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High End Luxury Cars



  • 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.


    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.

  • 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: - _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,
  • 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.


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


    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.


    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.

  • 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,
  • Let's see, it's based on the E-class but bigger on the outside and, I'll bet, smaller on the inside. It's got sporty pretentions but it's got four doors and is heavy. Is the CLS supposed to be stylish alternative to the stodgy E-series and the pricey S-series?

    If so, then it's a completely unnecessary car -- style for style's sake -- and a complete refutation of everything Daimler Benz used to stand for.

    But then, Damiler-Benz are gone. Sometimes I see the three-pointed star and momentarily forget. When the star is attached to a CLS, however, I need no further reminders.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Reguardless of the transmissions the CLK and to a lesser extant the CL are competitors to the 6-Series, as are the Lexus SC430, and Jaguar XK8. All of these cars are aimed at folks who want a luxury/GT car and have no need for 4-doors.


    Good points, but things have changed...they've discovered that "style" helps sell even more cars. But you're right this isn't the same old stodgy company it used to be.

    The car is on paper, pointless, but they'll probably sell every one that they bring over.

  • "The car is on paper, pointless, but they'll probably sell every one that they bring over"

    Wanna bet ?

    I have to agree with john. Counting the CLS, how many trims/models does MB now have ?


    All for what ? MB remained mired in 3rd place in lux car sales in the US, down from numero uno just a few years ago. Would the CLS push MB car sales higher ? GM's Cadillac is breathing down MB's neck for 3rd place, and may do it this year. I just don't get it with MB and umpteenth new models.

    See Lexus don't need no stinking gazillion trims to be #1 in less than 15 yrs. Lexus business model seems to be much better than MBs. Lexus will come up with a very refreshing redesign, add hybrid technology, improve safety features, and make electronics much better integrated. And retain their top selling position regardless of what MB, BMW, Audi/VW does.

    Unlike lenscap and ljflx, I dislike the CLS. It is unnecessary and a bloody waste of good money.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    No, Lexus doesn't need "no stinking gazillion trims to be #1", all they need is 1 very popular car and one really popular SUV to get a number 1 sales title. Meanwhile the GS, IS and LX don't do squat for those impressive press releases about sales numbers. In fairness LS is the seller for its segment. However you should quit trying to mislead everyone into thinking that Lexus' sales might is based on an all-star lineup of high sellers because it isn't.

    The fact remains that Mercedes' sales are more spread out and they aren't as dependent on just few models for their sales numbers. The C, E, S, SL, and CLK all pull their weight. Lexus depends on the ES, RX and to a lesser extant the GX for all their sales glory. The IS, GS, LX don't do squat for the sales press releases.

    Are you ever going to understand the Mercedes' pricing may have just the slightest effect on them selling more cars than Lexus? Where is it written that sales = best cars? All this talk about sales sounds like GM type rhetoric to me. This isn't beneath the great Lexus?

    On these points all I can say is apply the correct quote.....from your post #4209.

    "Yada yada yada.... Really very boring stuff this.......Very boring indeed. Give it a rest will ya ?"

    About the CLS, whether or not you see the point or not is irrelevant, it will most likely be in hot demand as any newly introduced Benz has been in the last few years. The MB "business model" isn't as good a Lexus', but yet Lexus has expressed interest in offering more models to broaden their appeal. Hmmmmmm. Example: Lexus tries to cover the CLK and SL segment with one car, yet doesn't come close to comparing to the SL and is only competitive with the CLK. Wise marketing if you want to limit the appeal of the brand. Meanwhile Mercedes gets double the market presence (and sales since they're so important to you) in the convertible/GT segment. If Mercedes can't do anything else they know how to market their cars. They are a master of this.

    As far as seeing the point, I see no point for the IS300, as hardly anyone looking for performance is shopping Lexus, ditto the GS430. Witness their lack of sales. Yet a LS430 with a 4 second 0-60 time has a "point". Right. To you a Benz is a waste of money, period. Why would the CLS be any different?

    When Lexus comes up with a "refreshing" design, please let me know. All I see in their lineup right now is bland or ugly.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My comments regarding the 6-Series were made in fun. If and when the time comes for me to buy a car in that class, I will definitely be considering all options. Well, maybe not all of the options, to tell the truth, there is nothing that Lexus has produced in the last ten years that has left me anything other than cold.

    Best Regards,
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    No escaping it. Style and looks sell. You think Julia Roberts is the best paid actress because she's a great Shakespearean actress?

    CLS's gonna be the biggest thing in the luxury market in years, outdistancing that whale lookalike 6 by miles. There's a gorgeous photo in autospies.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Doubt very much that either car will sell anything but small volumes of cars so it's probably a who cares thing anyway. It looks great in photos (way better than the 6) but likely is an impractical car for most buyers in the segment. MB is targeting a niche (they hardly want to cannibalizer their own sales) and that's it. With that said I do think MB is stretching itself too far with so many models and model variations. From a marketing an image perspective though it is what a class leader (in any business) thinks it has to do. But you can only fight a war on so many fronts before you wound yourself. It's also a costly approach to business and anybody who buys an ordinary E, S, M or C class car is partially paying for all those variations and niche cars. Same with BMW. I hate paying for something I don't get no matter how much I can afford.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    > In fairness LS is the seller for its segment ..

    In the US. Not in Europe.

    > anybody who buys an ordinary E, S, M or C
    > class car is partially paying for all those
    > variations and niche cars. I hate paying for
    > something I don't get no matter how much I can
    > afford.

    You feel better when the company you buy from makes $8B in *profits*? I actually prefer to see more money going into R&D, and it could be argued the Merc model is more customer-oriented, doing everything possible to give people *exactly* the car they want. But at the end of the day as long as companies don't use the money unethically the only thing that should mater to us is whether we're happy or not with the product we got and the transaction in general.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    They're in business to make money so it doesn't bother me at all. We all use Microsoft and it makes more money than anyone plus its' products have helped my personal business immensely. Actually it can be argued that the more successful a company is the better its future products will be. Toyota pours tons of cash into R&D and at the same time gives you the biggest bang for your buck and a world class car with the LS. It also put a lot of investment money into efficient production techniques which resulted in keeping their prices low and forcing the competition to remain low. The automotive industry is far too competitive on a global scale for any company to get overly greedy.

    But ultimately you are correct - all that matters is customer satisfaction.
  • It seems that you are saying that LS430 is so good that it outsells all those billions of Mercedes models all by itself.

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