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High End Luxury Cars

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  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    No one really 'wants' a V8, even though lots of people get 'sold' a V8.

    V8's are history. They really aren't needed and with gas headed towards European pricing, who the heck wants to pay more (unless you really are a GWB birdbrain) to get the same as what you can get with a V6.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Saying a V6 can get you a V8, is like saying a turbo 4 is exactly the same as V6. Nobody *really* needs a V6 either. And with gas heading toward Europeans pricing, only the wealthy will be able to afford the gas for a V6.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,923
    No V-6s for me, thanks..

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  • Footie:

    If you can't afford the gas then you shouldn't buy an Ultra Lux car.

    If you can afford the gas but think it is your civic or moral duty to own a more fuel efficent car buy a hybred.

    I want a V8...The wonderfull thing is I live in American where I can get one...and There is a difference between a V8 and 6...No matter the HP.

    A proud GWB Compassionate Conservative.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    image
    Lot’s of creative thinking going on of late. First Mercedes is not a high-end marque, then V8’s are history. In another thread someone said the Cayenne outperforms the Boxster S and yet another that there is no such thing as car platforms. Next thing you know someone is going to say the curse is over and the Sox will win the WS. How’s this for a creative concept on a day when New York is undergoing a reality check… go Jets!

    ;-)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Hmm. V8s maybe history, but there is a healthy market for V10s and V12s. I'll take my V8 without salt thank you.

    Good thing the Yanks won.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    Don't include me on your list. Once you have a V8 that's what you want. Don't know where you get your data from but everyone I know wants a V8 in a premium lux sedan. It's one of the reasons I stopped buying Acuras. You could feel the difference between a Legend and an LS400 within seconds of stepping on the gas. On top of that there isn't much difference between the MPG I get in an LS430 and what a 6cyl ES330 gets. If gas price goes up another 40% (Europe gas itself is actually cheaper than here because of the weak dollar - worldwide oil is priced in the US dollar not in local currency - it's taxes that are the problem there) what's the big deal to a lux car buyer. He'll pay an extra $600 more annually on a car that sells for $60K+ and leases for a nearly a grand or more a month. It's simply not an issue and unless there is an illegal coalition by the auto mfrs or a worldwide government action there will always be plenty of demand for V8's. When the hybrids arrive your gas mileage argument really becomes a thing of the past and power will be all the more the rage. Lexus is already planning a real powerful V8 hybrid in 2006/7 that will rival current V12's and get 50 mpg.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    before the couple of "GWB" comments encourage more of the same in response - this is not the place for them.

    Thanks.

    :)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The new M5 goes to 60 in under 4. So Lexus will have a car that beats the new M5, will hold it's own on the racetrack, and gets 50 mpg. I'll believe it when it happens.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    I'm afraid you are going to have to believe it in a few years but it's the LS that will be the car not an M5 competitor. This was announced a while back and was referenced many times. Toyota is way beyond everyone in hybrid technology and has patents galore.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Like I said, I'll believe it when it happens. Until the rubber meets the road, it's just prognostications.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    My favorite engine is a 2 cylinder boxer engine. It's torquey and unique, and has the best engine note with an aftermarket exhaust. And will do 0-60 in way less than 4 seconds. For $16k. Buy a bike if you want true exitement. I have since I turned 15. No car will ever remotely rival a motorcycle in performance, I find it bizarre anyone looking for "exhilaration" would try to find it in a luxury sedan, but then again that is just me.

    On the V8 note - I thought the supercharged V8 in my XJR was very nice, but know for a fact the I6 in my XJS was smoother, power deficit and all. I wish I'd never traded the XJS for the XJR, biggest mistake ever in my car decision history. I never quite felt the performance sedan thing. I6 and V12 are smoother engines by their engineering nature than a V8, and thus seem better choices for a luxury sedan than a V8, but then again peer pressure rules. Fact is V8s are not naturally balanced, thus the coarse note at high revs - but people as a whole seem to like that element of coarseness, just don't claim they're smoother luxury engines, because it has absolutely no engineering basis.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Hi Michael,

    Is "hybred" supposed to be a genetic pun or something?

    Of course trying to spell things these days that are regularly mispronounced by our leedership or Fox TV talking heads is "day-rig-your" as they say over in Franse.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Kdshapiro… BMW claims 4.7 secs with the M5. They are anticipating lower in actually testing. Mercedes claims 4.5 with the E55 and Motor Trend had it at 4.2. You have dig deep into your pocket to get under 4.0 on four wheels.

    Pablo... I agree that bikes are up there with the exhilaration factor. I nearly exhilarated myself into the grave in college and gave them up forever. These squids on bikes today are absolutely nuts. One of them came upside my Boxster standing on his pegs and pumping the throttle. I nodded sarcastically and mouthed “yeah right” to him. He took off and had to be doing 130 standing up. I’m thinking good luck pal and may God be with you.

    No doubt these are innovative and exciting times with Hybrid, CVT and AWD technology. I believe there will be deliverance and there already is even if we await nobler performance. However as a consumer I proceed with caution. We pay for the industrial learning curve with technology. When it becomes day-rig-oor as footie says then I would be apt to jump in. My concerns are early maintenance headaches, high prices, longevity and resale. History has proven that Day 1 is not the most efficient time to jump into products that are based on new tech.

    That said, the promise of hybrid is incredible and it appears it will turn everything we know about performance and efficiency upside down. What I also like about this is that it is firmly grounded in the mechanical world which of late has been perceived as old-fashioned. Sure these cars will be rolling computers and all of this could not be achieved without digital application, but it is a breath of fresh air to see advances in technology that do not exist purely in the ether.

    Ljflx… do you have designs on that first hybrid LS? If I had my own business and could write off a lease I might be tempted. I only hope that they also nail the styling. Would be a shame if it comes out looking like the GS.
        
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The new M5 has been estimated to hit sixty under 4 seconds and is built to run on the racetrack. Saying the new LS will beat these specs one off is one thing, saying it will run on the track with the crowd is quite another.

    The new hybrid Accord at 255 horses hits 60 in 7.5 seconds, check out edmunds review. And while you have to pay $4K extra to get the 255 horses over the standard Accord, you get better fuel economy. Whether you believe you will save $4000 dollars in fuel over the life of the car is up to you to decide.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 27,923
    Only 507 HP..

    Do you really think that Lexus will have anything to match that? Or will even want to? That isn't their strength, and to date, they haven't attempted anything in that market..

    I just don't see any LS buyers clamoring for an M5 beater.. Plus, they wouldn't like the ride..

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  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Man, talk about digression. I don't know how the M5 even comes into the picture when dicussing hybrids and Lexus at this point. The new M5 is wa-a-a-y opposite of real-world luxury performance. No sir, with those torque/hp curves it’s a track car as you alluded to and not well-spent street money.

    I see no reason to knock the hybrid venture. This is technology that is beneficial on many levels and performance is one of them, not just the greening of the world. It’s a story of more-for-less and this is the MO that built the industrial revolution and the world.
  • FOOTIE

    MARK TWAIN once said "I have no respect for any man who can only spell a word one way"

    Albert Einstien spelled worse then I do...

    When I worked I had employees who could spell..Now I don't care as long as I can get the message across.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Excellent point Michael. Doctors are notoriously poor spellers. And if a man can get elected to be President of the US talking about nuke-u-lar arms, well, that says it all. By the way, this pronunciation of nuclear is now sanctioned by Webster's. Now, back to talking about Lexus, Mercedes, Jag-you-are and BMdubya.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    I think Motor Trend had sketches of the next LS several months ago and it looked awesome and much more athletic and sporty.

    What is the big deal with HP? Lexus has already announced a 600HP Hybrid for a 2007 LS model - they just had no intention to join the HP wars with gas engines as the hybrids are on the brink. They even said the price of this V12 equiv. LS will be around $100K. Toyota has shown a supercar (sportscar) that will most certainly be badged as a Lexus and will probably have that same engine and a $150K pricetag. The world's about to change. The hybrid engines bring power, great fuel efficiency, less dependency on the middle east and much cleaner air. You'd have to be nuts not to want them to happen. The moment production levels increase the prices will drop (like new tech always does) and more closely approximate gas cars.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    My earlier comment on MB as a car mass-marketer rather than a pure luxury car maker may be, shall I say, too graphic, eh ! So I'll back off and re-phrase as follows:

    MB is a world mass-marketer in fine automobiles, but positions itself as a luxury car marker in the all-important NA market, a "fact" that is clearly in dispute since they (MB) have only led luxury car sales once in known recorded surveys. I use "sales" here to demarcate pure luxury car makers - Bentleys, RR, AM, etc... where sales # are not the bench-mark of prestige, versus MB that uses prestige to hoodwink the buying NA public into what it is not.

    Just had my very first drive in my friend's 330ci. What a car ??? I am a convert, pure and simple. That inline-6 motor is just unbelievable !!!! Maybe it was the additional 1" lowering on the car, but I swear taking curves at 80mph had absolutely no roll, and I took these corners real hard.... Rode around in the sport mode, handling was crisp, not Lexus-like, but darn great, I must say. What a difference ??? I am a believer in the BMW hype !!!! OTOH, the 5-series did nothing to move me when I had extensive drives in it, but this 330 is just absolute dynamite. I told my wife, that WILL be my next car, hopefully before the 2006/07 new LS comes out. I'm gonna get a slightly used 330ci (no Bangle-ised version for me) next year and get rid of my little Trix. And then by late 2006, I'll be waiting in line for the new LS.

    Toyota/Lexus' is going to make a killing with their hybrid technologies. With oil prices nudging close to the $60 mark, who is to say we won't see a $100/barrell of oil within a year or two ? Hello China (slow down your growth a tad, will ya?) ???? Just about timeframe when Toyota/Lexus's stable of hybrid cars/trucks are entrenched in the market. The hybrid Toyota Sequoia is scheduled for 2006, the hybrid Highlander for 2005, and the hybrid RX due anytime from now. The new LS-H will probably come to the US by 2007, and maybe the GS-H or IS-H will be here earlier than these time lines.... Of course, Nissan, Ford and to a lesser extent GM will follow Toyota/Lexus, but at a very distant position.

    An investment tip (unsolicited, so pls ignore): may be a safe bet buying TM right about now... check it out for yourself at http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=TM&t=2y
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Interesting tidbit from Automotive News: "Porsche may build a hybrid version of its Cayenne SUV using a Toyota powertrain, a Porsche source says. Toyota and the German carmaker would adapt the gasoline-electric powertrain to be used in the Lexus RX 400h."
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    I don't think the Porsche Cayenne using a full Toyota engine/hybrid system will end up making it.
    One would think Porsche fanatics will end up crucify Porsche if they did that! More likely would probably be adapting the Toyota hybrid technology for their existing engines.

    But, hey, you never know.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    They seem to be working together more and more.
    What is going on?
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    ljflx,

    What else have they worked on or are working on together?
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    2 things: I think about Mercedes positioning *itself* as a pure luxury car maker... that is your personal perception. MB doesn't do much about it, for some reason they do have that image of exclusivity in NA despite the fact that, indeed, their reality isn't different from others. I am not saying it's justified, all I was saying is that product strategy wise they're no different from the other brands you mentioned. And their brand equity is undeniable according to brand experts. We have repeatedly talked about the fact that MB will in the end dilute the brand image over time with their current strategy.

    Second of all, I fully agree with you on the 330. I have said before that in my opinion the 330 might very well be the best car on the planet in rational terms: it's built in such quantities that every kink in its armor gets ironed out over time, and BMW's 3 liter inline 6 to me is the best engine other than some 12 cylinder exotics in the car world. It's turbine smooth (more so that any V8, really) and torquey, and a perfect match for the 3 series weight. The only problem I had with picking a 330, which I was 5 minutes away from doing, was the fact that they're *everywhere* in the Bay Area. Phenomenal car, but as I have said before, it's a bit like an amazingly gorgeous girl that's slept with everybody you know - she's still gorgeous, but the desirability suffers some. :-)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    Toyota people helped then deploy Toyota TPS and Porsche quality improved as a result and Porsche worked with Lexus on the new GS' handling.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    Can't agree with you on that one Pablo. They market status and exclusivity in the US at every turn. Did you see anybody that wasn't a celebrity on those commercials touting star (sports, TV, movies, whatever) ownership of MB's?
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Most of the ads I have seen focus on everyday people loving their Benz through the ages. I just went to their website, and the "Love Mercedes" theme seems the over-reaching one. And then some safety element, with the usual peacefully asleep infant sitting in the back of a nice car (which made me fondly remember my Dad screaming at me to stay awake and look out of the window, because I'd barf like a dog if I fell asleep on the curvy road home). I do recall the ad campaign you mention, but I seem to recall it was rather short lived. My impression is other brands rely ont he celebrity endorsement far more than MB does. Perhaps a shift in marketing strategy? Luxury, but not snobbishly superficial and unapproachable?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,677
    The end must be near for the Phaeton. Saw an ad in Wednesdays NY Times special auto section in rather large print. The $67K Phaeton "special lease" at $499 per month for 3 years but only 10K miles per year. I'm sure you'll have no problem upping that mileage to 12K or 15K in negotiation. Heck I'd feel guilty negotiating a price lower than that $499 per month. No driveaway costs other than registration fees. No bank application fee, nothing down, no security etc. Residual is $35K but who in their right mind will buyout this car after 3 years unless it has value of a different nature. But do the math - the car amortizes $32K officially (more than likely the $35K residual is $10K+ overstated) and your cost is only 60% of the depreciation. If I needed a third car right now even I would lease that car at that price. There's no risk unless the car is a lemon and the laws protect you on that. What a bath VW is taking on that car. But if you are speculative and you lease, who knows - the car may have its greatest value as a collectors item if it turns out to be a one year model. Than the $35K residual may be a bargain. They certainly are rare. I've seen one so far and mistook it for a Passat until I got close enough to see it was too large.

    I have to wonder if this VW stupidity on the Phaeton will drag down the A8 with it since, for all intent and purposes, they are the same car.

    RX and Cayenne working together - an interesting link is posted over on "German carmakers - starting to make critical mistakes" on news and views. It would be hard for a lot of people to swallow but it makes great strategic business sense for large and powerful Toyota to acquire small and highly successful Porsche. A win-win situation all around but it would be impossible for Porsche lovers to digest in their lifetime. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it happens in the next 5 years. Porsche almost died 10 years ago and really should be a product line of a giant. In that way you can preserve Porsche as a pure sportscar and use the expertise on the main line of cars and suv's the giant offers. Porsche as nothing but a sportscar is what Porsche lovers want. But Porsche as nothing but a sportscar is a bad and risky business strategy in this technology age, which is why you have the Cayenne; and it's why you will eventually have other Porsche models the brotherhood won't be happy about. The more I think about it the more I realize a takeout by Toyota is a no-brainer.
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