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.