Coupe Week 10K Friday: CL600 v. 840Ci v. Corrado SLC v. TT quattro

Time for another 10K Friday roundup, and this time I’m focusing on Coupe Week for the theme. That results in a diverse selection to choose from; from a turbocharged 1.8 inline four right through a twin-turbo V12, we have front drive, all-wheel drive and two rear-drivers. Three are automatics with one manual and ten years separate the oldest to newest; yet these are all two-door cars that fit into the $10,000 budget price range. I wanted also to include a Porsche, but wanted to cover models that we hadn’t seen in other posts and the closest I could get in a 911 was in the mid-teens, so we’re down to four choices. Who wins this crazy competition?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz CL600 on eBay


Year: 2003
Model: CL600
Engine: 5.5 liter twin-turbocharged V12
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 90,396 mi
Price: $10,500 Buy It Now

I have owned this car since 2008. I have kept this beauty garaged and well maintained. This luxury Coupe is fully loaded with all the bells and whistles including 20″ staggered wheels at 90% tread. Black leather seats, black carpet, and gray suede lining – very clean. All original black paint, rear bumper needs very minor touch up paint as shown in rear bumper photo. Engine is clean with a very minor oil leak. Dual side controls for heating/cooling, seats also have heating and cooling controls along with vibration massage, sun roof, rear window curtain, navigation system, but you will need to purchase an updated CD, window tint, AM/FM stereo, automatic tilt wheel upon start. Steering wheel controls. Phone system includes emergency button. Serviced at dealership only, receipts totaling over $10k. Low mileage at just 90k. This car runs great, looks gorgeous, and drives even better.

THIS CAR IS A REAL LOOKER!

Contact Chris
559-519-0003

While the C215 isn’t the prettiest big Benz coupe in my opinion, it’s not horrible looking in the grand scheme of things and there are aspects that remind me of the awesome and too-short-lived and too-high-flying CLK GTRs. Black over black is pretty predictable for these cars but looks nice; I could do without the chrome wheels but they’re easily enough swapped out for some AMG stock. One thing you won’t be missing is motivation; by far, the V12 twin-turbo of this group well outperforms the rest of the lineup and then some. Simply put, I’m not sure you can get more German horsepower – or even perhaps more horsepower at all – than the CL600 offers at $10,500. You’ll undoubtedly have plenty of repairs down the road (including correcting that oil leak), but the amount of bang-for-the-buck with style in this package is unsurpassed.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 BMW 840Ci on eBay


Year: 1997
Model: 840Ci
Engine: 4.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 114,000 mi
Price: $7,995 Buy It Now

1997 BMW 840ci, last year made for this Supercar, Calypso Red w/gray leather, runs & drives great, 1 very nice older repaint-same color, around 114,000 miles, AC charged, new water pump, new belts & pulleys, new expansion tank & cap, traction control & ABS light stay on-on the dash, I have has 3 of these-they all have those lights on for some reason, it is a blast to drive, it is not in mint condition or a show car, but very good overall condition I would say, has some honest wear on the interior, it is is an awesome solid car you can jump in and start enjoying. 608-235-3561.

While you can get a budget V12 E31 8-series, the prevailing attitude seems to be that is a poor idea. A much better solution is to look at the 840Ci with a tried and true M62 V8 under the low-slung hood in place of the M70/73. Condition overall on this example looks to be good for a driver; there are scratches and dings and the wheels seem a bit shabby, but nothing that is out of the ordinary on what’s close to a 20 year old car. There’s some mechanical work that backs up the value on this car at just below $8,000; sorting the electrical gremlins might bankrupt you, though….

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Volkswagen Corrado SLC on eBay


Year: 1993
Model: Corrado SLC
Engine: 2.8 liter narrow-angle VR6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 129,769 mi
Price: $10,900 Buy It Now

1993 Volkswagen Corrado SLC

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The Corrado SLC was known as one of the best cars ever built by Volkswagen, and it still maintains a very strong “cult” following to this day! The condition is very impressive inside and out and loaded with options and features for your driving pleasure. The Honeycomb Alloy Wheels are stunning and really highlight the unique design of this SLC, and the tires are like brand new.

-HARD TO FIND

-PRISTINE CONDITION
-LEATHER
-SUNROOF
-MOST DESIRABLE COLOR COMBINATION
-COLD AC
-ADULT OWNED, GARAGE KEPT

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Like the 8-series, the Volkswagen Corrado does indeed have a cult following as the seller suggests. Of particular interest to the cultists tend to be the SLC VR6 examples, generally considered one of the best small sports coupes ever produced. And we’ve seen this Corrado before, though the deal has not improved despite the lack of sale. No, this Corrado is betting on finding one of these cultists that will do anything for a clean Corrado VR6. True enough, they’re hard to come by; however, look at the stats on this car compared to the others. It’s the least powerful, the slowest, the oldest, and with the highest miles. It’s an automatic, too. Despite that, it’s amazingly also tied for the most expensive of the group. It’s not the likely pick for this comparison as a result, and I continue to doubt it will sell at this amount.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi TT quattro 225 on eBay


Year: 2002
Model: TT quattro 225
Engine: 1.8 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 87,178 mi
Price: $10,900 Buy It Now

2002 Audi TT Coupe Quattro

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* 2002 AUDI TT COUPE QUATTRO

* 1.8L TURBOCHARGED I4 ENGINE

* 6 SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION

* ONLY 87,178 MILES

* BRILLIANT WHITE W/GRAY LEATHER INTERIOR

* CARFAX REPORTS 2 OWNERS

* APPEARS TO BE A NON-SMOKER

* POWER WINDOWS

* POWER DOOR LOCKS

* POWER MIRRORS

* TILT/TELESCOPE STEERING WHEEL

* CRUISE CONTROL

* HEATED FRONT BUCKET SEATS WITH MANUAL ADJUSTMENTS

* ESP CONTROL

* ICE COLD A/C

* BOSE AM/FM STEREO WITH CD PLAYER AND 6 DISK CD CHANGER

* HOMELINK GARAGE CONTROLS

* DUAL LIGHTED VANITY MIRRORS

* REAR SPOILER

* NO FLOOR MATS

* NO OWNER’S MANUAL

* 1 KEY/1 REMOTE

* 18 IN BLACK ALLOY WHEELS

* FRONT TIRES ARE KUMHO 235/40R/18 WITH APPROX 50% TREAD LIFE REMAINING

* REAR TIRES ARE KUMHO 235/40R/18 WITH APPROX 50% TREAD LIFE REMAINING

* RUNS AND DRIVES GREAT.

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Okay, the TT quattro isn’t the iconic Audi coupe that the Quattro from yesterday was. But as I’ve suggested a few times, I really think these TTs will be collectable in the future. Smart looks, good performance and reasonably economic repairs and upgrades make them a popular choice for a budget-minded sports car. White is pretty unusual to see on the first generation 8N TTs, and this one is the higher-spec 225 quattro with a 6-speed manual. On top of being the only one of the group you can shift yourself, the condition of this car appears to be very good and it has the lowest mileage. I’m not a fan of the painted-black Celebration wheels; they could be refinished or easily replaced though since they run the same bolt pattern as many Volkswagens.

Who’s the winner? I’m sure this one will elicit many varied responses. On the surface, the sheer performance and luxury to dollar ratio of the Mercedes-Benz can’t be matched, but my budget would be busted trying to support that V12 and I’m afraid inevitably that gas will be on the rise again soon. So, though I’m sure it comes as no surprise to our readership, my choice would be for the TT in this round. It’s new, fresh, economical, sporty, in great shape, a pleasing color and arguably a future classic, plus it could get me through the next round of snow heading to New England. Which would you choose and why?

-Carter

11 thoughts on “Coupe Week 10K Friday: CL600 v. 840Ci v. Corrado SLC v. TT quattro

  1. Corrado. As much of an Audi lover as I am, I swallow omega-3 gels, I don’t drive them, or, should I say, ooze them down the road.

  2. Only modern Mercedes could build a car that cost as much as a house new, but then be worth so little after only 12 or so years. Plus, I’ll bet the amount of money to keep that CL on the road would make you cry.

    If you are actually going to buy one of these, I think the TT is the common sense winner of this showdown.

  3. Chalk and cheese comparison.

    Owning a CL600 I can tell you that there isn’t anything this side of a Gen 3 Viper that will stay close in straight line. Traction control continues to roll back the power between shifts through third gear. Sometimes see traction control flash on by simply mashing the pedal at 50mph. Having said that maintenance costs are a bear. Count on $4k every 15k miles. Can’t imagine what a CL65 would do to the road or your wallet.

    Buy the TT and row your gears yourself.

  4. TT Best overall. Corrado = automatic, so no go, otherwise it would be contending for numero uno. Liking the 840 as choice #2. No thanks to the outrageous repair bills on the CL.

  5. TT. Both of the big coupes look like money pits to me. The bones of the TT are basic by comparison and should be quite easy to maintain. And it’s got three pedals. I’m not so sure about the Haldex diff though, I am suspect, but have no experience with it.

  6. As much as I want to vote for the TT, having embraced the cult of Audi as of the beginning of this year, the TT just doesn’t appeal – it’ll always be a stewardess’ car to me. Granted, that’s totally unfair since I’ve owned my share of hairdressers’ cars and have loved them, but so it goes. The Merc is awesome to imagine driving but the running costs are frightening. The Corrado just doesn’t appeal for all the reasons you describe; down on power and high on price. The one that appeals, and has always had a place in my heart, is the 840 – I’ve never driven one or even sat in one, but I’ve always admired that car from the first time I saw one and said “wow, what is that?!?” It just happens to be one of those cars that looks great in person and on paper, and at the very least I’d have to check it out first to find out if it lives up to my hopes.

    All that said – given the price and the lower miles – I could imagine buying the TT, enjoying it for a few years, and then giving it to one of my daughters as a graduation present and feeling like everyone was a winner (except for the other daughter who’d have to settle for an older Toyota Corolla).

  7. I like the look of the black wheels on the TT, but even with the Quattro, those Audi’s push like crazy. They didn’t come with balanced handling until the torque-vectoring differentials and the rearward power bias of the center diff. 2007 for the S4, if I recall correctly.

    The 840 would be especially fun with a 6 speed. Shouldn’t be too hard to do the swap. The Getrag M6 from a 540i should bolt right up. Pedals are the same as from an 850Csi. Just need the a good driveshaft shop to cut one up for you.

    All of that being said, if you could find the big Merc with Distronic Plus (’06 on, I think), that would be my ticket. You can’t beat the active cruise control for California traffic.

  8. Great comments, everyone! Thanks for the input.

    @Burton; you’re correct regarding the revised quattro setup in the B7 S4/RS4; however, the Haldex setup has the advantage of being programmable, and you can get controllers that reprogram the computers, eliminating the standard understeer: http://www.hpamotorsports.com/product_haldex.html. Regarding the E31 swap, it’s a bit more complicated than you’d suspect: http://forum.roadfly.com/threads/12966223-840ci-auto-to-6-speed-swap. And re: ’06 CLs, they’re far outside the pricing for this competition.

    @Vic, thanks for your running cost input!

  9. as my moniker should tell I’m a BMW fan/owner…but for me there is only one car here that just hits me..
    that CL600 is an absolute beast especially compared to these other cars….they are just standing still..
    before people shorts get twisted…I am only commenting on the fact that Carter has lumped these together..I’m not saying that they are fair comparisons outside of price point.
    that said for 9/10k and source out some AMG rims you have a a hellova ride!….your not keeping this for 10 years or even 5 for that matter….but maybe that is just me..

  10. @MDriver – that’s the point of this comparison; it’s based solely on price, showing you the breadth of what’s available in the market! It makes for interesting and unusual bedfellows!

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