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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • linardlinard Posts: 59
    CAR Magazine just reviewed the W12 Phaeton and the reviewer didn't seem to think the Phaeton stands a chance at competing with the other luxury marques. Their main reason was quality, the car had a number of electrical issues and they didn't feel the driving experience was up to par. Interesting article...

    I also disagree with the NSX being ridiculous, for a car that came out in 1989, it was named a favorite of both CAR and Top Gear magazines citing the overall completeness and precision of the car. While having only 290 horsepower, it has never been outclassed in any comparison I have ever read. It may be old, but not outdated.
  • I cannot seem to find the link to those pictures of Jay Leno in the Maybach. Can anyone please reference me to the message # or even re-post the link?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,662
    It was in the NY Times Automobile section last Sunday. It may still be accessible at the NY Times on-line. Merc1 posted the link. It may also be available at the German car fan site.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/20/automobiles/20LENO.html

    You have to register to view the article, but it's free.

    The Maybach pictures are in the "slide show" linked in the multimedia sidebar. Be sure to check out the "interactive feature" about his Stanley Steamer in that sidebar as well!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I wouldn't say that NSX is "ridiculous" either, but it's surely been outclassed for sure, for a number of years, staring with introduction of the Ferrari F355 and current Porsche 911. While Vipers and Corvette Z06s don't "outclass" in handling or engineering they'll definitely beat the NSX pretty badly. The NSX was outdated about 6 years ago at least. It's been outclassed in a few comparisions too, check out some of the old Road and Tracks, one test with Mario Andretti in particular where he picked the Ferrari over the NSX. Now the Europe only NSX-R is still very competitive. Of course with the sales volumes here, it made no sense to bring that version over here.

    Sadly, Acura has said no to a V8, which doesn't look too promising because the competition already has V8's and now V10s are coming into focus. It sounded like the like the perfect business plan, a new V8 that could be shared with next RL and NSX.

    M
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    ...actually, 6 cyls can be very fine engines. Last I checked, Porsche has done rathr OK for many years with a 6 pot in the 911. Beemer's 6 inline is arguably a better engineered engine than the bigger 8 cylinder engines, and when the car isn't porky the power-weight ration makes it the more desirable engine.

    The US has a love-thing going for 8 cylinders that is actually not based on any engineering merits that are unique to this engine configuration. But car manufacturers know that the US biying public thinks more cylinders are better, and thus deliver on it.

    By the way, I know car engineers that claim that by nature the inline six is a perfectly balanced engine configuration - more so than a V8 (or V6, too).
  • jagboyxtypejagboyxtype Posts: 241
    A while back, I read an interesting article on Honda and its decision not to create engines as large as V8's for itself or for Acura. Sorry I can't find a link, it was pretty long ago and I didn't save it. The simple reasons stated in the article were that Honda has always prided itself in being a rather "green" company - meaning environmentally friendly, as far as automobiles go - and enjoys all of the government perks as well as the ability to advertize its Ultra Low Emissions status, etc. They've deemed it more profitable to not have huge, torque-replete engines, and having a V8 would take away from the image that they've created or are trying to build, of being, well, Honda. The number of cylinders actually doesn't matter so much anymore even for smoothness, and the big thing is displacement. Didn't Ferrari have something like a 2.0-liter V-12 at one point? Sure it was probably a great engine, but a busy machine like that could be simplified by simply having a 4 or 6 cylinder engine of the same size. It could even produce the same power if done correctly, and a simpler engine with less mechanical pieces equalling less chances to fail is often better. It's not like Hondas and Acuras aren't selling because their engines are not competitive, and they aren't trying to go up against an Aston Martin V12 or a Rolls Royce with any of their offerings.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    ...actually, 6 cyls can be very fine engines. Last I checked, Porsche has done rathr OK for many years with a 6 pot in the 911. Beemer's 6 inline is arguably a better engineered engine than the bigger 8 cylinder engines, and when the car isn't porky the power-weight ration makes it the more desirable engine.

    The US has a love-thing going for 8 cylinders that is actually not based on any engineering merits that are unique to this engine configuration. But car manufacturers know that the US biying public thinks more cylinders are better, and thus deliver on it.

    By the way, I know car engineers that claim that by nature the inline six is a perfectly balanced engine configuration - more so than a V8 (or V6, too).
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    G35's or FX35's V6 is a good V6, but you want more, and more comes with 4.5L V8; overall feel of V8, it's smoothness at any rpm's gives you better quality feel. And, luxury car segment stipulates, that when you buy this kind of a car, you get collection of all the desireable goodies, available on the market. V6 is available in economy class segment - so, who wants it? May be it is hard to afford V10 or V12 for the money, but please, give me V8. And V6 - keep it in an Accord or Maxima...
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Actually, by nature an inline 6 has perfect balance and thus more smoothness than a V8. Ask an engine expert. The reason a V12 is also very smooth it's because it consists of 2 perfectly balanced I6 banks.
  • There is an outside chance that I am wrong but I believe the Lexus 4.2L V8 is Greener (exceeds all California emmissions standards) quieter and smoother then any Honda 6.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    ...besides, I would hope that not every "luxury car" buyer is looking for smoothest, most assisted and ultimately most remote driving experience possible. I do think in this era of ultra-smooth, over-assisted-by-wire, ultra-supple cars, the true mark of luxury will be to introduce some idiosyncratic, entertaining traits -to the less discerning "flaws"- to achieve differentiation and appeal. I for one got tired and bored by smoothness in the end. Never forget that according to Oscar White, inpracticality is the very essence of luxury.

    No one ever called a Morgan Plus 8 smooth. But it is a luxury good.
  • Actually I do not want a sports car as my daily driver. I have a Miata that is entertaining.

    I want a remote comfortable, smooth, and quiet driving experience. I want to be pampered in every way possible...I do not want flaws....

    I do not want Idiosyncratic, I do not want a thrill ride in my daily driver (there is Disney Land for that or Corvetts or Morgans)

    I want to be pampered, I want Luxury.
  • fsvfsv Posts: 196
    the moral here is - have one (or a few/many) of everything. But V8 - entry ticket in this particular class...
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Oscar White was a writer and bon-vivant in the last century.

    Luxury does not equal with being pampered. That is *your* choice. But other luxury consumers don't agree, and every company is free to go after a different intended audience.

    And V8s are a US idiosynchracy. In Europe, the key is to have a good 6-pot in this class, for that'll be the moneymaker. They seldom even bother importing them into the US.

    Finally - a Bentley Arnage's supercharged engine is many wonderful things, but the smoothest engine it certainly ain't. And yet it seems a number of very wealthy luxury sedan buyrers that *could* easily afford a smoother, more practical car, decide they can't have any other car.
  • Hooray for the difference (I am avoiding french terms this year)

    We Americans are definately a different breed from our brothers in Europe.

    It seems that all the luxuary cars we know and recognize do have V-8s Audi, Rolls, Bently, Mercedes, BMW, Lexus. Lucky for us you guys make them. Note there are no American cars on my list.

    We are blessed with lower gas prices and wider roads which has probably helped establish our tastes.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Well, I do live in the US, but honestly, I don't get the fixation on V8s. They can be crappy engines.

    One example: Jaguar. Their I6 was smoother than the very fine V8 they introduced to follow up on it. Torquier, too. Not as powerful in the high end, but what the porkier breed of luxury car needs is foremost torque in order to feel lively.

    BMW is the other example: their I6 is one of the smoothest engines on earth. If they build a larger displacement version, it might well be a better fit for larger cars than the somewhat peakier (and slightly less smooth) V8. But they know the US public wouldn't go for it, and thus they don't try.

    Don't get me wrong: I am not saying cars with V8s in them aren't great. Truthfully, one can't really make a huge mistake buying any of the cars that have been mentioned in this thread. It's just I don't get the simplistic V8=Luxury notion that seems so prevalent in the US, and which I feel leads to fewer truly distinctive choices.

    These supposedly universally accepted rules lead to cars that become more similar to each other every day. I think the car world is poorer for that.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I believe the bon-vivant was Oscar Wilde.

    The only reference I could find to Oscar White was a sausage company.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Oh my God, you are right of course - brain meltdown...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I see Edmunds has a review of the Maybach 57. They're saying pretty much what everyone else has been saying, that the Maybach doesn't provide the styling of a 300K car or enough differentation from the S-Class when it comes to it's interior, for the money that is. I have to say I agree with the majority here. BMW put a lot more effort into the Phantom and it shows. Funny thing is I don't care much for the Phantom either, but it does make more of a statement. Maybach, conservative luxury, Rolls, much more noticeable and over the top. I guess there is room in the market for both approaches, but I have to say I'd take a Bentley Arnage T over either of them.

    M
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