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High End Luxury Cars

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  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Designman: I submit it is your BMW designer, ehm... Mr Chris Bangle, that should be fired after such collosal failures like the new 5 and new 7. I mean, what more can one man do to destroy so much in so short a time ???

    WRT Toyota/Lexus, these are concepts. Remember ? Not production vehicles yet. Like gscoupe said, things will change moving forward. This design does not scare me one bit. As an LS owner, I am looking forward to the 2007 model year, and then we'll see, won't we ? If the new LS is anything close to the LF-S concept, I am SOLD ! That simple !!! Not what many BMW fans can say about their recent models of the 5- and 7-, eh ????
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I'm a done deal already in 2007 - sight unseen. I'm sure it will be a classy looking car and very LF-S like. The 2004 is just an interim car for me and a very spectacular one at that. Have no desire to even think about any other car in the segment right now. That's how good this 2004 is and 2007, when it arrives, will be a killer. I just hope I'm delayed enough at April 2 to avoid a wait list. But that is 3 years out anyway. Can you imagine that there are people out there that can't (or don't want to) understand how much LS owners enjoy their cars. They really believe the boring crap.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I'll respond to yours on the LS board. Gotta keep Pat happy :)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    A severe misunderstanding - nobody said that Lexus LS owners don't enjoy their cars or that the owners themselves found the car to be boring.....far from it obviously, reading this and the LS board.
    What people have said is that they find the LS to be boring (to them) compared to the other cars in the class. Big difference. Trust me, by reading all the comments about leather, paint colors, nav systems and stereos everyone here knows that you and other LS owners love their cars, it just doesn't sound exciting to others because they look for or place emphasis on different things in a car. One person's excitement is another person's yawn.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yes that Lexus concept is gawd-awful, but what do you think about the Buick Velite? It kinda reminds me of the SC430, but looks a whole lot better to me. Don't blame the Lexus fans for thinking the styling will change on the LF-C before it reaches production because the LF-S tricked them, the new GS debuted looking nothing like the LF-S. Someone, either at Toyota or in their fan base doesn't understand the point of "concept" cars. To show a concept and then radically change it for production is bass-ackwards. Why bother with the concept car in the first place?

    M
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Ah yet, the 06 GS carries so many styling cues with the LF-S!
  • gscoupegscoupe Posts: 30
    We all know when the LF-S concept and the new GS made their appearance in the autoshows, so it isn't a surprise at all that new GS doesn't look like the LF-S. So nobody got tricked by anyone here.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    I totally disagree with you that the new GS does not look at all like the LF-S. Over in the future vehicles forum I posted a link to another website which was removed because it's against Edmunds' rules. Anyway, the link showed the 2006 GS and the LF-S side-by-side and head-on. If you saw these photos together you would realize how similar the two cars actually are.

    DrFill was like you and thought the cars were not alike. He briefly saw the link before it was removed and immediately posted "I stand corrected" and indicated the cars are more similar than he realized.

    Of course, you'll always think the cars don't look alike. But I would have liked you to see the two side-by-side anyway.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    “Someone, either at Toyota or in their fan base doesn't understand the point of "concept" cars. To show a concept and then radically change it for production is bass-ackwards. Why bother with the concept car in the first place?”

    Merc1... Well said. In addition, I would point out that concept cars usually look better than the production models and give us insight into the talent of the designers and strategy of the marketers. That LF-C looks like a rough-hewn first draft that was never meant to be seen outside the think tank.

    Anyway I’m not going to dwell on concept cars but prefer to criticize the production models. My worst nightmare is coming to fruition… Bangle is being copied. The back end of the 06 GS is painfully similar to the 5-series. Even the 05 RL, which I am mostly pleased with, shows Bangle motifs on the trunk although subdued.

    LS crew… I’m glad you guys are happy with your cars and I am first in line with the respect I have for Japanese reliability. I surely hope the LS evolves into the elegant, continuously reliable car I’m imagining and I believe they have a handle on the preferences of buyers in the upper end. But sorry, their designers are shooting in the dark as they are with the entire ugly Toyota lineup. If you believe the LS is immune from quality issues and the flaky, fashion whims of auto marketing you are kidding yourselves. But then again, I envy the blind faith that some of you have. If you can buy what they dole out without question, you are in some ways fortunate. I have no emotional equity in any brand. BMW and Porsche have appealed to me for a long time but BMW is now on my spit list. If Porsche reneges on it’s evolutionary minimal design philosophy I’ll drop them too, but I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon unless it’s by default due to their financial concerns. The upcoming 997 911 in spy shots still presses my buttons. The fact that the Boxster is growing roots is a great sign. And watch out for that elusive Porsche sedan!

    Merc1… Buick Velite… I can see the SC430 impression, but mostly, I see three influences… Infiniti, Mazda and Honda, specifically G35 and S2000. I find the elliptical trunk tier offensively discordant. The overall shape/lines are fluid and pleasing but the plagiarism sticks in my craw… more “me too” risk management at work here.
  • I combined these photos to show both sides to the story. :-)

    image
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      The Styling discussion here is quite telling. As I've said in earlier posts none of the carmarkers are really hitting me with their designs these days. Lexus' problem has been for a much longer duration than the others IMHO. As they refreshed their cars, (The LS in particular) the design became blander. Take the LS400..The 95 design was an awful attempt to preserve the old look. The 98 refresh looked better, but was a pretty bland looking design. The LS430 debut was disappointing in the sense that it very closely resembled the old S class.

    After saying this, some might ask why I bother buying these LS cars..The bottom line was ownership experience. The LS at least still offers reliablity and durability second to none. I do feel on absolute terms their quality level has fallen from the original LS, but comparatively, it's still the benchmark. I only hope the '07 LS is better in aesthetics than the older cars. I'd seriously consider buying another nameplate if the '07 is yet another S Class clone.

    SV
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I'm on a different page than you with the 95 and 98 LS cars. I thought they were both excellent updates of the original car. I preferred both to the 1990-1994 cars. From my view the redesigns replaced the boxy look of the original car with a sleeker more aerodynamic look but still maintained its overall style. As well I see Lexus quality equal to or even higher than the early 1990's. The 2004 is built like a tank and even the glovebox sounds like a bank vault when you close it. I also find the SC, GS, GX, LX and RX have incredibly high build quality. I can't speak for the IS and ES as I have hardly been in them.

    Designman - 9 perfect years and 250,000+ perfect miles makes you stay loyal to a brand. It's that simple for me plus I love the design of the 2004 LS - in and out - and the ride, build quality and engineering even more. Its the same reason MB owners stayed so loyal to their cars for so many years. They delivered perfection or near perfection as well in the past. That's why I already have so much confidence in the 2007. I have no doubt it will be a beautiful car with meaningful general improvements over the 2004 model and a groundbreaking fuel technology that will be highly desired to boot. Hey - a bunch of owners are looking forward to a car that is three years out. That speaks volumes about the quality and equity of the brand.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    Not really a board subject but maybe it should be. Per the NY Times the 2005 RL will have a 300HP V6, AWD and a NAV system that gives up to the minute traffic reports via XM satellite radio. Fully loaded it's a $50k car. Good looking car that should be hot. Puts the 5 series to shame in looks based on pix I saw. Given looks, new technology and Acura reliability this would hit my garage before an E-series as well. Looks like Acura has set its sights to compete more with the mid level German cars and the upcoming GS rather than go after the LS crowd which they had no chance to convert. Smart decision if that is the case.
  • It is such a shame that Acura refuses to put a V-8 in their car so they can step up to the real luxury class in the US.

    They don't seem to understand or we don't understand (it is 300hp) either way to sell in the luxury class they will need a V-8 or straight 8 or v-10 or v-12.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    I've never understood it either. A V8 for the lux sedan, the NSX and a large suv makes sense from a consumer standpoint. The lack of a V8 continues to hurt them. Regardless they still make very high quality cars.
  • One problem that the domestic manufacturers will have as they move upscale is the typical American (car) sales experience. It's going to be hard to get them to hire, teach, and retain sales and service people who can relate to the customer base that Caddy aspires to. People in polyester with penciled in names on their business cards aren't going to cut it.

    In New England, most Caddy dealers are dualled with another GM line (during the lean years for Caddy, how else could they heat the building?). They are poorly positioned to go after the upscale customer. Poor facilities, poor people, poor locations in blue collar areas (e.g., Auburn, MA vs. Westboro, MA). etc. Does a software engineer, JD, MD, etc. really want to drop 60K on a performance sedan and then have to wait behind a Pontiac Sunbird customer for service? Does he want to deal with a Pontiac salesperson ("so, what'll it take to put you in this car today?")?.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    More cylinders do not necessarily make a better engine. I6s are better balanced engines than a V8 from an engineering point of view. But of course V8s have legendary status in the USA.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Sorry, but I think you're in denial if you think the LF-S and the new GS look anything alike. The LF-S if I remember right was swoopy, low and had a very airy looking roofline. The new GS is just a rehash of the previous GS, only it looks even more bulbous and ungainly than before especially in the rear. The LF-S looked nothing like this. The two cars are completely different from the B-pillar rearward. There is big difference between carrying styling "cues" of a concept car and looking like a toned-down version of one. The new GS is neither compared to the LF-S. I'll review your case again though (lol) send me the link. Also, I don't remember DrFill changing his opinion on the new GS not looking like the LF-S, but I'll take your word for it because I don't remember what topic that was.

    designman,

    Yeah I saw that too on the new RL. The trunklid where it meets the back glass is slightly Bangle looking. Overall the new RL looks like a fancy Accord, even more so than the new TL, another bass-ackwards move from Honda. Some of the posters on the RL (future vehicles) board are seeing the same resemblance to the Bangle trunklid. The new RL looks awfully small too, so I'll have to see it in person. BTW, there is a new 530i in my parent's neighborhood, in Black. I have to say I like the new look on the 5, but never the 7.

    That Buick is pretty good looking in my book, it would do wonders for their image. Now let us see if GM will allow Buick to build it and build it correctly.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    For the record the new Acura RL's V6 will at the very least will be competitive with the V8s in the middle-class in hp, while giving up a little ground in torque, and the delivery of it.

    However to understand Honda as a whole is to realize why they won't build a V8. When you look the sales numbers of the E500 vs E320, GS430 vs GS300, 545i vs 530i, S-Type 4.2 vs 3.0, Q45, M45 and others you'll see that the 6-cylinder versions outsell the V8 versions anywhere from a little bit (E-Class) to a huge amount (GS300 vs GS430 is like 4 or 5 to 1) or they don't sell at all (Infinitis). V8s are mainly for image and a select few as the majority buy the 6-cylinder versions of these sedans.

     Honda being the little, shrewd, conservative company that they are can't see spending the $$ required to enter this segment with a class-leading car, which of course is what they would be shooting for. They aren't going to half do it, so it's all-out or no entry.

    Think about it, to build class leading car like the TL in the upper segment would take a major investment from Honda: a 5-Series beating rwd platform and a brand new from the ground up V8. Honda's culture won't allow it to scrimp on either item...in other words big bucks would need to be spent. Those two things on top of making everything this class of car requires as standard equipment (the Acura way) would prove to be costly for Honda. They also need another car to spread the costs of that V8 and RWD over. What else would they use this new RWD chassis under? The new V8 could be shared with the next NSX, but the chassis probably couldn't (mid-engine placement). It will be another 10 years or so before Honda summons the courage (i.e. business case) to do a RWD V8 sedan. Remember how long it took them to put a V6 in the Accord?

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    A "bunch" of LS430 owners are looking foward to the next generation hybrind LS variant, but thousands of diesel Benz owners (who've been holding on to their cars far longer than these 3 year leases) couldn't possibly have the same outlook and anticipation for the new generation of diesel cars??? Right.

    M
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