A feature of this months issue of "Auto Motor und Sport" is a winter handling comparison between the Lexus LS600h, Mercedes C320 CDI 4Matic and six other automobiles. We at Newsbot have focused on the Lexus and Mercedes.

We begin with the LS600h, which has a very simple and conventional AWD systems design with certain features that could have been copied from Audi's revolutionary Quattro system: a central torsion distributor and limited slip differential with a bias towards rear power distribution (40f:60r). Nevertheless the immense weight of the LS600h means it handles poorly on snow and its AWD system is useless in helping it out. Furthermore, the ESP annoyingly intervenes too often and in some cases makes a bad situation even worse.

The Mercedes C320 CDI weighs less than the Lexus, is itself a heavy a car though. The 4Matic system works with a power distribution of 45f:55r. Power to both front and rear wheels is channeled through a central differential. Individual wheels of the Mercedes can be either accelerated or braked by the computer allowing for quick trajectory changes and control to be restored. The C320 CDI handles brilliantly on snow.

Overall Placing (and grade)
*Placings based on handling on snow, winter asphalt and suitability as a winter vehicle*

1st place: Audi A4 3.2 FSI Quattro (A-)
2nd place: Mercedes C320 CDI (A-)
3rd place: Subaru Impreza 2.0R (B+)
4th place: Land Rover Freelander TD4 (B)
5th place: BMW X3 3.0D (B-)
6th place: Jeep Wrangler 2.8 CRD (C)
7th place: Lexus LS600h (D)
8th place: Fiat Panda 4 x 4 Cross (D)


Lexus LS600h
4969cc V8 + electric motor
394-horsepower (520 Nm torque)
EURO 4 emission class
219 grams of CO2 / 100 km
390 liters luggage compartment space
--- towing capacity
Acceleration 0-60 km/h on asphalt: 3.6 seconds
Acceleration 0-60 km/h on snow: 4.7 seconds
Price: € 110, 250

Mercedes C320 CDI 4Matic
2987cc V6 turbodiesel
224-horsepower (510 Nm torque)
EURO 4 emission class
202 grams of CO2 / 100 km
475 liters luggage compartment space
700 kg towing capacity
Acceleration 0-60 km/h on asphalt: 2.9 seconds
Acceleration 0-60 km/h on snow: 4.7 seconds
€ 46,440

Lexus LS600h AWD vs Mercedes C320 CDI 4Matic

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