Three days in a 45 with a Porsche 997.2 - Mercedes GLA Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-12-2019, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Just as background, the 45 is Pam's car while I generally drive my 997.2 C4S with PDK.

I got a chance to explore the 45 for its first 2400 miles during our European Delivery but since then my time has been for casual trips only.

But a good friend just moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Seattle and I offered to follow him and his 997.2 on a zig zag path over Everett Pass, up the Northeastern corner of California, through remote sections of Oregon, to the coast at Astoria, and around the Olympic Peninsula ending on Bainbridge Island across the Sound from Seattle.

While I had intended to drive my 997 I switched to the 45 when it became obvious that the movers left too much behind to fit in a panel van for the final drive North.

So we filled the 45 (getting the remaining household goods to a manageable size) and started the spirited journey.

FWIW these vehicles are amazingly close in specification. The 997 has 385HP to the 45's 381. 0 to 60 times are almost identical although the 45 feels faster once it gets started (my 997 does have 127K miles on all original mechanics but the larger displacement flat 6 motor feels a lot smoother, hiding its acceleration). Body dimensions are near enough to call the same but the 45 wheelbase is longer due to shorter overhangs. Lateral G values are roughly equivalent although the computer over rides and independent brake control allow the 45 to be a bit less lively at its extremes.

The first day I battled sliding picture frames but once they settled in I was able to hold pace in the turns. Turn in is a bit slower than the 997 and the rear engine squat exiting the apex in a 911 is tough to beat, but I wasn't left behind once I adapted to the 45's needs. The 997 sits lower and you can see the road immediately in front of you. On the narrow roads with the longer hood and wheel base I found a need to compensate.

However, on the downside, on day 1 passing (acceleration above 80) was less than the Porsche in front of me. Note ... For whatever reason by day 2 this fixed itself and passing acceleration was near to equivalent. Perhaps there is more value in an Italian tune up than I appreciate!!!

Three years ago while on the Autobahn traveling near 140 mph the air entering the motor compartment and trying to exit up the windshield caused the hood to flex and vibrate several inches causing us some concern. From the second day of this trip I'm happy to report that, whatever undocumented adjustments MB made, that problem is cured. The 45 is amazingly stable at speeds, even when you play with the steering wheel or simply transition into, through, and out of a high speed curve.

On Day Three we exited Portland toward the coast. An hour in we were passing slower cars up a hill in a passing lane. As I was pulling back into the right lane I heard a bang and felt a thud. Then fip fip fip (substitute your own sound of you'd like!!!). The tire warning lit up. We were near three digits on the speedometer. No pull. No hassles. I picked up the radio and pressed the transmit button. I let my friend know I'd be pulling off at the next place that had room for a tow truck. A half mile later we were parked. The right front sidewall had an inch diameter hole ripped in it.

AAA realized the 45 would have special tires. They called around and found 20" Goodyear run flats (beggars can't be choosers ... We spent 3 days in Barcelona waiting for a tire). They had a tow truck drive 40 miles to our location. In just over two hours we were back on the road. I bought two tires to keep the axle the same on both sides. I put the Goodyears on the back.

It seems the power company has been stringing new lines. They've been dropping gray isolating tensioning disks on the road. These blend in and are nearly invisible, especially in the shade. Lots of blown tires and many exploded wheels. The 45 put up with this abuse admirably with no apparent side affects other than the damaged tire.

The Goodyear height was greater than the Michelin MP4S tires (the math doesn't work on the Michelin as I found out when replacing the original tires) but they worked.

Given the above you would think the handling would suck. It didn't. Likewise the ride didn't suffer tremendously (the stiffer run flat sidewalks were more noticeable once we unpacked the load). We (three of us since my friend still had a full van to return to and drive north) drove home briskly including the curves on the 5 near Shasta, pulling near a G without feeling anxious.

I'm in the process now of replacing the Goodyears to bring everything back to the same size and model.

Overall mpg was great (especially considering the driving style) and the comfort was wonderful. I think we may park the 997 and substitute it with the 45 for future trips!!!

Kudos to MB and AMG!!!
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turbolink and RevItUp like this.

Last edited by Wayne; 09-12-2019 at 01:17 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-12-2019, 02:37 PM
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That's pretty cool! Great comparison, and well-worded. Thanks a bunch for sharing!

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post #3 of 8 Old 09-13-2019, 08:27 AM
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I use my beater mk v gti mostly so when i get in the amg it is immediately apparent how much quicker it is, especially in twistier road sections. It's ok droning down the freeway but it comes to life on smaller roads.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-27-2019, 07:26 PM
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Wonderful trip. Glad the tire situation got sorted
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-27-2019, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Brings up the point ... I've got two virtually new Goodyear 20" run flats I need to list ...
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-28-2019, 11:24 AM
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Wayne, thanks for sharing. I especially like the Chihuly pic as we are into art glass. Thanks again!
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-28-2019, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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The exhibit when it visited San Francisco was larger but lacked the garden which was spectacular. The detail in each piece is overwhelming ... One of those can't see the forest for the trees, or vice versa!!!

It's a beautiful drive on the coast as well as the eastern route ... Hint hint!!!
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post #8 of 8 Old Yesterday, 10:36 PM
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Very nice, I've not been on the site in a bit, so missed this. Being from Cali and Oregon, know most of the roads well. What kind of weight were you carrying, it looks like the back seats may have been folded for all the move stuff, plus, Pam went with you, that is her in one of the pics? Was your friend's wife in the Porsche? Weight is everything when you need to move quickly but have a little 2.0 sewing machine sized motor.

I still am very happy with my GLA45, smile on my face every time I drive, and you can't beat:
* It does have decent cargo capacity (I've put a mechanics rolling tool chest and a lot of other sizable things in it)

* Gets good mpg while being very quick, and nimble, it's not a brute muscle car so it surprises
* AWD and some ground clearance, put AS Ultra HP tires on and watch it work in moderate snow.

Bought it as much for utility as I did for some fun, going under the radar in "look at me" for speed.

I'm sure you've been watching the 2020, and now MB seems like they are following Porsche with several versions, the top one having perhaps 416HP? I carefully watched that vid, very interesting, and still amazing to me they can squeeze more out of 2L. Over 30psi, crazy. I'd love to test drive one at the dealer, I'd like to see what the turbo lag is like.

heavily modified 1995 Ford Bronco. SOLD to friend, to move to GLA 45.
Fun car for wife and I, 2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe, #492 of 1266 made. 2.0T with 290HP/325 lb/ft.
Wife's DD is a 2019 Volvo XC40 Rtype.
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