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Big Bang Theories - HSV W427 vs M-B CLS63 AMG

Jonathan Hawley
24 September 2008
www.wheelsmag.com.au

A few tenths and $115K separates Australia's new performance king from one of Germany's fastest. Can the CLS63 justify its premium, or will the W427 be exposed as a pretender?

It's unlikely that David Hube and Donald L Henley have ever met, but I’d like to think they have a lot in common, apart from their initials. Both, I can safely assume, are working men, with dirt beneath their fingernails and can-do attitudes. I like to think Don enjoys hot dogs on the grill, and watching the Detroit Lions on cable over a Michelob or three. Herr Hube, I fancy, favours watching ‘his’ VfB Stuttgart boys on Eurosport, taking the kids for a weekend ride in the forests near Affalterbach, and sitting down to a big spread of pork knuckle and sauerkraut.

During the working week they live parallel lives, despite being separated by two continents and the Atlantic Ocean. You see, these guys are responsible for building two of the best damn V8s, ever. I know this because Don’s name appears on a plate fixed to the rocker cover of the LS7 in our HSV W427. Dave’s moniker, meanwhile, adorns the 6.2-litre beast that lurks beneath the swooping bonnet of our white Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG. Gents, even if you’re each unaware of the other’s existence, we salute you.

Combined, the fruits of their labour displace 13.2 litres and produce more than 1000 horsepower. The HSV’s roots are prosaically Australian with American input, while the AMG is upper-class German through and through. Their differences are many – including body shape, price, equipment levels and even transmission type – but their basic aim is the same: to provide big-bore V8 grunt at the press of a throttle pedal.

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Man does that W427 look hot or what cant say that about that ugly looking M-B CLS63 AMG the W427 is worth 150 grand just alone on those good looks i rather be sceen in W427 than that CLS63 come on who designed that car toyota because thats ugly
 

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I love the look of the Holden but I can't stand bright red interiors, never have. The only thing worse would be white/cream color on the inside.

It is hard to compare the Lexus like those in the comment section do if you ask me. I could easily call the Holden a family car as all 3 kids would easily fit in the back seat but the Lexus IS-F is much smaller. As a drivers car I'm sure the Lexus is fun if you don't like to shift it yourself.
 

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Be nice to see the HSV get a few more gadgets, not saying they need the radar controlled cruise control and such, but auto sensing wipers and such should be available as standard. Would be also to see a different interior.... that red is well... RED!!!! and there isnt too much to tone it done.

That being said, at $115k difference in price, you pay alot more for little performance gain with the Merc. You get lots of fancy gadgets, or from another perspective, lots more fancy things that can go wrong :).

Anyone have any idea on how much of the Merc's price tag is luxury car tax?
 

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I'm surprised Holden can charge so much for their cars. This is a lot of money for their car. The Mercesdes? Yeah, they are all way overpriced too.

It's odd that I can get an G8 for less than a equivalent car in Australia, where the car is made. The Aussies must have a "protected" market where the consumer takes it in the short.

Mark
 

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Wow. I use to think the W427 wasn't that bad when it was first unveiled. But its downright ugly.

I'll take the CLS any day of the week.
 

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I'm surprised Holden can charge so much for their cars. This is a lot of money for their car. The Mercesdes? Yeah, they are all way overpriced too.

It's odd that I can get an G8 for less than a equivalent car in Australia, where the car is made. The Aussies must have a "protected" market where the consumer takes it in the short.

Mark
To keep it simple, think of comparing the USA to Australia, like you would Canada. National health system, higher cost living etc, different taxes, different ways of doing things.

Just because we pay more, doesn't mean we are necessarily getting screwed, though for your imported luxury Euro cars it can mean you make nice donations (taxes) to the Federal Govt when buying the car.

Born in Aust., lived there 24 years, just gone by 10 years in the USA. Things are different but a balance between the two is more ideal than just one or the other.
 

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is that the vauxhall verison?? that grille looks ugly from the licence plate down.
 

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It's just economies of scale and distance: for instance, our market just sold one million vehicles (including trucks) in 2007 for the first time. In America there are several million passenger vehicles alone sold in the average month.

The Holden Commodore is the best selling individual model - it sells approx 60,000 per year. That's the single biggest seller. It's the lack of sales, plus operating somewhere a third of a planet away from the US, and a third away from Europe, that makes it cost so much. You want, you are at the end of a long supply chain.

Conversely, we get a lot of low-priced stuff from Asia the US never sees, because of proximity and the fact that we like many Asian former British colonies and Japan are RHD. Subaru started building 4WD cars by running a driveshaft back from an ordinary FWD car to get around Australia's import barriers which diidn't apply toi all-wheel drives. The early ones couldn't be driven in AWD mode on tarmac because of no centre diff, but it made Subaru here in the 70's and they went from strength-strength.

We have 48+ brands in Oz, including makers not seen in America like Peugeot, Fiat, Alfa, Proton, Renault, Citroen, Satria. Our market has a flat and progressively reducing 10% tariff that doesn't apply to commercials and AWDs, because Australia as a net exporter of farm produce finds trade barriers very restrictive, and they cost the consumer in the end; so governments of both persuasions have been strong advocates of globalisation and removing trade barriers; and we have free trade agreements with North America, Thailand, China and are negotiating with several other countries.

What kills us for imported goods and components is distance, and the single vendor in most cases which stifles competition. In America, people historically resist high prices, so manufacturers like the Germans sell at a lower margin which they make up with volume sales and spares prices.

It also means, like the GTO, G8, Americanised small Fords and Toyotas, the US gets 'dumbed down' vehicles in echange for lower prices and keeps them longer to amortise the costs. Hence your bread and butter domestics are simply pretty ordinary if the G6 I drove last year is any indication.

For instance, US Focus stayed one or two gens behind ours and for much longer, the Cobalt is basically a fifteen year old Opel platform and you're bypassing two gens of Astra in local manufacture to go straight to the Cruze platform. You finally got what we call the AH Astra two-three years after us, and it is being resisted at the buy price GM gets from Opel because it is more than Americans are used to paying for small GM cars with that level of trim and equipment.
 

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AU rear end:eek:.
 

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Man does that W427 look hot or what cant say that about that ugly looking M-B CLS63 AMG the W427 is worth 150 grand just alone on those good looks i rather be sceen in W427 than that CLS63 come on who designed that car toyota because thats ugly

Dude. C'mon.

You're the only one on earth who thinks this.

CLS is hands down the best looking 4 door on this planet.
 

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^^^ I hate to talk to the king this way but WRONG! I really think the CLS is an abomination. Sure it has drama, but IMO she ain't pretty. W427 nose isn't that flash either, but the rest backs it up nicely.

I actually prefer the E63AMG better....if I had to choose a MB.
 
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