Tales From The Cooler: Is Mercedes-Benz All Washed Upton?
Our Managing Editor is losing sleep over the imminent collapse of the BMW and Mercedes-Benz brand images due to their upcoming sub-$30,000 models. When you are finished with your 27th viewing of Benz’s sneak peek at their Super Bowl ad above, let’s discuss.
For those of you staid, get-off-my-lawn, traditional German car owners like myself, you probably don’t know that the girl washing the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA is named Kate Upton. She is an actress or something. All I know is the ad will certainly raise awareness of the Daimler brand and piqué the curiosity of Derek’ s Gen Why peers about the new class of budget-priced Benz automobiles. I think the pitch works, no matter your age. If Mercedes-Benz can throw in a Last Time Buyer’s by Browse to Save" href="http://webmail.earthlink.net/wam/msg.jsp?msgid=17571&folder=INBOX&isSeen=true&x=391691625##">financing program, I might even purchase a CLA.
The video is almost as sexy as the granddaddy of all car washing scenes, the one featuring Joy Harmon hosing down a coupe in the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke. (The star of the movie, Paul Newman, was also an accomplished race car driver.)
So will this blatant pandering to the next generation of Mercedes-Benz owners help or hurt the brand?
I learned more about this CLA from Lewis Hamilton's recent video of his visit to AMG.
I don't get much of the hate for the CLA, except for the fact that it's front wheel drive and cheaper than a C-Class. It's only in America that they care whether Mercedes sells cars cheaper than the E-Class. The rest of the world merrily accepts A-Class and B-Class Mercs, as well as Mercedes vans that are about as luxurious as airline coach. I think the CLA is a pretty good idea. Create a sub-C-Class that isn't an ungainly plastic-lined box on wheels (B-Class) that looks somewhat good, promises to drive somewhat well, and has the aerodynamics of a bar of soap (0.23 cd? Insane). The CLA has a longer wheelbase and more leg-room than the ungainly 1-series five-door and offers 150 mph performance from just 208 hp thanks to its slippery shape. You'd think that would make people happy, but all anyone can focus on is that you can get a much bigger, much faster Camry for the same money. Well... duh. The B-Class was also Camry money, but was an utter piece of poop. We ought to be celebrating the fact that Mercedes is offering something more stylish and faster for similar money. Not that I would buy any "premium" car... absolute waste of money. But if you were, why not pick a good one?
Not crazy about her skinny legs but the add is a hoot!! It may be the best thing MB has come up with in years. Lets wait for a road test b-4 we get too crazy here.... It just might be a solid BMW competitor.As far as Hyundai and Kia are concerned...they need to be!!!
Pretty good looking car for MB and a FWD platform. They going to have optional Ford style AWD? (FWD based AWD via viscious coupling) or are they not even bothering with that. I rented a C class as was disappointed with how it drives - well behind Audi, BMW and probably Infiniti. It had surprising numb steering for RWD and alot of turbo lag from the 1.8 liter engine even in sport mode. So not sure they are really going for driving dynamics anyway. This looks to be some competition for Ford/Dodge in the decent looking sedan department. (Expect the new Avenger replacement to be nice looking..) Dodge already made the best looking domestic cars and teaming up with italians won't change that.. BMW is the one that really shouldn't go FWD with BMWs. They should expand the mini line instead.