CLS 55 AMG vs R35 GTR

szucchet

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Hey everyone! The car bug has bit again and I am currently looking at potentially adding a r35 to the family, have an amazing CLS 55 AMG with a few tasty mods and tune from MSL that should be pushing between 550-580hp (depending on correction values). Wanted to know if anyone has had a go in both an R35 GTR and a CLS/E 55 AMG and would like to share the comparisons? Have a test drive booked on a GTR for Saturday next week so will add my experience to this thread :)
 

John

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Back in the days when I was planning to buy one around 2013/14, I spoke to a guy (who funnily enough was at MSLP when I was there) and he had had an AMG and then a GT-R.

I asked him how they compared and his thoughts were the Nissan is great off the line up to 62 but the larger displacement of the AMGs from the 00s tended to reel in the Nissan.

The Nissan was obviously much sharper on handling and as a track car of course belying it's weight.

But he also thought the build quality of the Nissan was not so good in comparison and things like the paint was too thin.

Being 6'4", I also didn't fit in one comfortably either...

So I gave up on the idea!

I guess if you go in with your eyes open it should be fine.

Make sure you get one with the (IIRC) 2011 gearbox mods.

Litchfield are held in very high regard for looking after them.
 
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szucchet

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Really interesting! I am 6'4" as well, was recently a passenger in a DBA (2011). I fit in the passenger seat and the driver's seat (but didnt drive) without any issues, we went for a few runs and whilst the straight line performance was similar (up until my mate turned to the 1000hp map :eek:), it's how he took the corners and went through round abouts whilst I was understreeting through them that really impressed me. We were both running fresh MPS4S tyres.

The drama of the GTR was also quite exciting, I think the lack of refinement makes it feel more racecar, however, the M113K engine noise cannot be beaten - probably the sole reason I will do everything I can to make owning both a reality 😂

Its funny but I have heard of many people moving on from AMG's to GTRs, I wonder if there is a reason?
 

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Really interesting! I am 6'4" as well, was recently a passenger in a DBA (2011). I fit in the passenger seat and the driver's seat (but didnt drive) without any issues, we went for a few runs and whilst the straight line performance was similar (up until my mate turned to the 1000hp map :eek:), it's how he took the corners and went through round abouts whilst I was understreeting through them that really impressed me. We were both running fresh MPS4S tyres.

The drama of the GTR was also quite exciting, I think the lack of refinement makes it feel more racecar, however, the M113K engine noise cannot be beaten - probably the sole reason I will do everything I can to make owning both a reality 😂

Its funny but I have heard of many people moving on from AMG's to GTRs, I wonder if there is a reason?

I could fit in both sides of the car but I wasn't comfortable. I'm also 20st / 123kg (Freddie Flintoff build) and so need a bit of estate around me and a bit more adjustment in the front seats is required...!

For me, a move to the GT-R would have been to tick the box as I've always loved the look of the GT-R. They have enormous presence, look great from all angles and the engine note is distinctive and sounds great despite it missing 2 cylinders from my preferred engines!

I've also read a fair few people going back from GT-R to AMG over the years.

I imagine there are too many possible reasons to try and conclude here... suffice to say when you are a petrol head, simply "getting from A to B" doesn't feature!

I tried to get into Lexus when I last changed but despite the Lexus products doing things very well (specifically the out-gone GS), it was boring to drive and lacked any character / personality. I never realised that was important to me until it made itself obvious. So despite a huge saving for the GS over my 222 S500L as well as the GS being nearly new (obviously not comparing apples with apples here but I would feel the same about GS vs E Class), I couldn't get away from MB that time...
 
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szucchet

szucchet

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Hahaha well I am 90 kg and +- 5kg depending on how much food I decide to demolish in the previous week. Admittedly I didnt drive and wasnt a passenger for long so something I will have to keep in mind when viewing a few examples. Although the CLS would definitely be seeing the daily use.

Yes I compeltely know what you mean! I feel a C63 would be the same for myself (another car I was looking at) so decided to stay away - key things I will be looking for is the handling and power deliery from a dig. I know the CLS will sound better, but if it doesnt handle considerably better or pull like a train then I'll probably pocket the money and potentially look at another power upgrade ;)

I do love the look of them and also think the tuning potential would keep me staisfied in the same platform for some time to come :)

I wonder how many people run both a GTR and AMG :rolleyes:
 

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Hahaha well I am 90 kg and +- 5kg depending on how much food I decide to demolish in the previous week. Admittedly I didnt drive and wasnt a passenger for long so something I will have to keep in mind when viewing a few examples. Although the CLS would definitely be seeing the daily use.

Yes I compeltely know what you mean! I feel a C63 would be the same for myself (another car I was looking at) so decided to stay away - key things I will be looking for is the handling and power deliery from a dig. I know the CLS will sound better, but if it doesnt handle considerably better or pull like a train then I'll probably pocket the money and potentially look at another power upgrade ;)

I do love the look of them and also think the tuning potential would keep me staisfied in the same platform for some time to come :)

I wonder how many people run both a GTR and AMG :rolleyes:

I found my E55K (so same platform as your CLS55) to be very comfortable indeed (not quite S Class but close enough!). I would certainly test drive a car for long enough now to establish any potential issues with required levels of comfort. I don't know how old you are but it gets worse as you get older even if you hit the gym! I'm mid 40s...

I've never driven a GT-R but I can imagine the handling is night and day in comparison.

I've not seen many on here running both I don't think - if any.

I would have moved from E55K to GT-R had I done that so I wouldn't be on that list either!

If you did run both, at least you could move on the GT-R if it didn't work out and you'd still have a motor you are happy with.
 
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Jobsworth

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I maintain an R35 GTR for a pal who competes with it in the GRRC sprint series. We’ve won the spring sprint three times with the car. We have been up against some serious machines, but the only one that comes close is Paul Kenney who also drives an R35 GTR. The car is nicknamed “fast tractor”. Refined it ain’t. The gearbox is clunky and very vocal. It does the job though. We’ve upgraded with dodson clamps to replace the circlips that hold the gears to the shafts. The engine has upgrade rods and hybrid turbos, makes 1000bhp, but testing has proved that the 850 map gives the fastest lap time. It’ll perform a single lap of goodwood circuit from a standing start in 83 seconds on a good day.
 

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CF927-E88-4861-4146-8-EE0-21-ACDBCA1-E30.jpg

Here she is, parked next to something decent ;)
 
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szucchet

szucchet

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I found my E55K (so same platform as your CLS55) to be very comfortable indeed (not quite S Class but close enough!). I would certainly test drive a car for long enough now to establish any potential issues with required levels of comfort. I don't know how old you are but it gets worse as you get older even if you hit the gym! I'm mid 40s...

I've never driven a GT-R but I can imagine the handling is night and day in comparison.

I've not seen many on here running both I don't think - if any.

I would have moved from E55K to GT-R had I done that so I wouldn't be on that list either!

If you did run both, at least you could move on the GT-R if it didn't work out and you'd still have a motor you are happy with.
In my late 20s, so maybe thats a factor, not really fussed with the comfort levels unless its atrocious 😂 My first car was a 1989 doublecab Hilux and I think thats recalibrated my definition of uncomfortable- doubt anything will ever be that bad (or stout)

Very interested to see my thoughts after the drive, also thinking along the same lines as you due to them seeming to hold value quite well!

The CSL/E 55 AMGs are awesome, its only when you have it on the stiffest suspension setting and boot it that it turns from a comfortable cruiser into a WTF IS GOING ON car for the passengers 😂😂😂
 
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szucchet

szucchet

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Look
CF927-E88-4861-4146-8-EE0-21-ACDBCA1-E30.jpg

Here she is, parked next to something decent ;)
Looks amazing! Did think of the SL before I got the CLS - is the performance difference even for something more stock that big? I’d be looking to use it more on the road, track wear and tear costs would bankrupt me 😂
 
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szucchet

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Wanted to come full circle for anyone that might have this question in the future, my initial questions were is the GTR worth the premium and is the CLS that much slower.

The first question is all based on your personal goals, taste and circumstances however, having test driven a 2012 Stage 2 and 2015 Stage 4.25 (on the lower power map) GTR I can say that I really didn't notice a drop in interior quality when compared to the CLS. The dash wasn't leather and there was definitely no luxury wood trim but 5 minutes into the drive I realised they filled completely different markets and the part leather trim was more than great for what the GTR offered. Maybe if the CLS was born in the same years the difference would be bigger but I was happy with the GTR interior. My first car was a 1989 Toyota double cab so I speak from authority when it comes to crap interiors 😂.

Drive wise the biggest differences was in comfort and performance, the seats and ride in the CLS 55 were miles more comfortable than the GTR, I have driven 8+ hours in a row without any issues in my CLS 55 AMG, whilst I don't think I'd have an issue with the same trip in the GTR, the massage chairs in the CLS are definitely a better place to be on motorway cruises and my rear passengers wouldn't need to be yoga pro's to fit in - the rear seats on the GTR are really just there for banter. Now in the twisties, the GTR comes to life! Its seats are more bolstered and this along with the far more engaging chassis and steering mean that you feel like you are cocooned in a race car, giving you more confidence to push harder (but never over the speed limit ;) ). The power delivery in the GTR is also different, not better or worse but just different. I think the DCT on the GTR really makes the experience more interactive while the Merc's 5 speed is honestly a its biggest let down when compared to more modern cars... Engine wise the GTR pinned me back in my seat a lot more aggressively and for longer than the CLS55, but then again it didn't have the AMG roar that honestly is irreplaceable. The GTRs were running more power, so its not an apples to apple comparison when it comes to the butt dyno because for that price I recon you'd get one of the specialist tuners (whats up MSL @ACID) to turn the AMG 5.5 into a missile 🤣

Cornering feedback through the GTR is 100% night and day compared to the CLS 55 AMG, reminding me more of the e46 I used to have but better. The grip levels mid corner are also unbelievably better and the GTR lets you know where the limit is at all time, constantly reminding you how you dont have the skill, will power or quality of lawyers needed to go anywhere near its limits! The CLS 55 AMG on the other hand makes up for this lack of raw grip with the ability to hang its tail out gracefully at your every wish.

At the end of the experience, I realised the GTR isn't a CLS 55 AMG replacement, it fits a different more performance focused role whilst the AMG is a better all rounder. Funny writing that as everyone I have taken for a ride in my AMG has thought its already too fast - they say power corrupts right? :) The answer to my own question is that it is worth the premium over the CLS but it is not a CLS 55 AMG replacement and in an ideal world I'd own both, the CLS 55 AMG as a sublime daily and the GTR for those Sunday morning blasts.

Time for some serious man maths now to figure out how I can afford to own both......
 
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Jibbajabba

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1989 crap interior? My first car was a 1974 VW Polo 1 lol. Even doors were bare inside haha.

Gosh I feel old
 

breeze247

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My perspective, for what it is worth. I have a 2003 CLK55 and have driven over an extended drive (45 mins or so) an R35 GTR.

I think most AMGs over the period are not great drivers cars, although they are great for covering miles and enjoying the V8 / torque that goes along with it. I guess somewhere around the W204 C63 AMG started creating sharper and more engaging cars, but earlier than that I don’t think that the last word in driver involvement was really what they were about. I think the GTR is more fun to drive than the earlier AMGs but still not amazing. I’d give the old school AMGs 4 stars and the GTR 4.5 for driving if that makes sense. Cabin not great on the GTR by the way. GTR I drove had what I think was the basic Litchfield map with (I think) a down pipe or something like that.

Would you consider something like a Carrera? Perhaps a manual 997.2 S?

P.S. I appreciate I may have offended some people but, for the record, I think my CLK is good as a package and the old school AMG offer is a special one.
 
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szucchet

szucchet

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My perspective, for what it is worth. I have a 2003 CLK55 and have driven over an extended drive (45 mins or so) an R35 GTR.

I think most AMGs over the period are not great drivers cars, although they are great for covering miles and enjoying the V8 / torque that goes along with it. I guess somewhere around the W204 C63 AMG started creating sharper and more engaging cars, but earlier than that I don’t think that the last word in driver involvement was really what they were about. I think the GTR is more fun to drive than the earlier AMGs but still not amazing. I’d give the old school AMGs 4 stars and the GTR 4.5 for driving if that makes sense. Cabin not great on the GTR by the way. GTR I drove had what I think was the basic Litchfield map with (I think) a down pipe or something like that.

Would you consider something like a Carrera? Perhaps a manual 997.2 S?

P.S. I appreciate I may have offended some people but, for the record, I think my CLK is good as a package and the old school AMG offer is a special one.
Id argue that the GTR interior like the CLS 55 AMG will be more timeless and only age better as time goes on - I am personally not a fan of all the screens in the new cars. All personal taste but A rolex from the 1990s still looks great whilst digital watch from the same period although more superior doesn't cary the charm.
Wouldn't personally consider a 911, a great car but doesn’t speak to me personally. I like to be outside the box and the 911 seems like an easy choice 😂.
 

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Interesting read on the comparisons and thoughts of the AMG & GTR.
I have both a w204 C63 (estate) - this being my daily driver and MY17 GTR (my 3rd - 2009, 2011, 2017)

Both are nice in their own right and do have divided opinions with folk.
I have the younger generation who are GTR all day long whereas the purists and over 40's sway toward the Merc.

Performance:
The Merc is a wolf in sheeps clothing, let's be honest. It sounds great, goes well and is a nice place to be.
The GTR (in Katsura Orange) does stand out. It sounds well from outside (so I am told) but less so when behind the wheel. It's quick, make no mistake.

Comfort:
Both have all the toys required. The seats in the Merc hug you like a Grandmother coming to visit. The GTR (and I have said this on all 3 models) is a lovely, comfortable drive. I have driven 300+ miles on many occassions with only a quick 'call of nature' stop. No drama, no sore back or discomfort (I would imagine the CLS would or should match or better this).
I agree with the rear seats in the GTR, these are purely for show. A salesman told me he travelled over 200 miles with 4 adults on a trip. Unsure how.
The drivers seat is cramped (I'm 6'1" with arms and legs like an Orang Utang)

Running Costs:
More or less the same. More miles per tank from the Nissan, same road rent per year.

So, which would I choose when leaving the house...
The Merc wins it for me. It just 'works'.
Nice to have both so I have the option when the mood suits.

That said, my previous 911's were more of a drivers car...if they were more practical (ie had a boot and space in the rear for 'stuff', this would be my preferred choice.)
For the money, the GTR is one hell of a car though :cool:

Hope this helps
 
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szucchet

szucchet

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Interesting read on the comparisons and thoughts of the AMG & GTR.
I have both a w204 C63 (estate) - this being my daily driver and MY17 GTR (my 3rd - 2009, 2011, 2017)

Both are nice in their own right and do have divided opinions with folk.
I have the younger generation who are GTR all day long whereas the purists and over 40's sway toward the Merc.

Performance:
The Merc is a wolf in sheeps clothing, let's be honest. It sounds great, goes well and is a nice place to be.
The GTR (in Katsura Orange) does stand out. It sounds well from outside (so I am told) but less so when behind the wheel. It's quick, make no mistake.

Comfort:
Both have all the toys required. The seats in the Merc hug you like a Grandmother coming to visit. The GTR (and I have said this on all 3 models) is a lovely, comfortable drive. I have driven 300+ miles on many occassions with only a quick 'call of nature' stop. No drama, no sore back or discomfort (I would imagine the CLS would or should match or better this).
I agree with the rear seats in the GTR, these are purely for show. A salesman told me he travelled over 200 miles with 4 adults on a trip. Unsure how.
The drivers seat is cramped (I'm 6'1" with arms and legs like an Orang Utang)

Running Costs:
More or less the same. More miles per tank from the Nissan, same road rent per year.

So, which would I choose when leaving the house...
The Merc wins it for me. It just 'works'.
Nice to have both so I have the option when the mood suits.

That said, my previous 911's were more of a drivers car...if they were more practical (ie had a boot and space in the rear for 'stuff', this would be my preferred choice.)
For the money, the GTR is one hell of a car though :cool:

Hope this helps
love this! Aligns very much with my thoughts and why the CLS will remain 😊😊😊

What are you thoughts on the GTR years? Debating a DBA vs EBA… more on performance and feel so leaning towards the cheaper costs of the DBA (looking at 2012-2014). But keen to know if the 2017 is worth saving and paying for 😊
 

grum71

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There is a noticable difference with the 3 models:

Nissan GTR garage.jpg

The 1st was [CBA] Pearl white (2009), black edition (non nav - which wasn't available on the early cars).
Nissan allowed all new owners a track day experience at Silverstone (food and crash helmet provided, of which I still have (helmet not food).
The car was the 'new kid on the block' and like nothing anyone had ever seen (TV and media aside). It had everyones attention and is probably on several old nokia/motorola picture feeds in the back of a drawer.
Not wanting to tarnish the dealer but...they messed up with pre paint when removing a 'black mark' on collection day. Ruined the whole experience as it was returned several times for correction.
It was a hooligan and, the moment you went above 40mph it drew you in like a moth to a flame ("Don't look at the light....I can't help it it's so beautiful...Bzzzt!")
A real licence loser. Sold it and returned to an E92 M3 (great cars)


Nissan GTR.jpg

The 2nd [DBA} in Daytona Blue (2011). I bought this as I was best man 3 times in 2011 (for my sins) and we wanted something a bit 'special' for Grooms transport
This was just an amazing car. Different seats to the '09, more power, sat nav and I had the Y pipe fitted.
Stunning!!
It stayed much longer than the 1st one and, I was sad to see it leave (px/ for a 911 so, that cushioned the blow a little)

Screenshot_20200301-151450_Gallery.jpg

The 3rd (and latest) is the MY17 (EBA).
Interior has been updated to a much more upmarket feel. The Info screen no longer looks like an afterthought (akin to the later A & C class Mercs IHMO), the seats very similar to the 2011 model (both Recaro), the cosmetic mods to the front and rear bumpers and also the wheels make it look that bit sharper.
It is a big ol' bus and, when sitting next to newer cars does look dated.
It is a nice place to be although, as previously mentioned, is cramped and interior space is at a premium.

Pro's:
It has a boot
Is comfortable
Has some nice toys
Can be used as a daily if required
It stands out over most other cars on the road (if you like that)
It does gain respect on the road (previous cars - 911's, R8 etc don't)
It's 'a bit nippy'

Cons:
Nearest Specialist is at least 2 hours from me (I use Litchfield which is over 200 so, 450 mile round trip each year just on servicing)
Rear seats are for show
It stands out over most other cars on the road (I'm not a fan so much nowadays)
It's 'a bit nippy' (you can scare most people and also the driver when 'making progress')

Prices have rocketed recently so, 12 months ago, less than £55k would have bought you a MY17, you'll be lucky to find one less than £65k (with low miles)
The DBA car is great in the right colour
The EBA is well worth the extra, if you can justify it.
Or do you get a well cared for, 997 turbo for similar?

Hope this helps...
(Oh...and don't sell the AMG for one - you'll miss the space, noise and general practicality)
 
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