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Discussion Starter #1
I understand AMG marketing this AWD system as a performance one, after all, it's an AMG car and admitting this implementation isn't up to par just wouldn't do.

BUT,

when is a transmission whose default mode is %100 FWD until is feels slippage, and then can transmit up to %50 of the power to the rear, considered a performance transmission? Let alone a unit developed by the wizards in Affalterbach.

I'd expect an AWD performance transmission from AMG to default to something close to 50/50. Knowing the company and what it stands for wouldn't you? I truly don't understand the amount of praise heaped upon this AWD system when it mirrors your average CUV. How is it that other makes (Subaru, Audi, Mitsubishi) put genuine full time performance AWD systems in their cars yet AMG can't?

I don't understand. Please enlighten me.
 

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Before you criticize based on numbers have you seen the video reviews of the CLA45 being driven on a track and on the street? And, if you have, what specifically about those reviews concerns you?

So far, everyone has said the CLA45 has neutral handling. They criticize the fact that you can't get the rear end to come around like in a RWD car but they've all pretty much said that the car is uncompromising in its ability to hold the line. Sounds pretty impressive to me; especially given the rate of speed at which they're throwing the car around a corner. Auto journalists are always going to lament about the absence of RWD or the inability to do a burnout. The CLA45 does not have an AWD system like a rallye car. It never had that purpose in life and most drivers never uncover those extreme capabilities in every day driving anyway. I've owned/driven Haldex enabled cars in the past and while each implementation might be different I am confident in its ability to react immediately and competently. I will always withhold final judgment until I have a chance to get behind the wheel myself but, so far, the critics seem to be pretty unified in their praise for the system...even if they bemoan the absence of RWD in the same sentence.

-Eric
 

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I was very doubtful about this AWD system also, as it seems more for gas mileage than performance... but i have to agree with sue esponte with his assesment. But... I also believe AMG could have done better, but chose this set up for the mileage.
 

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It's always wise to withhold final judgment until you're able to place "ass in seat". My beef is this is not an AWD system I'd expect in an AMG vehicle. Furthermore it's not a system I'd expect AMG to tout as "performance oriented".

As far as inducing over steer, that doesn't happen on many AWD cars unless there's some sort of torque vectoring differential used. My entire argument is based on an AWD system whose default operation is 100% FWD. When slip occurs, up to %50 can be sent to the rear. This, is touted as "performance AWD" when its anything but.

Audi's Quattro, Subaru's Symmetrical AWD, and Acura's SH-AWD are all superior to this system. I understand the marketing speak but IMO the system as I read it is sub par as far as being touted as a performance AWD system. Especially when AMG is doing the touting.

I'm not saying the system won't be perfectly acceptable in this car. It's just the positioning of it that ruffles my feathers.
 

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Even "Quattro" isn't all the same in all Audis. Some Quattro systems use a Torsen differential; others use a Haldex.

All Haldex systems, to the best of my knowledge, are reactive though (they wait to sense a slip and then transfer from the default) so it shouldn't be a surprise that it operates this way in the CLA. I believe the Audi TT's Quattro AWD (Haldex) has a default operating split of something like 98%/2% but it can transfer 100% to the rears if needed. I'm not sure why MB decided to limit the transfer split to 50/50 since the Haldex has the ability to do more or why they chose a default of 100/0 rather than 90/10 or even 98/2. Maybe it does relate to fuel efficiency.

-Eric
 

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Read the new 2015 golf R will be able to send "almost" 100% of power to the rear wheels... 296hp and 280tq, which is exactly the s3's output... thought i was done looking and would choose the cla45 but this changes things... a3 will be less than 2900 pounds so s3 will be around 3000... about 500 less than cla45... apr stage 2 for s3 should make 360hp/335tq easy... that power, 400-500lbs less? Damn... back to 50/50 and undesided for me. If either offered a stick in the US that would be the winner... either way the wait is killing me...
 

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Redmachine, coming from someone that has ordered a CLA45 (and it's currently making its way across the globe to Australia land by boat) my heart sunk a little at the announced specs of the Golf R. It too would have presented me with the challenge of deciding between it and a CLA45. At the end of the day, in my most unbiased opinion, it's still a VW. They're more common than '92 EG Civics. In no way am I saying it's a bad car, however I'd rather pay a little more to get something a more unique and class leading.

The point you raise about tuning shouldn't really play too much of a factor imo. You can always bring up the argument of "well I can just buy an Evo IX for a third of the price of a Golf R, spend a third getting it to 300kwatw and still have money left over for strippers" (or whatever you're into)

Conversely, I love the styling of the new Golf R and considering VW are up to Mk XLVII of the Golf, they surely know what they're doing.

Either way, you'll end up with a great car. Good luck with the decision and keep us informed.
 

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Redmachine, coming from someone that has ordered a CLA45 (and it's currently making its way across the globe to Australia land by boat) my heart sunk a little at the announced specs of the Golf R. It too would have presented me with the challenge of deciding between it and a CLA45. At the end of the day, in my most unbiased opinion, it's still a VW. They're more common than '92 EG Civics. In no way am I saying it's a bad car, however I'd rather pay a little more to get something a more unique and class leading.

The point you raise about tuning shouldn't really play too much of a factor imo. You can always bring up the argument of "well I can just buy an Evo IX for a third of the price of a Golf R, spend a third getting it to 300kwatw and still have money left over for strippers" (or whatever you're into)

Conversely, I love the styling of the new Golf R and considering VW are up to Mk XLVII of the Golf, they surely know what they're doing.

Either way, you'll end up with a great car. Good luck with the decision and keep us informed.
Thanks marko91, I understand your point about the golf-r entirely. But my mentioning of it was really because of it sharing its awd system and engine with the upcoming s3. Which by the way, can be had strait from certain dealers with an apr stage 1 or 2 that should bring power up to or close to cla45 levels in a pachage weighing 400-500 pounds less . No its not my evo x's or sti"s awd system... still an inferior system as is the cla45's, but damn "can send almost 100% of power to the rear wheels" sounds good, as does 350 or so hp and less than 3000lbs ... i cant ignore the numbers and will compare them closely now. Even if ultimately i go for the more exclusive cla45.
 

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Nearly all the early reviews of CLA45 handling are based upon some track time at Bilster Berg in Germany and the reviews have been very favorable. I don't think that any contributors to this forum have driven the CLA45 yet. Given that pro drivers and respected magazine critics are saying good things, it seems like we might be wringing our hands over a non-issue.
 

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Great point David. After watching numerous videos and reading reviews I have no worries of it's capabilities.
 

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I'm sure we've all heard the purists talk down at the AWD system with a max 50/50 split. However, unless you plan on tracking your car frequently (where you may feel the car applying rear brakes to correct understeer during fast corner entry) or see yourself burning rubber on public roads, I don't quite see what all the AWD negativity is about (or the RWD hype).

As a side note, Clarkson's comments on the C63 during a comparison against the RS4 and M3 in Spain: "You don't really drive this car, you cling on for dear life." "This is just an axe murderer with headlights."

Very entertaining video of the C63 sliding around, but how often would you do that on public roads...?
 

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Eric... I totally agree with you.

I would add the following though. I believe the OTHER advantage to this setup is based on a weight savings there are no clutches in this setup to engage/disengage the FRONT wheels... that's why it's at most 50/50 because the front's are always engaged*. The reason the press has found the handling so neutral is because AMG has designed the system to react to more than wheelspin. It doesn't wait for slippage before sending torque to the rear wheels. Full throttle, for example, sends power rearward automatically and instantly, rather than waiting for the front wheels to be overcome first. That's also why there hasn't been even a whisper of torque steer. For the MAJORITY of general driving, however, why waste the torque by applying it to more than two wheels? Take the fuel economy savings and call it a day.

*I read in ONE place that quoted an AMG spokesperson that said in a small handful of cases more than 50% of the torque heads to the rear tires. What I believe that means is that if you have front wheels slipping, but not the rear wheels slipping, if the car is partially on a surface of ice, for example, the traction control that is applying the brakes to the front wheels but not the rear wheels means that more torque is heading rearward. This is generally how Mercedes-Benz 4Matic works.
 

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I'm going to enjoy the strong acceleration and precise handling of my CLA45 on the streets under normal driving conditions. I'm not Boy Racer and It will never be flogged on the race track and it will never be driven like I stole it. I'll bet that an extremely high percentage of other CLA45 owners will fall into the same category. I have zero concerns about the torque split. I have very high confidence that the AMG team will get it right.

Looking forward to my first AMG.....
 

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I'm going to enjoy the strong acceleration and precise handling of my CLA45 on the streets under normal driving conditions. I'm not Boy Racer and It will never be flogged on the race track and it will never be driven like I stole it. I'll bet that an extremely high percentage of other CLA45 owners will fall into the same category. I have zero concerns about the torque split. I have very high confidence that the AMG team will get it right.

Looking forward to my first AMG.....
I have a feeling after driving it for some time you might have a sudden tendency to push this car alittle more than you originally thought. ?


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I have a feeling after driving it for some time you might have a sudden tendency to push this car alittle more than you originally thought. ��
Doubtful, but if there is a sudden flare of testosterone, then I still can't see me telling myself, "Damn, I could have taken that corner at 2 MPH faster if I just had 5% more torque split!" :furious:
 

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Doubtful, but if there is a sudden flare of testosterone, then I still can't see me telling myself, "Damn, I could have taken that corner at 2 MPH faster if I just had 5% more torque split!" :furious:
Yeah... Something like that..


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AMG designed the CLA 45 with the driver in mind naturally. The E/CLS 63's now have 4-Matic as well for 2014 model year as standard. The torque split is 33% Front/67% Rear. Eventually 4-Matic will be in every AMG car. Yes, you heard it hear first. Why? The average driver wants to push their AMG vehicle. Who wouldn't? AWD can help composite from spin outs, wheel spin, and over/under steer. IF the 45 4-Matic works like the 250 it will send power to rear as it is needed within milli seconds. I do not know the torque split on the 45 since I did not have technical training yet. That should be coming next month. Have no worries; the car is a roller skate. ;)
 

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JP, all of the material that MB has issued (including the Order Guide) on the 45 says that the torque split is up to 50/50.

-Eric
 

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JP, all of the material that MB has issued (including the Order Guide) on the 45 says that the torque split is up to 50/50.

-Eric
E:

You and I know that material can be changed. I have technical AMG training next month of the 45. I will confirm it. :)
 
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