: Not knocking my V, but . . .



bobs-sts-v
04-15-07, 08:05 PM
Not being one to knock my own car. In fact, I love it! But I had the chance to test drive the Mercedes Benz S-65 AMG this weekend, and Cadillac could learn a thing or two from the big boys. So here is the story:

My wife is looking to trade up from her 2000 XK8, so we stopped by the MB dealership to take a look at the convertibles. The manager, having spotted what I was driving when we came in (we took my V, of course), caught me looking at the S-65 while my wife was with some sales guy. The 604 hp, 738 ft.lbs. of torque and the V12 Biturbo are pretty awesome by ANY standard. So the manager looks at me and says "You want to take it out for a spin?" Not willing to pass up the chance I said "Sure, but too bad it is stuck here in the showroom." To which the manager opens the outer doors, grabs the keys, and BACKS IT OUT OF THE SHOWROOM! He then spent the required 7 or 8 minutes giving me the full low-down on all it could do. Then he tosses me the fob and says lets go. So I went. As soon as we were in the car, he told me that he was having "one of those days" and just needed to get out of the showroom for a while. As soon as he spotted me, he hatched his plan. So I got an extended work-out of the beast - not your 'once around the block' rides, but about 20 minutes of sheer excitement. I tried all the modes: Comfort (a little too soft for me, but the wife liked that one), Sport (aggressive, but still letting the car do all the work) and Manual (a TRUE manual shift which is EXTREMELY responsive and quick on the shift). Compared to the V, which seems to have a lag between the shift at my hand and the transmission catching up about 0.5 seconds later, the S65 was instantaneous. And the power is truly awesome; both HP and Torque were incredible. It truly is the most powerful 4 door sedan out there. But at almost 3 times the price of the V, I think I will stick with mine for the forseeable future.

Things Cadillac should consider: the interior is a bit nicer in the MB, especially in the back seat. The amenities back there put Cady to shame.
The transmission, again, is instantaneous on the shift and a TRUE manual - you have to shift up and down. You are in complete control. In the V, the automatic down-shifting gets annoying if you are in traffic. That and the lag.
Styling is fabulous in the MB - it looks fast standing still, with those big 20" rims, aggressive front end, and quad exhaust. Not to mention the V12 logo on the sides. While I love the look of the 2006-07 STS-V, the 2008 has softened the front end and I personally think detracts from the overall "mean-ness" of the car. And ditch those goofy chrome vents!

Just my opinions and observations. Anyone else driven one?

Bob

Eldo1953
04-15-07, 08:26 PM
Nice as hell I am sure. But at 3x more than the V it better be!

bobs-sts-v
04-15-07, 11:14 PM
I did say that, but certainly worth repeating. Primary reason I will be KEEPING my V for quite some time! But it was fun to drive, and the manager was actually willing to let me DRIVE it. Most would have probably preferred I baby it around the block and just get back to the dealorship, but this guy was actually telling me to let it unwind. Fun.

Bob :bouncy:

MRR
04-16-07, 08:11 AM
It's really amazing what you can get for only $200,000.00.


MRR

CIWS
04-16-07, 06:59 PM
It's really amazing what you can get for only $200,000.00.


MRR


:yeah:

Dr. Design
04-16-07, 08:56 PM
I am sure Cadillac could give that car a run for the money if it was given the same development budget. :)

If Cadillac can keep in the right direction, they ought to be a formidable competitor in the future!

Cheers!



It's really amazing what you can get for only $200,000.00.


MRR

bobs-sts-v
04-16-07, 11:16 PM
I guess my only real negative when comparing the two is the transmission thing. The lag is definitely noticeable on the V, and imperceptable on the S65. And it is not only on the V - ALL their trannys do it. My neighbor, who builds and races cars for a living, said his brand new Escalade EXT does the exact same thing. If they could just get rid of that lag, I would feel completely in control. As it stands, I anticipate the shift now KNOWING that the lag is there. Not sure if that is good or bad. But I can't do anything about the automatic downshift, so I rarely use it in traffic. Just the way it is.

As for having the same development budget as MB, well, I guess we will just have to hope they (Cadillac) can move their back inventory (see STS forum post on the excess inventory) and keep the research going.

Bob

P.S. I still think the chrome vents on the 2008 look tacky.

vixapphire
04-16-07, 11:55 PM
I just recently sold my 2005 E55 AMG wagon; it has the same quick-shifting tranny response as the S65 you drove, except the E55 is the comparable platform to the STS. Although it has the decidedly nicer ultrasuede headliner, the rubber/plastic dashboard was disappointing in a $92k car. The rest of it was sheer bliss, however. I was favorably impressed by the look of the STS-V's interior, and I love the way the V's sit compared to their stock brethren.

Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to buy an STS-V if buying in that class again; notwithstanding the difference in numbers, I'd be surprised if the Cadi didn't hold its own against the Merc. Especially if the Cadi had the cool black and red interior...

ssstealth
04-17-07, 05:57 AM
The point has been made but is worth repeating. There is NO car in the same class as the STS-V FOR THE SAME PRICE. It is incredibly easy to compare a collection of $25,000.... there are plenty of them. When you get to this class of car, the price and feature spread seem to scatter all over the place.

Remember that when this car first hit the streets that all of the car magazines that did side by side tests actually chose competitors costing about $20,000 more than the V.

Cadillac has a big decision to make here... do they remain at the "Value" end of the global luxury car market? Are they satisfied with being only the best "American" luxury car brand? Will GM step up and allow them to even attempt to take the lead?

My fear is that GM will continue to drag their feet on this. We have seen throught the "Sixteen", "Cien", and even the "Evoq" that Cadillac knows what they need to build. These cars would easily become world leaders if thet would just BUILD them. The XLR was great but by the time it hit the market, M-B, Lexus, and BMW already had similar models in place and Cadillac was last to the party.

Kadonny
04-17-07, 10:22 AM
Give them a little bit of time. This is only the second year for this car. I do agree that they need a bit of work on the tranny. It is a great shifting automatic in terms of smoothness and quickness when it shifts itself, the problem I see too is when in manual mode it does not react quickly enough. Caddy has some time to work on this and I think the new STS-V will have paddle shift handles and hopefully a bit quicker response time on the manual shifts.

I saw an S65 the other day in the city. Boy was is purdy! Those wheels were killer, but I wouldn't want to clean them ;)

bobs-sts-v
04-17-07, 10:50 AM
Dollar for dollar, the V is DEFINITELY the better deal. The quality of the interior on the V is every bit as good as that of the Benz. And since I don't EVER sit in the back seat of my V, my kids will just have to "suffer" with heated seats and real leather. As for having to clean those wheels, it can't be any worse than the problems I had before changing out the pads on mine! Funny how a little bit of brake dust can ruin the look of an otherwise clean car.

One tip on the brake dust issue from my racing friend: Pull the tires, clean the rims front and back, and then wax the heck out of them. While not a solution to the brake dust problem, it really does help with clean up by not letting the dust get hold of the rim - simply hose them off!

Bob

z06bigbird
04-17-07, 08:26 PM
I believe Caddy trannies re built in France, and you know how greasy french fries are.

Ed

z06bigbird
04-17-07, 08:28 PM
Mercedes has always made nice looking cars. Mechanically, they used to be great. A ton of my associates drive them, and they complain about not being able to get them repaired. It almost sounds like the mechanics cannot keep up with the technology.

When you get down to it, GM has that problem with Caddy too.

Ed

sj1400
04-18-07, 02:51 PM
Interesting comments on the trans of the V. I rarely use manumatic controls on my ESV due to the delay. The 06+ A6 Corvette guys have voiced similiar complaints on the Vette page - delayed response using the paddles.

GM-4-LIFE
04-19-07, 05:00 PM
Having owned Mercedes vehicles previously, I wouldn't drive a Mercedes POS if they paid me. Overpriced vehicle, overpriced maintainence, terrible sub-par quality to say the least. People buy them for the name and feel it is prestigious. Hell, I get more looks in my STS-V than I did in my S500.

I LOVE MY STS-V!!!!

SG

dhemrick
04-19-07, 10:03 PM
Having owned Mercedes vehicles previously, I wouldn't drive a Mercedes POS if they paid me. Overpriced vehicle, overpriced maintainence, terrible sub-par quality to say the least. People buy them for the name and feel it is prestigious. Hell, I get more looks in my STS-V than I did in my S500.

I LOVE MY STS-V!!!!

SG

Amen.

Kadonny
04-20-07, 08:32 AM
Amen.

Amen the amen!

thefred
04-20-07, 02:47 PM
Amen the amen!
:yeah:

ryneV
05-03-07, 07:03 AM
Nice as hell I am sure. But at 3x more than the V it better be!

:highfive:

z06bigbird
05-03-07, 10:57 AM
Pass your comments on to GM corporate. There is a section in forum. Maybe someone will listen?????

Po Pimp
05-13-07, 01:56 AM
My fear is that GM will continue to drag their feet on this. We have seen throught the "Sixteen", "Cien", and even the "Evoq" that Cadillac knows what they need to build. These cars would easily become world leaders if thet would just BUILD them. The XLR was great but by the time it hit the market, M-B, Lexus, and BMW already had similar models in place and Cadillac was last to the party.


Let us just take a stroll down memory lane. In 1981 Cadillac released an engine 368cid called the V8-6-4. This was a tremendous flop. The real problem is that they where way ahead of there time with this and the technology could not match what they where trying to achieve. This pushed into production and engine which should not have come out, if at all, until 85'. This was there second flop the notorious 4.1L POS.

Taking a gamble ruined there name. Going from the "Standard of the World" to just another luxury car in a couple of years hurts, bad. This was followed up by GM pushed classics such as the Cimmaron (a real looker I might add) and the Catera.

All this time I think Cadillac has been stewing over the V8-6-4. If this would have worked it would have revolutionized the car world as we know it. If you noticed the Cadillac Sixteen had this system. GMC has put out some models with a similar principle system.

A V12 is supposively coming out in 08' or 09' to my understanding. If you where to add on modulated displacement (or displacement on demand as they call it now) plus variable valve timing you have one bad SOB and maybe even direct injection. That would not only get good gas milage but would put you ass in the back of the seat if you wanted it too. This would put Cadillac back on the map.

Regardless of what they are working on now I do believe it is to get that title back. Standard of the World. Over all these years Cadillac has offered more to the car world then any other car manufacturs or at least I think so. Even some of their inventions have found quite a market outside of the car world like the fiber optic cable. Having all these credits is one thing having people remember and see them again is another. They will deliver in the near future this much I am sure about.