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High End Luxury Cars

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  • ksurgksurg Posts: 48
    Do you have to say the 745 looks hideous. Couldn't you say ugly. Kidding aside it's never struck me as ugly. Different for sure and maybe in need of some refinement. On the other hand the MB's have tended to be very conservative. I think they are attractive for the most part but the "most beautiful" as quoted somewhere on this site I think not. Take the SLR. Very impressive engineering but it looks like Pinnochio!
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    You said...

    "So far everything says that Mercedes will adopt some type of idrive controller combined with the next generation of Comand. The controller will reportedly give the driver a choice between using the conventional buttons or not. From what the British press says, the controller won't take the place of basic controls like in the BMW."

    I'm interested in knowing more. Can you tell me what/where you read about this? Seems MB is hedging BMW's bet on iDrive and wisely so.

    The digital vs mechanical confrontation presents very interesting design challenges and I don't think BMW has thought this out rationally. Personally, I believe they can't successfully eliminate conventional controls and in the not -too-distant future today's iDrive will be deemed grossly insufficient and deficient.

    In cars, digital technology must work seemlessly in the background. We need less interaction from the driver, not more. The wheel itself is mechanical and low-tech, but we are stuck with it. Even in the most sophisticated military and space craft mechanical controls are still in abundance. Short of sophisticated voice rec, nothing can replace the convenience of a one-touch mechanical button or dial. Will be interesting to see where this goes.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I'm hoping the red one will turn out to be a Lexus

    http://www.autoindex.org/news.plt?no=762&nl=y#
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Of interest in the above link, "Toyota provided to Italdesign-Giugiaro its latest hybrid power plant, the one to be used into the Lexus RX400...the Volta has a total output of 300 Kw / 408 hp, reaches 250 kph of top speed and accelerates from 0 to 100 kph in 4.06 seconds. But probably its most striking performance is the ability to cover 700 kms with a 52-liters gasoline tank." p.s. 100kph=62mph

    I wonder if the RX400h will have 408hp (up from 230hp in the RX330)?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    The red one has some resemblance to the Lexus in Minority Report.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    syswei: Thx for the link. The specs for the Toyota hybrid engine in the link jells with some of the rumors floating out there that the hybrid V8 in the 2006 GS4 will churn out 400+bhp, 300 from the engine and 100 from the battery, or so. So we can logically project the 2007 LS to share a similar hybrid engine. If Toyota can get the GS and/or LS to the low 4s in 0-60, that will rival or even beat the best AMG can offer in the same price point - E55. May even best the SL55 in a drag race ! Sounds like another winner from Lexus coming to a dealer near you in a matter of 2 years.
  • ksurgksurg Posts: 48
    If Lexus can bring to market an affordable hybrid with that type of performance in the next three years even I will become a Lexus fan. Sign me up!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    About the 7-Series...lol. Anyway, it's just that trunklid and the fact that 18 inch wheels don't fit in the wheel wells, something that never happens on a BMW.

    Beautiful Mercedes-Benzes?? Well the only ones that I think that truly applies to are the SL, CL and possibly the E and S-Classes in Sport trim only. I agree about the SLR, but hey the engineering brief some what dictates how a 200mph car looks. Check out the Enzo. Only the Porsche Carrera GT escapes the F1 look, because HA(!) it was based on a LeMans racer.

    designman,

    I'll have to look back through various issues of CAR magazines; they are the ones that continually speculate on what Mercedes-Benz is going to do. I for one am totally lost on this issue now because different mags say different things, so it might be best to just wait and see.

    oac,

    A LS doing 60 mph in the 4 second range will *probably* never happen. Toyota is too conservative, plus you Lexus guys don't care about such a thing right? How is that if Lexus makes a 400hp+ car, it's great, but when any other brand makes one, its a waste of time and energy? Interesting.

    M
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Even if Lexus makes a 400hp hybrid LS or GS, it won't make it to 60 in the 4's. The car will be too heavy. Low 5's maybe.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      I think the reason a 400Hp LS is favored by us Lexus followers is b/c of the use of Hybrid Techonlogy. You're correct in assuming I'd label any other implementation a waste. If they can build a car that gives 20+ MPG with that much HP, then I'm fine with it. Of course, that amount of HP is definitely overkill.

       What do you all think of the advent of this Drive by Wire Technology? The accelerator in the LS430 implements it and does a decent job. Any idea if this has any backup systems? I've heard about all the complaints about the E class Brake by wire System and this leads me to this question: Why do we need this? Are automakers going too far in cramming electronics into their cars?

    SV
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    sv7887,

    Do you mean drive by wire as in the drive by wire throttle control in the Lexus'? If so, yes it does have a back-up system should the drive by wire system fail.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Merc1: "A LS doing 60 mph in the 4 second range will *probably* never happen"

    I guess we'll see if an LS can make a low 4s 0-60mph. The 2004 already is under 6s, with no engine change just going from a 5-speed to a 6-speed tranny. So with a 38% hp increase from 290hp to 400hp, and no significant increase in weight, a low 5s, and even sub-5s is a real possibility for such an engine.

    Yes, in general Lexus is a very conservative company, but if you listen to Clements last press release, they are looking to change that. They are clearly intending to target BMW in their new releases starting MY2006, and will include a performance tuning unit. That alone spells a huge change, that Lexus will produce factory-tuned performance-luxury cars, along the same lines as the M and AMG. I guess they are now shedding their conservative approach to a fairly more aggressive stance. And about time too.

    Styling changes. Witness the 2006 GS. Regardless of what many think, vanilla styling it is NOT. RX400H engine is a certainty as the future move is into hybrid technology, and Toyota/Lexus is in the lead here. A 400+bhp engine can be done, and *probably* will be done. Who knows what the specs will be on that engine ? Maybe low 5s (0-60), or even low 11s in the 1/4-mile ! Lexus knows it must shed its current luxo-cruiser image to grow, and they have the will, the money and the determination to do what it takes. And if history is any judge, they will meet and beat expectations.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    Clements is the head of American Lexus. Cho is the head of the whole Toyota enchilada. I recall him not long ago saying Lexus will keep up with hp with other premium brands standard offerings, but not have performance division.

    Who would know more or have more say, Clements or Cho? The answer is pretty obvious.

    The picture of that Benz sedan that has a coupe like shape that somebody posted a while ago, is that the new S? It looks superb, but is too similar to Maybach.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    mariner7,

    Cho's comments about staying behind in the horsepower race were over a year ago. To create a performance division you do not necessarily need to have a higher horsepower number than every competitor. Having similar horsepower numbers is all it takes.

    I believe the coupelike sedan Mercedes debuted at the Geneva show you are talking about is the new CLE-class.
  • Cars with more than 8 cylinder are called Halo cars. The reason is making a car with 10 or 12 cylinder doesn't make that company more profitable but it does create curiosity for that company's lower end product aka. cars with 4, 6, and 8 cylinders. Really, what percentage of Mercedes sold in the world market has V12 engine anyway? Same goes for BMW and Audi. This is just a gimmick car companies employ to enhance their hollow status symbol. Daimler Benz, BMW, Jaguar, Audi, etc are not the same company they were 25 years ago when they had the entire luxury car market to themselves. Toyota has taken a considerable portion of that market with the introduction of the Lexus lineup. In fact, the lower end cars from BMW and Mercedes actually competes with Toyota and Honda rather than Lexus or Acura. In Europe the most popular Mercedes is the C class which is almost as common as Camrys are in North America. It is nice to know that Lexus can compete on quality rather than how much horsepower their engine puts out. Anybody can make a 500 horsepower car. But nobody can build a car with the quality and precision of Lexus, at least not yet.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    You think for one second that Clements makes that comment without having the project (and the comments and press release) greenlighted beforehand? No way. A lot of things have changed since the earlier comment - witness Lexus going with its own new direction styling and its own brand in Japan.

    HP - I don't think the comment about not playing the high HP game meant they wouldn't shoot for more HP than they now offer. I think it meant they were'nt going to play the game of 450-500+HP engines particularly when they guzzle gas like crazy. Jumping the HP to 340-360 is a must to stay competitive mainly for marketing purposes. But they will do it with hybrids hence the earlier comment by the CEO of not playing the game. When these hybrid engines hit the scene getting 20-30+mpg and giving you 350-400HP (which is badly needed for the big suv's and not the cars) everyone will be chasing Toyota's lead. I'm not really looking for a quicker 0-60 but I'll never turn down more torque.

    motownusa - in the US MB sells about 1200 S-600's a year and AMG sells about 15,000 cars annually worldwide. These rare cars are sometimes discussed as if they are representative of every MB car.

    CLE - yes I think that is it and its a stunning car.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Someone on this forum summarized the Clements interview sometime ago, but I hadn't seen the whole article until now. For those who haven't read it: http://is300.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=6- 4&mode=&order=0&thold=0
  • Sounds real exciting stuff coming down the pipe for Lexus according to Clements. Will have to wait and see though. Me, I just want a super lux LS cruiser with occassional pretensions to performance. I plan to be in line for the first few roll-outs of the 2007 LS4. Can't wait....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Actually drive by wire isn't new. BMW debuted this technology on the 1988 750iL and Cadillac on the 1990 Allante. Needless to say this was a long time ago. There have been no complaints or problems with this type of technology since the very beginning. Even Honda uses it on several cars that cost much less than most Lexus, Mercedes or BMW models.

    Brake by wire has proven in certain applications to dramatically shorten stopping distances. Before adopting this technology, Mercedes' never won out over BMW in braking distances, the downside is that the pedal feel is not right for some, and yes there will be some failures and/or glitches to go with this new technology.

    Both of these systems, of course have back up systems, though I don't know a single case of drive by wire failing.

    oac,

    We'll see about all that. I seriously doubt Lexus will do the type of car needed to outdo an E55 or M5; it would need 500hp to do this. To get a Hybrid to do this would be an expensive and arduous task indeed. A mere 400hp won't get it anymore if you're trying to out-do these cars.

    The new GS isn't vanilla, you're right...my own personal opinion is that it's ungainly and just a poor design.

    ljflx,

    You like the CLS! Surprising. Well I guess not since I don't like it, it would appeal to a Lexus person...lol.

    M
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    I was driven around in the new 7 series today. I have never been a fan of the exterior (I must say all new BMWs have been extremely clumsily executed design wise, and don't do the cars' dynamic excellence justice), but I was surprised that the interior didn't do much for me, either. I thought I'd like the avant-garde clean interior, but the lack of a shifter and such renders the interior somewhat... soccer mom van like, really. Materials excellent, but something's missing. The 5 series is also very underwhelming when seen live. Looks Acura-like. Not that Acuras aren't extremely competent cars, this is just to point out the proportiones simply aren't as *right* as BMWs of the past always had. The look is gettig more bloated, as if all their products were becoming middle-aged.

    Then I saw a Maybach driving back home for work, and again I think the car terribly designed. It looks like an Oldsmobile supercar or something, those back lights are inexcusable.

    And then I saw a Bentley Arnage, and voila, instant luxury look. Big barge, but immense presence, and it combines dynamics with elegance. What a classic, it'll be sorely missed.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    Where does the CLE fit in? Won't MB have too many sedans? My guess is it shares platform with E.

    I agree with merc. It was a nice try by Lexus, but two cars debuting about same time as GS will have nicer bodies, A6 & M. From photos, GS just doesn't have the clean lines of those cars.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I share your thoughts; thankfully the Arnage has at least a few more years to go.

    What you were missing in the BMW was that cockpit feel that BMW used to provide. They've all but abandoned that concept. The 3-Series is next.

    mariner7,

    The CLS (CLE was just the concept name, though I like "CLE" better) is supposed to be a 4-door Coupe, and yes it is based on the E-Class platform. Mercedes seems to deem whatever bodystyle they want to be a "Coupe". First the hatchback C230 is a Coupe, now the 4-door CLS is a "Coupe" also. Only at Mercedes-Benz.

    The CLS350 (all new 3.5L V6 268hp) and CLS500 (5.0L V8 302hp) will be priced between the E and S-Class sedans. Both will have the new 7-speed tranny also. Expect some type of AMG version in a year or so.

    Britain's CAR magazine (you guys have got to pick up a copy this magazine, it puts the US mags to shame) said that BMW and Audi wishes they could position a car in their ranges like MB has done with the CLS, we'll see if that pans out. Again, I personally wanted a true 2-door coupe based on the E-Class, but there hasn't been one since 1995, and what a car that was, btw.

    I had several issues with CLS. I say had because one of them was not and issue as it turns out. I'm pretty much cool with the CLS as long as IT IS NOT the styling direction of other future Mercedes-Benzes. That fear *seems* to be unfounded. The next S won't look like the CLS. My other issue is that while they did make the interior a little different, they didn't go far enough. I'm not sure what all colors and woods will be offered on the CLS, but they should be from the Designo group and they should be standard order items on this car (none of that extra charge stuff), you know make is different and special. Secondly I would have liked to have seen a different interior design, not just and updated E-Class interior.

    I still don't know about this car. I guess I'll have to see it in person. Too bad the concept wasn't at Detroit.

    M
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    As a guy who loves Lexus, you can count me as another one who really thinks the CLS looks fantastic.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    Here's more on CLS:

    http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat- - _code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=00689032

    It's a brilliant tactical move by MB. It brought out E first, waits for the opposition to bring out 5/GS/A6/M/RL/STS, and then replies with the CLS, which the opposition has no answer for. And E is already the dominant player in its segment, in US and worldwide.

    Notice how MB finally joins the DOHC bandwagon. Acura is the only SOHC holdout, but of course Honda's SOHC is powerful enough.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "...and then replies with the CLS, which the opposition has no answer for."

    Hmmmm, ever hear of the new (as in soon to be released) 6-Series BMW? ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    What exactly is it that the CLS does that other 4 doors don't? The whole marketing shtick around a 4 door coupe is crap: it has 4 doors, it looks like a sedan, it is a sedan. It just offers the S and E class benefits with a different, swoopier design, and that's that. The only thing they're doing is checking whether the luxury sedan market supports 3 different product lines, as opposed to the traditional 2 that everybody has settled for. But it's like Saab calling their wagon a sports-hatch. I mean, come on. Let's not be suckers for marketing labels...

    You want to see what a real 4 door coupe looks like, check out the Mazda RX. The Merc CLS has *ntohing* in comon with it, and everything in common with the usual sedan proportions.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    So noted. I'm having a problem with the side view of the production car vs. the concept. It didn't quite hold up.

    mariner7,

    Actually Mercedes is going back to DOHC engine design, not just joining any bandwagon. Their last group of DOHC engines was from 1989-1997.

    pablo_l,

    I don't think of us are falling for any marketing labels, everyone clearly sees this is just a swoopier sedan, but that's what market presence does for MB, they and some others (Saab for example) can get away with it. Audi scrapped plans to do a 4-door coupe version of the A4 right before the CLS was announced. I can only imagine what that car would have looked like.

    shipo,

    The 6-Series and CLS will occupy the same price space, but that's about it. The CLS won't hope to match the dynamics of the 6-Series and the 6 isn't going to match the rear-seat room/practicality/luxury of the CLS. Really Autoweek is right; there is nothing else quite like the CLS right now, well except for maybe the Maserati Quattroporte, another swoopy coupish-like (styling) sedan.

    M
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    Ever heard of CL and CLK? Those are 6 series competitors.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, do they have a manual transmission? No? Well then I guess I haven't heard of them. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
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