbo and '94 E320 MB. I learned on rear whhel drive cars in Chicago 40 years ago. Extra weight in the trunk is important, and it is better ahead of the rear axle than behind it. You want the weight between the front and rear wheels to keep the polar moment of inertia low, thus the rear won't "step out" in turns as easily as if the weight was at the rear of the trunk. The extra weight in the rear is used to get the car moving. Don't think about using this extra weight to get through turns faster. Every input from the driver, i.e. throttle, steering, breaking, must be made smoothly and this requires more attention and anticipation than on dry roads. A 400 or 500 series MB certainly has great torque, but any car will spin it's tires on snow. I'd say buy it for all the nice days, be careful on the bad days, and stay home on the few terrible days.
regards,
Mark
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2004, 12:50 PM
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Don't underestimate the ability of ESP to curtail over/understeering. The C320 is really quite fun in snow, though sometimes the ASR cuts the electronic throttle too much.
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2004, 01:01 PM
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Traction control needs traction to control. ASR/ESP, etc is useless without serious snow tires.
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2004, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by blackmercedes
There's your problem. I threw out all our Michelin snow tires this fall and replaced them with Kumho KW-11's and Blizzak WS-50's. All our cars are transformed. Go with Nokians/Blizzaks/Kumhos and you're going to be much better off...
I agree! Last winter on my 97 E300 I had a new set of the Michelins that come on the E-Class stock. They were absolutely appauling. I became worried about driving my car in the winter and started driving my mom's 95 Caravan.

This winter I decided to buy new rims and tires to go along with the new rims. I ordered a set of Continental ConiExtreme tires to fit my 18x8 monoblock replicas. The snow traction was the same rating as rain, as so listed on TireRack. The difference is unbelieveable. I don't worry about snow driving now. But with a V8 I'd defiantely add some wieght to the rear. My friend with a V6 95 Camaro added a few bags of concrete, weighing 80lbs. each and has no problems....
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  #12  
Old 01-29-2004, 08:42 PM
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I luv my Pilot Alpins Three winters and counting....

Yves, MB knows about winter driving. 2nd gear starts, ASR and ESP make for a very safe and enjoyable winter experience. As someone suggested, you do need to adjust your driving techniques at bit, though.

If you want AWD, why not consider an E500 4matic?
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2004, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by need2speed
I luv my Pilot Alpins Three winters and counting....
They must be a freak set...

The 190E was pretty much undriveable in the winter with them, and the C230 was better off on it's "all-season" summer tires. I often had people blowing their horn at me as I struggled to get across an icy intersection.

They were great on dry pavement. Quiet with decent handling. But, ice and snow (especially ice) brought out the worst. We were in Jasper last winter when we had freezing rain on the Icefields Parkway. I thought we were going to have to park the car and wait it out, while pretty much everyone else was driving along.

This year, we're running the KW-11's on both the C230 and the 190E, and both cars are so much better it's like night and day. We had an awful weekend of freezing rain with roads like curling rinks, and both MB's and the Mazda (also on KW-11's) got around without any problem. This winter in the mountains has been a whole different experience with the different tires.
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