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High End Luxury Cars

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  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    My sole point with the comment on SL/SLK is that I see both regularly and cannot understand why the SL is worth what MB charges for it. Ditto the CLK/CL combo. To me, these twins are only about engine displacements, suspension and other *fluffs* MB throws in. Maybe it is just for the halo effect of owning an MB when you buy the low production CL or SL cars ? I guess I answered my own question afterall.

    I don't know how you can even mention the LS430/GS430 in the same vein as the SL/SLK or CL/CLK combos. Seemed to me too much of a stretch to make your point, isn't it ?

    I will agree with you about the examples of Infiniti and Acura canibalizing their vehicles. Need to include Audi and VW in your examples too.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    All I can ask is how do you know any of this to be fact? There are hundreds of thousands of diesel Benz owners that have been waiting for a new diesel. Diesels don't sell here...ah...hello nobody is selling any diesels except Volksagen. Why don't you wait and see how the new 2005 E320 CDI does before predicting the future. If it doesn't sell then maybe you'd have a point, until you're just merely speculating. Gas prices went up about what two years ago too and nothing happened people still bought SUVs and gas guzzling cars by the truckload. Have you seen the record sales for these things for 2003? They took fifty-three percent of the market. Now if we have a truly sustained period of high gas prices, then things will change, this is only a blip...as or right now (disclaimer). Suvs will go first and then gas guzzling luxury cars, one group has enough money not to make knee-jerk buying decisions, ther other doesn't. You seem to think that everybody will want a hybrid and that will never be, some people will always want a "regular" car, only once hybrids take off the automakers will have make there regular offerings even more fuel efficient.

    I'm curious as to why you would you get excited about a 400hp LS, when such hp is useless per all the talk done in here? Great gas mileage for a 400hp car that most Lexus owner will never push??? Doesn't make any sense. BTW, 400hp won't cut it anymore 500 is becoming the standard for performance biased cars.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Best of luck with the car. It's a fabulous car and a joy to drive. You've also got one of the last flint mica with black interiors. The interior on this thing in black is a knockout and the outside refinements make the car beautiful on the exterior. The antique walnut wood trim belongs on Baker furniture.

    Have you noticed the quickness of this car both at 0-60 and in torque. I'm dying to just floor it but I can already see the flashing lights in my rear view mirrow. I can't believe its the same engine as before. Plus the engine is even quieter - if that's possible.

    I'll take the hybrid version in 2007.

    Enjoy.

    merc1 - I said 350-400 for the mainstream car. I'm also talking annual sales not accumulated sales in diesels. Besides Toyota will have no problem bringing a diesel to market if they want to. But the diesel just won't work here. I don't know anything for a fact. Just know my business intuition and its usually right. By the way I couldn't care less who copies who. Just give me a great reliable car.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    All I can say is go look at the SL and SLK, they are very different, ditto for the CLK and CL. There is no way these cars are twins, they don't even share the same platforms, only one with no experience with either would say something like that. Sure they all carry the MB theme, but they're very much different cars. If you see them both regularly you should know they don't affect each others sales. I'm willing to bet that if you drove the current SLK and SL you'd see that the SLK doesn't even compare. Saying the SL and SLK are twins are like saying the IS300 and GS300 are twins, or the LS and ES....similar cars sure, but different in execution.

    You're right about VW and Audi, they're insanely planning for Audi and VW to go model for model at the upper reaches, while it will produce some interesting cars, it doesn't make sense.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Even 350-400hp for a mainstream car isn't going to shock anyone, the next S is rumored (just like you're doing with the LS) to have a 355hp V8 as the entry level car, with a 400hp V8 as the next car up and then you know the AMG and V12 versions will be much higher. BMW and Audi aren't going to sit still with hp either.

    The appeal will be if Lexus does these hp numbers with better gas mileage, which I don't doubt they will, but that will probably be the only advantage of buying one, 400hp is still 400hp.

    I know you were talking about annual sales, my point is that many a Benz diesel owner have been waiting so they shouldn't have a problem moving diesels here again, there is a pent-up demand. There is no way for either of us to know whether or not they'll be successful, its all speculation at this point.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    You miss a point or my point about powerful engines. I never said or meant to say I wouldn't use the power or that Lexus drivers wouldn't use the power. I said the reality of everyday driving is that road conditions rarely - 1% of the time maybe - allow you to take advantage of that power. Hence I rather the money be spent on things that you can enjoy all the time. Read my other post - I'm dying to floor this new car, the power it has is awesome and it's only a 290HP (feels much more powerful though).

    What I absolutely hate to see is people - usually kids - weaving in and out of traffic endangering people to show off. Four kids just got killed on a winding stretch of the Northern state pkwy in Long Island - where I've seen that type of driving often. They were going so fast the car got split in two by a large tree. Too much power - in the wrong hands - borders on irresponsibility. Remember the speed posts of a few weeks ago - it was in that area of Long Island. But ultimately its the driver that needs to control themself.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I don't think kids will be driving E55s, M5s or 400hp LS400hs. Any car can be dangerous in the wrong hands. My earlier post was about something someone said a while back about how useless all this hp was when it pertains to a MB or BMW, but reading all of today's posts it seems to be implied that a 400hp Lexus will somehow be magically safer.

    I say find the "correct" road and circumstance and floor that thing, safely.

    M
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Right, can you sell an E class MB with steel wheels, cloth interior, a dorky radio and a 2 liter engine in the U.S. as a luxury car. Nope.

    Why? Because IMHO it isn't a luxury car. It's just a Mercedes, like the taxi's all over Europe. They aren't Luxury Taxi's. They are just taxis.

    I wasn't trying to make the Lexus/Toyota luxury number as great as the Mercedes numbers, which are still larger. But you can't compare the Toyota/Lexus number to all of MB's sales, because they definitely are not all luxury cars in the same class as the Toyota/Luxury cars (or anyone elses for that matter).
  • warthogwarthog Posts: 216
    Now the host is going to chastise me for this, I guess, but here's a perfect example of why spelling and grammar matter on this board and everywhere else: merc says (not to pick on you, bud): "Only people who own E55s and M5s drive wreckless." I assume he means "reckless," which changes the meaning of the sentence 180 degrees. Or maybe he really meant "wreckless," but who's to know?

    OK, host, let me have it.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, not too long ago I flagged down a W211 E-Class taxi in Paris. On the way to CDG the driver asked me how I liked his cab, and when I looked around I realized that it was easily as nice as my 530i, decked out in leather with all of the electronic goodies. Then as he merged from the on-ramp to the left lane (in one sweeping move) of the Autoroute I was stunned at the acceleration. When I got out at the airport, I peeked at the trunk lid; hmmm, an E320CDI (I hear that there is now an E400CDI, must be damn fast from say 20-120). Not too shabby.

    Not saying that all Paris taxis are like that, but this one was great.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      Like all the Lexus owners here, I'm quite excited about the upcoming hybrids. Here's a few reasons why I think the Hybrid will be more popular
    1) It makes use of existing Gas stations, no one has to go searching for diesel
    2) It's cleaner than a comparable gas or diesel alternative.
    3) The performance of a hybrid is significantly enhanced and it gives higher gas mileage to boot.
    4) It's a revolutionary technology, not an evolutionary one as the newer diesels are. These sort of things generate a buzz, as the Prius has for the past few years.

    It's a safe bet that the industry will be moving toward this technology given the pros. Toyota has already licensed it to Ford, and I feel it's only a matter of time before the others adopt it. Toyota will be at a signficant advantage given that they own most of the patents.

    Provided the new LS looks as good as the original, I'll be trading my '02 LS in 2007. All this revolutionary technology is nice, but I won't bother buying the car if it's yet another S Class clone. Let's see whether Lexus is really dedicated towards carving their own identity design wise.

    SV
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Johncalifornia,
     Question about your XJ8..How has it been treating you so far? I've been seriously thinking about getting a 98-03 XJ. The new one just looks too much like an X type to me. When I saw it, I mistook it for the smaller car.

      I've read a great deal about the XJ reliability. From what I hear, the days of rusting gas tanks and other horrendous repairs are past..For the most part, owners comment on minor repairs here and there. I've been spoiled by my LS cars, but the XJ8 is quite pretty so I'm willing to tolerate the quirks. (Much like a high maintenance woman!) What is Jaguar service and overall ownership experience like?

    Much thanks for your input,
    SV
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I had only one semester of chemistry in college, and that was long ago...I am curious, if you could ask your brother-in-law the next time you see him: how can a membrane separate a molecule into its constituent atoms? I can certainly see a membrane separating different molecules from each other, particularly molecules of differing sizes. But splitting H2O into Hs and O?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I read awhile ago that MB was talking to Toyota about licensing hybrid technology. Do you know what happened there? I did notice that the R-Class being shown on the car show circuit is a diesel-electric hybrid...does it use Toyota technology and do you know when a hybrid version ships?

    Personally I don't see hybrid as being the death-knell of MB or anything so dramatic. However I do think it a very important technology, and Toyota (and to some extent Honda) are clearly ahead of others. As long as the technology is still on a path of significant improvements, Lexus may stay a step or two ahead, and this will enable it to either gain some market share or improve profitability or a bit of both. Witness that despite licensing from Toyota, Ford's first hybrid vehicle will use technology based on the FIRST-generation Prius, yet be introduced a year AFTER the SECOND-generation Prius.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    if MB were required as part of a licensing agreement to put in every ad for a hybrid vehicle: "Powered by Toyota hybrid technology".

    Just kidding, I know it won't happen...but maybe a fair amount of money will change hands instead.
  • lexus0622lexus0622 Posts: 27
    sv7887: Could not agree more with your Lexus analysis. We have all heard it before but it cannot be overstated -- Lexus has so many early owners begging, pleading, dreaming, agonizing over the successive LS400 "design refinements" which clearly were morphing to the S Class. Year after year, disappointment after disappointment :-(.

    I read these LS 430 posts and am impressed by the joy it brings to the owners. But, the two times in the past 6 months that I have dragged myself to a dealer and looked at the car I still couldn't do it. "Have a seat inside, Sir" the salesman would offer. "No thanks. I have no question about the inside or the ride. That's not my problem" I would reply. Seriously -- two times.

    And it really has been "my problem" since Lexus didn't seem to have any misgivings and buyers aren't staying away. So, my longing for the low running, gently curvacious, subtle lines of my '92 LS400 would stay unfulfilled.

    Sounds a bit romantic, doesn't it? Well, I thought since we already have a lot of discussion on reliability, ride, speed, electronics, owner's manual, Consumer Reports, and the like, why not just plain old romance? We all know that it is a factor most of the time, so let it come out!

    All you have to say is, "I love my car! With all of what it has and doesn't have, it was my choice."

    Now we all feel better! OK, back to normal now.
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    I understand that MB has finally decided to implement DOHC 4 valve per cylinder technology in upcoming engines?

    Does anyone know if they licensed this technology from Toyota that had it for the aluminum DOHC 4 valve per cyclinder V8 they introduced in the 1989 Lexus 400 about 15 years ago?
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    lexus0622,
     I couldn't agree with you more on the Romantic aspect of buying a car. It is what made me buy my 92. One look was all it took in 1990, as I watched one drive by me. For two years I snuck up to LS400's in the parking lot and peered inside. I finally got sick and tired of looking and bought one.

    I nearly traded it in for a '98 three years back. The next morning I ran back to the dealer to pull it out of the deal. There is just something about that car, perhaps it's the flair of the design. Maybe it's just the feel the car has to it, like it was built to last forever. I liked the 1998, but it was rather bland in design. The '02 has plenty of electronic toys, but doesn't do much for me in terms of styling. I only buy these cars as I'd like my primary car to be under warranty.

    This whole Romance idea is what has drawn me to the XJ8 (98-03) Sure, it's not the most advanced car out there, but it is unique. There is nothing that spells elegance more than a XJ. From the sleek exterior to the amazing gentleman's club interior it's really something. Durability issues aside, I think the 98-03 car is one of the best looking of the whole lot.

    I have to say, we really haven't considered the whole Romance factor in the purchase decision. Perhaps this is one of the intangibles others have refered to on this board.

    SV
  • lexus0622lexus0622 Posts: 27
    sv7887: What do think about the GT? Different class of car, I understand, but the lines?
  • YOU HAVE GOT THE SCIENTIFIC EDGE ON ME, I WAS A BUSINESS MAJOR.

    You now know what I threw a lot of disclaimers into my comments.

    I know the membrain plays a critical role in the process (at least I think I know that)
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