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On this episode of Wide Open Throttle, Jessi Lang and other Motor Trend hosts discuss the entry-level Mercedes-Benz CLA after debating the good and bad attributes of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT. Additionally, Angus MacKenzie, Scott Mortara, Ed Loh, and Carlos Lago speculate on the new BMW and Toyota midsize sports vehicle collaboration, providing new insight on the much-talked-about tie-up.

The hosts begin by discussing whether the SLS AMG GT raises the bar for the supercar with Lago saying he’s not sure the supercar needed a 20-hp bump to 583 hp. The extra power makes it easier to get the SLS AMG GT’s rear end to step out, but it’s more of a handful around a road course. With the engine set so far back, the handling makes the car feel more like a front mid-engine car. The hosts then talk about similar cars from the German automaker’s past and present and the upcoming SLS AMG Black Series. Next, the discussion moves to the new BMW and Toyota partnership to build a midsize sports vehicle. MacKenzie says the new car may not be a new Toyota Supra or an entry-level sports coupe as previously suggested, instead speculating that the automakers will co-develop a flexible architecture to underpin a new Lexus sports coupe to help the brand become more of a global luxury player, plus either a new BMW Z4 or 2 Series.
Finally, the hosts discuss the new 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA four-door and whether a $30,000 front-drive based Mercedes will water down the brand or impact sales of similarly priced mainstream sedans.
 

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As long as Mercedes doesn't cheapen the quality of design and parts to make a quick buck than I don't think so. If they slip on this front than I think ppl will have a reason to complain.
 

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As long as Mercedes doesn't cheapen the quality of design and parts to make a quick buck than I don't think so. If they slip on this front than I think ppl will have a reason to complain.
Agree.


It won't water down the brand unless it's built really cheap and doesn't hold the same quality and everything else you expect from a Mercedes in it.

The closest thing it will to do "watering down the brand" is bringing in first time Mercedes Benz buyers that could only afford cars in the $30-40k range tops making not as desirable to own.
 

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I dont there is any watering down in the brand. The only thing i can see anybody complaining about is some of the current snobby Mercedes owners complaining how mercedes is making their cars easier to reach in terms of price. But this move will bring in lots of revenues and possibly be selling more in volume. I just hope that the quality and craftsmanship is the same as the higher end models.
 

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Water down the brand? I would see the CLA taking sales away from the C250. I don't see it effecting many other cars.
 

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Considering that Mercedes has been making semis, garbage trucks, Unimogs, vans and stripper taxis for decades, anyone who thinks there is watering down going on with the CLA is clueless.
 

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Considering that Mercedes has been making semis, garbage trucks, Unimogs, vans and stripper taxis for decades, anyone who thinks there is watering down going on with the CLA is clueless.
So true, Mercedes makes a lot of vehicles not just the coupes, sedans and SUV's we see in America.

First time looking into the brand I was surprised to see the made multi use vans (sprinter), trucks, etc.

Happy to see Mercedes is finally catering to the $30k range sedan market now.
 

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Considering that Mercedes has been making semis, garbage trucks, Unimogs, vans and stripper taxis for decades, anyone who thinks there is watering down going on with the CLA is clueless.
This is so true they make polices vans and industrial trucks in other countries that north america doesnt even get to see.
 
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