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Lisa Simpson
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I went this weekend to the C-Spot drive party from MB.

Very interesting. You filled out a release form and registered. They had a presentation of the car to start with. Lots of little finger food, etc. "Lifestyle" stuff from Saks, Sirius, Harmon Kardon, and MS watches.

Then off to the races. They had an little autocross course set up with a wet section at the beginning. A "dangerous curves" section (not sure what that was), and a hot lap section where you could go out with a professional driver. About 10 minutes after the presentation ended, they called everyone outside to watch a 0-80-0 race between a hopped up C320k and an M5. Of course the C320k won.

I took a C240 wagon out onthe autocross course. I might consider cross shopping it with a Jetta wagon. It was nice, handled well, and took turns without too much leaning over. I certainly pushed it around the course faster than the average driver. :wink:

There was a little paddock set up with pedal cars for the kids - Bernard was apparently the only kid that morning who figured out how to work the pedal cars. They were pushpush pedals, not bike pedals. I let them drive the cars for quite a while. The giveaway was a little R/C C sedan.

If I was kid-free, I would have definitely waited in the hot lap line (it was mobbed!) for a ride. Otherwise, a nice presentation of the cars. The funniest part was when Bernard got really excited about the C320K on display and started yelling about the C-Class in Need4Speed. All the kids in the place (quite a few) turned and started pulling on their parents arms pointing at the car. Both kids were amused by the FnF C coupe with the two tone paint.

edit - I forgot the embarassing part. I loaded the kids into the C wagon (seats and all) and got it. It was running. I couldn't figure out how to get it out of park. :oops: The attendant guy was staring at me as I explained. Bernard (ever helpful) shouts out from the back seat "she drives a manual!" :heart:
 

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atomicalex said:
About 10 minutes after the presentation ended, they called everyone outside to watch a 0-80-0 race between a hopped up C320k and an M5. Of course the C320k won.
What kind of mods are on that C320k? :shock:
 

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I want to go to one of these, sounds like fun :) I know my brother has been to one like this, and had a good time!

atomicalex said:
The attendant guy was staring at me as I explained. Bernard (ever helpful) shouts out from the back seat "she drives a manual!" :heart:
:lol: :lol:
 

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yeah, i couldn't figure out how to get the thing out of park either. You had to push it over or something. Fortunately a guy next to me had a mercesdes and told me how to do it.
 

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That's interesting with the 0-80-0 test, they used an M5 instead of an M3. I thought the C-class matched up with the 3-series in size. Is the M5 slower than the M3 from 0-80-0? Last year, they had the C32 AMG beating the M3 in the same comparison in Denver. I guess I'll attribute that to the altitude and perhaps the M3 being an auto.
 

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Did they put snow tires on the M3, and R compounds on the C320k? :p
 

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hopped up C320k and an M5
I went to two of these things down here. First there is no C320 Kompressor. It's called the C32 AMG, with a V6 and a supercharger. The C320 is nothing more than the 3.2V6 that Mercedes uses in every car they make. Second there was no M5, it was a M3 with SMG. The C32 is nothing to laugh at guys, they haul ass like no other. Nothing to shift and the power is down low. Just put it in D and press the go pedal.
 

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Its a great car, no doubt (well, minus the slushbox). But I personally think its kinda lame to market like that. There's soooo many ways to skew the results (i.e. less gas in the C32, better tires on the C32, different braking methods for the driver in the C32/M3, etc), that they proved absolutely nothing (other than that they are DESPERATE for buyers) by doing that side by side comparison.
 

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I agree it is lame to compare the cars like that, but when you see them go from a standstill you really see how the C32's torque comes into play as it pulls away from the M3. I think they really go full throttle cause the sound from both cars is real nice. But if they compared the two cars on one of their courses, I have a feeling the M3 would win.
 

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I had a crappy time when I attended. They were not even handing out hats. All I got was a bag with just 1 coupon for 10% off when I do buy the MB.

We had ours in the Giant's Staduim parking lot. There was no sidebyside test with the M3. I did, however ride in the C32AMG. No big deal. I can get the same thrill from autocross and I'm driving the car.

I tell you one thing though, I would not spend that kind of money for what feels to be so so luxury. I like how Audi feels, MBs are ok.

How does the autostick work anyway? how do you know which gear your on?
 

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I know the autostick works in a "side to side" motion, move to the right to go up and left to go down (I think, mabey its reversed)

Otherwise, I believe the center display, tells you what gear your in, like the tip-tronic in the B5.

-Nick
 

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Well, my point was that you could hardly see the display.
whats worst is that there was no tacktile feel to know that you actually changed gears. The stick hardly moved.
 

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I just attended one of these events in Kansas City yesterday. It was a good event overall and was similar to the one AA described above minus the kids rides and "dangerous curves" course.

The self-drive course consisted of a slippery wet surface to test the traction control on, a somewhat wet slalom, a dry obstacle avoidance swerve, and a couple of roadcourse-style corners. Of the few that I drove I liked the C 320. It handled pretty well and had good power.

The experience soured a little bit right before I left. I had gotten a good feel for the C 320's handling and decided to put it through the course like it should be driven. I did so a couple of times, not hanging out the tail or excessively squealing the tires, but making very good time. The car handled beautifully but I got chewed out for "driving too fast" and by doing so "inspiring the other drivers to drive too fast". They acknowledged that I had the car in complete control the whole time.

I guess my advice is to go and have fun but don't treat any of their courses like a hot lap. Treat it like a very thorough street test drive and you'll be fine.

Overall, it was a good set up. They had gourmet food, air conditioned areas, luxury bathrooms (no porta-potties here!), and the lines weren't terribly long to get in or to drive the cars.
 

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Nice review.
Your kids are great, too. They say the darndest things, eh? :)
 

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atomicalex said:
I went this weekend to the C-Spot drive party from MB.

Very interesting. You filled out a release form and registered. They had a presentation of the car to start with. Lots of little finger food, etc. "Lifestyle" stuff from Saks, Sirius, Harmon Kardon, and MS watches.

Then off to the races. They had an little autocross course set up with a wet section at the beginning. A "dangerous curves" section (not sure what that was), and a hot lap section where you could go out with a professional driver. About 10 minutes after the presentation ended, they called everyone outside to watch a 0-80-0 race between a hopped up C320k and an M5. Of course the C320k won.

I took a C240 wagon out onthe autocross course. I might consider cross shopping it with a Jetta wagon. It was nice, handled well, and took turns without too much leaning over. I certainly pushed it around the course faster than the average driver. :wink:

There was a little paddock set up with pedal cars for the kids - Bernard was apparently the only kid that morning who figured out how to work the pedal cars. They were pushpush pedals, not bike pedals. I let them drive the cars for quite a while. The giveaway was a little R/C C sedan.

If I was kid-free, I would have definitely waited in the hot lap line (it was mobbed!) for a ride. Otherwise, a nice presentation of the cars. The funniest part was when Bernard got really excited about the C320K on display and started yelling about the C-Class in Need4Speed. All the kids in the place (quite a few) turned and started pulling on their parents arms pointing at the car. Both kids were amused by the FnF C coupe with the two tone paint.

edit - I forgot the embarassing part. I loaded the kids into the C wagon (seats and all) and got it. It was running. I couldn't figure out how to get it out of park. :oops: The attendant guy was staring at me as I explained. Bernard (ever helpful) shouts out from the back seat "she drives a manual!" :heart:
You're soooooo lucky I live no where near you !!! Note to self: Slap Katherine in the head should you ever meet her again just for suggesting that. PS: Should she actually do that, take flight to Michigan with sole purpose of slapping her upside the head.

The C240 is a 168hp 2.6 ltr V6. A real dog if you add 4MATIC and turn the a/c on... And you wanna talk DBW lag ???
 
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