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High End Luxury Cars

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  • xkssxkss Posts: 722
    I'd like a new aluminum Jaguar XJ8. The new XJR's aluminum chassis is 60 % stiffer than its predecessor and 40 per cent lighter than that of an equivalent steel body.

    http://www.canadiandriver.com/articles/jk/images/04jagxjbody.jpg

    http://www.jagweb.com/aj6eng/v8_performance.html

    (the new aluminum XJR has a 4.2 V-8)

    p.s. The 2005 Jaguar Super V8 is the flagship XJ and it weighs over 800 pounds less than the BMW 760Li.
  • complete nonsense and spin.
  • Almost any daring retro design can be popular for a few months (or even longer, witness the New Beetle craze a few years ago). Ultimately however, it's the internals that matters. Crossfire was very sought after (Chrysler's first sold-at-MSRP car for nearly a decade), but now has months of supply queued up in the supply chain.

    "Cool" is in the eyes of behold. Magnum sales can not compare to Taurus wagon in its hey days, nor Focus wagon today.
  • complete nonsense and spin.

    That's certainly a very intelligent rebuttal. I will take it as you are unable to make any counter-argument to the points I made. Namely:

    (1) Lexus has higher significantly higher price of admission than MB does, even in the US (the difference is far greater in Europe)
    (2) Lexus average selling price is higher than that of MB, in the US and worldwide.

    What does that say about which is the higher end luxury marquee??

    (3) Halo cars sold in relatively small numbers compared to the rest of the lineup do not make a high end maruqee.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    "industrial insiders at the site referenced above concur; if you follow the link for a few pages you will actually see an in-depth analysis of the 2002 Audi A8 Space Frame Aluminum Intensive structure and its disadvantages"

    Errrr...American engineers don't know what they're talking about. Only German engineers do. Don't you know that? hehehe.
  • more nonsense and spin....

    you post a link to US Steel!!!
    now there is an unbiased promotion!!!!
    is this the best you could do?

    i read all of it. and guess what....they
    complain that the last version A8 is
    heavier than the "steel" LS430!!duh...it
    has AWD? did it ever occur to you that any weight savings made by using aluminum afford an automaker the ability to ad more equipment that other wise might make the automobile too heavy?

    even after reading all of the article which is
    clearly biased....the
    A8 is obviously one of the most advanced
    automobile designs in the world. what a joke!!
    tell you what...i will go to ALCOA.... find an article about "how aluminum is better than steel"
    and post a link. don't you think it might be a bit biased? duh!!!

    both steel and aluminum manufacturers are fighting neck and neck to supply the auto
    industry. i read an article in USA today
    about a year ago that was quite interesting.
    i will try to find it. hopefully it will
    have less spin and sales pitch.
  • did it ever occur to you that any weight savings made by using aluminum afford an automaker the ability to ad more equipment that other wise might make the automobile too heavy?

    Or trying to make up for inadequate engineering.

    the
    A8 is obviously one of the most advanced
    automobile designs in the world. what a joke!!


    The joke is on you. Obviously, each one of LS, 7, S and A8 is "one of the most advanced automobile designs in th world." Dah! You'd think after spending that much money it ought to be.

    Biased or not, the steel side certainly has the material expertise and have a long list of disadvantages for aluminum. As far as I can tell, the only counter-argument the aluminum side expert witness can provide is weight savings, which in the case of A8 is quite removed from the spirit of the vehicle.

    More to the point, A8 only makes up 3% of Audi sales. How can you argue that differentiates Audi from VW? "Nonsens and spin"?
  • http://www.autoaluminum.org/sp1.htm

    here is a link to an article from Reuters about aluminum in automobiles. it is on a biased site that promotes aluminum but the article is interesting. there is also a sub article that discusses the previous generation A8....how it received 5 stars in crash tests.

    for any person to believe that an ALL ALUMINUM A8 is not different than a an ALL STEEL Phaeton...."talking to you is like a martian trying to have a discussion with a fungo"{Bull Durham).

    many auto manufacturers are using aluminum today to save weight in their vehicles. the current E class has an aluminum hood, trunk and i believe front fenders. only the Audi has taken it to the advanced technical level of a completely all aluminum vehicle. whether you like Audi or not what they accomplished is very advanced.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    I don't see the benefits of aluminum unless the car weighs significantly less..The point about the Audi is that even with AWD, it shouldn't weigh more..Even Jaguar's offering weighs less than it's counterpart...It's comparable to Boeing's composite 787 jetliner weighing more than the aluminum 767 it is replacing. Another problem with aluminum is the hassle in getting the thing repaired..It might make a great marketing tool, but I wouldn't want the hassle..I'll stick to steel until Mercedes or Lexus goes that way.

    What I find interesting is that the world leader, Mercedes, in safety hasn't adopted this technology. I don't feel unsafe in my LS430 (Especially after taking quite a hit in my LS400), but I feel MB is first to the market with alot of safety innovations..One of the things I was most impressed with in the S Class was it's obvious sturdiness. I wouldn't be too worried about surviving a crash in that car. The Mercedes salesman mentioned something about the frame being made from one metal block rather than being welded like other cars...Is there any real significance to that?

    As for Jaguar..The latest XJ is a nice car, but the Jaguar purists are not happy due to it's design..Ford attempts at preserving the look haven't worked thus far..The concepts for the new XK look good..Only time will tell...

    SV
  • kc56kc56 Posts: 1
    I keep reading all these stories about How bad Mercedes-Benz is doing and yet they only changed one guy at the top. This Cordes guy. He seems pretty sharp and apparently has done a good job before. Yet in the US, it seems they have weak management who have devasted the product and taken away the scheduled maintenance and are losing money and it seems really don't understand the US market. Why not make a change here also?
    When Chrysler neeeded help they brought in Zietche and Eberhardt who both knew the US Market, at Mercedes in the US, they took a company doing very well going in the right direction and brought in what has turned out to be sub-par manangement, who had never been in the US before and they have now managed to run in it into the ground and our stock will take the hit.
    Maybe Kirkorian should run it.
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    "Audi A-8 336 HP...O-60 6.3 sec..No bad for a big car."
    "Lexus LS430 290 HP...0-60... 5.9 SEC...and it gets much better gas milage."

    Why don't you tell the whole truth?
    Where does the A8 reach its peak HP? at 6500rpm!
    Where does the LS reach its peak HP? at 5600rpm!
    Torque? about the same: 317 A8 vs. 320 LS
    Is (18/25 LS vs. 18/24 A8) that so much better???

    The Audi weighs about 300 lb. more (8%)

    Now, the discussion between alu space frame and conventional steel is very interesting. I have seen the difference between the two in the production. I can tell you that much: the alloy spaceframe is considerably harder to manufacture. It takes a lot more people to put together a spaceframe than a convantional frame, which is manufactured mostly by robots. Audi has a considerable experience in alu frames, since they are the first who did that in large scale production, as far as I know. The new Rolls-Royce is an aluminum space frame, for example.
  • RL81:

    I am not a real knowledge Auto guy...Don't know how to fix them...or build them..Only know how to buy them...Question..

    If the Lexus has Almost 16% Less HP...and slightly more toque..AND IS MUCH FASTER 0-60

    What is the relavance of the LS reaching Peak HP at a lower RPM...ISN'T THAT A GOOD THING.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Does a welded body have any disadvantage over the uniframe design a la Mercedes? If you were going to get into an accident, is there anything conclusive on the merits of either design?

    SV
  • hey guys,

    when it comes to which automobile is quicker the A8 or the LS430....the LS is quicker. i have yet to see a 0-60 time for the short wheel base
    version of the A8. the 6.3 is usually what i see quoted for the long wheelbase. keep in mind that the A8 in either long or short wheelbase is AWD and I'm sure that will affect the quickness of the vehicle. as for which automobile is safer i am sure they are both equally safe in accidents regardless of the steel vs aluminum nonsense that has been filling this thread.

    having said that Audi should be commended for manufacturing a unique vehicle.
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    michael_mattox:

    the two cars/ engines have totally different characters.
    LS: comfortable and refined
    A8: sporty and dynamic

    Compare it to the M5/M6 engine: V10, 5liters, 507 HP@7750rpm, 383 ft-lbs@6100rpm

    The A8 short and long wheelbase are supposed to be the same from 0-60 (6.3s), based on the audiusa website. Either that is a little too optimistic for the long wheelbase or too slow for the short wheelbase. Alright, after reviewing the German Audi website, I found out that the A8 SWB goes from 1-100kph in 6.3s and the LWB takes 6.4s. Because 0-100kph equals 0-62mph, in order to be fair, you have to take off 0.1 or 0.2 seconds off to get the 'real' 0-60 time. Also, don't forget that the A8 is AWD which will slow it down in pure acceleration compared to the LS. However AWD gives you better traction at the limit.

    What does that mean? If you ask me? NOTHING. How many luxury car owners in here take their car regularly on the track? How many have driven their LS or whatever on a track? There is nothing to prove it, my opinion is that the A8 will be faster driven at the limit. And I don't mean pure acceleration. Speed in curves is more important on a track.

    Really people, the way most people drive these cars, they only get the cars to 60-70% of their potential. It's more about knowing that you could if you wanted.
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    The welded construction gets its strength through multiple sheets of metal. You have to imagine it's like an onion, where you have multiple layers that give the final strength. In the beginning that whole construction flaps like it's made out of paper. When it's finished it's very very solid.
    The uniframe design on the other hand is more like a skeleton. Conceptually it should be stiffer.

    What does this mean in an accident?
    Well it depends, the key here is that in an accident you have to bend as much metal as possible to take out the energy of the crash without hurting the people that are inside. Weight is also another consideration because the heavier car will be less damaged in an accident. Safety is a very hard thing to do right because it's not JUST that they try to make to frame as hard as they can. You want to absorb most of the energy in the front where the engine is (in a frontal crash).
    Conclusion: safety depends more on how good of a job the engineers have done rather than how stiff the frame is. I personally don't believe that there are cosiderable differences between any serious lux car.
    Don't forget, the stiffer the frame the sportier, therefore I assume that Lexus would be more on the soft side since they are more on comfort than sport.
  • rl81

    when you look at the numbers...The LS is both comfortable and refined and Sporty and Dynamic...

    How else do you explain both the faster 0-60 time and the slightly stronger gear ratio?? in the LS..As far as faster on the Road...Well you made a GUESS...But we don't have to guess about which is actually faster....

    PS. Because of the Audi's greater Turning Radius and great weight I would GUESS it is not faster on the Road either. BUT, that is just MY guess.

    Do Dynamic Sporty Cars generally have 4wd, how about Race cars? just curious...I do believe the Hot little Subury does have AWD ...Maybe Audi is in that catagory..Just isn't as fast.
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    I tried to find some racetrack times for both of them but, like I said it's not like people race those things. We're just left with guesses.

    All new Subarus are AWD...
    You probably refered to the WRX, which is the street legal version of the worldcup rallye car. The WRX has about 300 hp and is very light. Sure it's fast. Same with the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, a Euro version of the Ford Focus...

    Other race/sport cars with AWD:
    1. Porsche 911 Turbo
    2. Lamborgini Murcielago
    3. Lamborgini Gallardo (built by Audi)
    4. Audi Le Mans (the new super sport check it out at the Future Vehicles seciton)
    5. Nissan Skyline (but this is not a 'real' super sport)
    6. we might also add the one and only Audi Coupe Quattro
    ...I can't think of any more, right now...

    Back in the early 80's Audi racecars dominated in rallye and touring cars...they were the first ones to do that. My point is that Audi has extensive race experience. I don't want to say that Toyota doesn't have any race, but not as much as Audi...
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    Lexus? NO
    Acura? NO
    Infinity? NO

    See the answer here:
    http://www.carpages.co.uk/audi/audi-a6-18-02-05.asp?switched=on&e- cho=154506977
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi rl81,
    You make a good point about Audi. But is AWD really needed on a Luxo-Cruiser that is likely going back and forth to the office? I'd definitely see the benefit on the S8 though. Like you said, it's not like anyone is racing these cars. I looked at your link and found something interesting:

    "They rated the 36 candidates based both on objective criteria, such as product characteristics, and on their emotional charisma: the "wow" factor is clearly just as important an evaluation criteria as safety & environment or value for money."

    I think this perfectly illustrates the difference between Lexus and German marque owners and maybe even US and European buyers..We discount the "wow" factor in favor of the objectives. This is not meant to diminish the Audi in anyway. I feel each brand has its' own personality cult. If you were to take an unscientific survey on this board you'd come to the same conclusion. Perhaps this is why Europe has always been hesitant towards Japanese cars. I think it's really the cultural difference.

    SV
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    I would like to put this car up for discussion:
    2005 Maserati Quattroporte

    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2005/maserati/quattroporte/100505998/p- hotogallery.html?pg_type=Sedan&imgsrc=%2Fpictures%2FVEHICLE%2F200- - 5%2FMaserati%2F100505998%2F20023048-T.jpg

    Would this be a candidate for a true luxury sedan? Why or why not?
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    sv:
    I think you brought up the achilles heel of this discussion. Why do we need a luxury car? Can't people just buy a Camry, Accord, etc. and just drive around with that? Is a V8/V12 etc. really necessary? Aren't people just victims of 'peer pressure', slick marketing, and tricky sales people?
    This is not to offend anyone, rather to take this with some humor...
  • sure...Accords or Camry's are fine automobiles. i had a Camry and 2 Accords. since i love cars i eventually moved into more technically interesting automobiles. not out of peer pressure or anything else.... i just love cars. all of the technology in automobiles today is amazing. when i was shopping this past time for a new car i looked at tons of cars. some expensive ..some not so expensive. i couldn't give a flying [non-permissible content removed] what my neighbors think of me. cars are my favorite hobby. after all of these posts .....i hope nobody thought it was golf!
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    I think there are a few types of buyers out there:
    1) The real car nuts..They love everything related to their Marque.. Their cars strike an emotional chord in them. They love the look and feel of their car as well as the heritage of the brand.

    2) Those who base their purchases on what JDP, CR, and other objective surveys say.."Feel" and looks are not as important to these buyers. You could say they simply want a nice car that will last. I'd probably fit into this group.

    3) The "Me Too's" who simply want the snob appeal that comes with owning their cars. It's probably likely that they know nothing about the marque or car at all. I think this is what happened to the 3 Series. (which is sad because it's one of best cars out there) I can't tell you how many people I've seen do just that.

    What do you all think?
    SV
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let's remember that we are actually discussing the higher end makers here and luxury cars in general. Generalizing about the folks who purchase them isn't the subject, and it's dangerous territory. Why people buy luxury cars isn't the issue here - we're talking about the cars they do buy and the companies who make them.

    Again, let's stick to the cars. Thanks.
  • It's funny how you accused bais when I provided a link that listed a table of hard data comparing aluminum vs. steel tensile strength, then cite a link that has no hard data at all just promotional fluff . . . "talking to you is like a martian trying to have a discussion with a fungo"{Bull Durham). Do you dispute those tensile strength data are inccorrect? or you just have no clue what tensile strength is.

    only the Audi has taken it to the advanced technical level of a completely all aluminum vehicle. whether you like Audi or not what they accomplished is very advanced.

    Or simply part of a technical trial and error process like BMW's i-Drive. In any case, Aluminum-intensive construction (not all-aluminum, btw) only accounts for 3% of total Audis sold in 2004. That hardly defines the marquee as you stated.
  • It seems to me that a CAR has no experience at all it is what it is...If it is faster and corners as well and has equal or better acceleration...and what ever it takes to beat the other car...It's esperience means little. We have been discussin Audi and LS..So I have limited my comments to those two cars.

    The frame of the LS is very solid..Mine is an 01 and is just as solid as it was when I bought it..Many here with LS 400s will say the same about their cars that are as much as 10 or 12 years old.
  • I can tell you that much: the alloy spaceframe is considerably harder to manufacture. It takes a lot more people to put together a spaceframe than a convantional frame, which is manufactured mostly by robots.

    All the more reason to stay away from aluminum spaceframe: product non-uniformity. Do I really want my family exposed to extra risk because some [non-permissible content removed] had a bad day and did not weld a particular point up to spec? It's not like they can crash test every individual car before selling ;-)
  • keep in mind that the A8 in either long or short wheelbase is AWD and I'm sure that will affect the quickness of the vehicle.

    For the same engine and same vehicle weight, AWD should be slightly quicker, especially for cars that have enough power to spin rear wheels.

    as for which automobile is safer i am sure they are both equally safe in accidents regardless of the steel vs aluminum nonsense that has been filling this thread.

    How can you be sure?? Based on what?? There are all sorts of accidents, most of which do not involve composite barriers and most are not at 40mph. They may both score similarly in crash tests; there is much more to safety than crash tests. One thing we do know for sure is that, in a fender bender, aluminum bodies are much much more expensive to repair. Another set of facts that we do know for sure is that: aluminum has lower melting and flaming points, so in case of severe accidents with fire . . .; no simiulated standard crash tests ever involve fire. Tensile strength difference is another fact we do know for sure.
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    Do I really want my family exposed to extra risk because some [non-permissible content removed] had a bad day and did not weld a particular point up to spec?

    Like that can't happen with any car. Of course Lexus would N E V E R make a mistake, since they are perfect, right? If you want to give me the robot excuse, there is still a possibility for errors.
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