PH BLOG: GO WITH THE FLOW Why flow matters more than horsepower or 0-60 willy wagglin

renault12ts

MB Club Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
16,397
Car
2005 W215 CL500.
Interesting...I suppose its the old thing about being in the right gear at the right time and trying to anticipate and use less brakes. Maintaining momentum as opposed to sheer brute application of power.

Sometimes a car can be too powerful for the road, hence his 220 v. 63 analogy.
 

renault12ts

MB Club Veteran
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
16,397
Car
2005 W215 CL500.
When I had a 180, once you got up there it was easy to maintain the speed...but flow was the key. I didn't know it was called that, but the way the guy describes it is spot on.

I remember testing 2 T5 Volvo 850s in the 90s, one an auto, the other a manual. The power in certain circumstances was unusable because the front wheels could actually still be spun in 3rd. They were a little frustrating on winding B roads, because you were being careful not to overcook the throttle, whereas with less power where this was unlikely to happen, you could achieve that flow.
 

wemorgan

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Messages
8,106
Car
A205 C220d
but do you actually get the same sense of sheer fun you'd get from a Lotus or an MX-5?

The cliche-o-matic did register the inevitable MX-5 mention though...

Nice article, thanks for the link.

Cliche tend to be true though, both the MX5 and Elise make good use of the modest power they have by having 'flow'
 

@MARK

Active Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
Messages
756
Location
Spalding, Lincolnshire
Car
Audi A7 Quattro
One thing not mentioned here is the driver.

Planing ahead and preparing for what is going to happen next can make a huge difference to the momentum and the progress you then make (one of the basic things taught on advanced driving).

I get where the writer of the above article is coming from but in the hands of an inexperienced driver or unskilled driver no car will "flow"
 

Will

Hardcore MB Enthusiast
SUPPORTER
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
Messages
12,404
Location
Surrey
Car
GL63 AMG / 190E 2.5-16 / Porsche 911
It's a very good point about the 'usability' of a car. These days the arms race continues amongst the Germans. MB vs. BMW and Audi with 400/500bhp+ road cars - how much of that can realistically be used :eek:

My CLK55 is (and has been) a great car, but when I first sold my immaculate 2.5-16 I missed the driving experience for a while. Although the 190E had ~ 140bhp less, I reckon it could cover ground on most roads at a very similar pace to the CLK, you could use every drop of power on tap and the chassis setup was brilliant :cool:
 

finisterre

Active Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2010
Messages
949
Location
Buxton
Car
Vito, Z4, 530i touring
You probably have some flow going if you can make progress and the Mrs only notices when cornering tyre noise becomes intrusive.


Smooth, sweeping, sweat free, a quiet pleasure.

bhp isn't relevant to driving enjoyment for me.
 
Last edited:

Nasco12

Active Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
371
Location
Twickenham
Car
W202 C240 1999 Green; Previous: W202 C200
It's a very good point about the 'usability' of a car. These days the arms race continues amongst the Germans. MB vs. BMW and Audi with 400/500bhp+ road cars - how much of that can realistically be used :eek:

On a steep uphill section of an unrestricted autobahn: quite a lot.
 

Will

Hardcore MB Enthusiast
SUPPORTER
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
Messages
12,404
Location
Surrey
Car
GL63 AMG / 190E 2.5-16 / Porsche 911
On a steep uphill section of an unrestricted autobahn: quite a lot.

Which we don't have much of over here :eek:

Don't get me wrong, power is great - but just pointing out that the opportunity to utilise it is quite rare these days.

Even in my 10 year old CLK, if you put your foot right down to overtake something on the motorway, before you know it you're at 120mph+

500bhp+ is great but for 95% of the time it's just not getting used.

Was sitting next to a brand new '61 plate black G55 Kompressor in traffic for about 1/2 hour in a crawling mile long cue of traffic earlier. That's the reality :(
 

bolide

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 8, 2005
Messages
3,724
Location
Brighton
Car
BMW E39 525 Diesel Touring
I remember my 944 being very good at that. It wasn't a particularly quick car but it would cover ground so easily without having to work hard. I think softer-riding cars are better at this because they discourage over-driving

Nick Froome
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Dieselman

Banned
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
34,206
Car
Peugeot 403 Convertible
A good article.
Have you ordered your 220Cdi yet Don?
 

Dieselman

Banned
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
34,206
Car
Peugeot 403 Convertible
After you.

Tough one that.
For fuel economy and overall performance it's not a bad idea, but getting behind a fairly vocal 4 banger after possibly the smoothest and nicest sounding 6 pot sludgeburner would take some getting used to.


Think I'll keep stuffing tenners into the spare wheel well for now.
 

blue gnome123

Active Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2010
Messages
471
The road pictured with the MX5 has a great downhill flow on a roadbike. +50mph possible. Otherwise great article but I think that they need to define "flow" a little more.
 

trainer

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Dec 27, 2007
Messages
1,144
Location
Staffordshire
Car
C32 AMG - Sold October 2013
My BMW118D company car is a great car for driving on winding roads and is proabably as quick round the bends as the C32. They are both great in different ways.
 

st4

Banned
Joined
Mar 1, 2008
Messages
14,373
Location
In the driving seat
Car
C220cdi tourer
Tough one that.
For fuel economy and overall performance it's not a bad idea, but getting behind a fairly vocal 4 banger after possibly the smoothest and nicest sounding 6 pot sludgeburner would take some getting used to.


Think I'll keep stuffing tenners into the spare wheel well for now.

They're quiet good, not quite as good as a 6pot, but driven one over a usable span, and been a passanger in two C classes with the new tt engine.

To be honest, as nice as the V6 is, these really aren't bad.

I get the article all right, nice roads, nice car to drive, both my 211's were a joy. I had a 4.4i X5 which simply was not, great fast car but it didn't have that "feel" and the servotronic steering I never could get on with.

Both the mercs glide along, at decent speed and let you enjoy a "drive".

Out of place - no chance

DSC_0503.jpg


DSC_0499.jpg

DSC_0075.jpg
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom