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High End Luxury Cars

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Comments

  • rl81:

    You can never say never, not even Lexus is perfect, but they are closer to perfect then the Germans,it is therefore much LESS likely that Lexus would make a mistake then the German Manfactures would.
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    If there is a msitake with and Audi it's most likely that it's something with the electronics of the car. I refuse to believe someone in the production of their top-of-the-line would not make sure everything is perfect.

    And besides, I have not ever heard that an A8 fell apart in an accident due to a production error, have you? That would be a good case for a law suit...
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    A couple of pictures of the Maserati Quattroporte:
    image
    image
    image
    image

    I think it should be included in this 'club'

    Simply a beautiful, greatly engineered car. With the engine out of the Ferrari Modena, F1 gearbox, the rear entertainment system seems pretty cool too!
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    I agree with rl81. It's unlikely Audi would produce a car with a glaring defect that would result in fatalities. German cars are known for their solid build. There is no doubt that they are safe in accidents. That's not to say a LS isn't just as safe. I took a 30 MPH impact on the left front quarter panel..The car barely moved and all I heard was a faint "Thump" It did have over $6500 in damages though..(Alot of this was Lexus labor in repairing the mechanical damage)

    I think just the sheer size and weight of these cars means that we'd all fare well in an accident regardless of the make we're driving..Being High End Lux marques, all of these cars are going to have the latest and greatest safety features.

    Which brings up an interesting point..Has anyone been in accident with their high end car? How well did it hold up?

    SV
  • jvcnjvcn Posts: 50
    Now for something rather different:

    I've watched the arguing over which car is better, and it's clear the factions will never converge.

    But I've always wondered: Why do none of the European luxury cars go to a real audiophile company to design a stereo like the Mark Levinson in the LS?

    In the view of this audiophile, only the ML system for the LS430 (other ML/Lexus combos are clearly worse) counts as audiophile of any stock system in any car I've sat in or heard of.

    To imagine that Bose or Alpine would care about sound like ML is as unimaginable as thinking that
    Bose could design a home CD player that would match a Mark Levinson.

    Perhaps some of this is taste. Car guys tend to like boomy, in-your-face sound. But I would think that SOME of the luxury buyers that the S class or equivalent caters to would appreciate the option of a genuinely high end system that has clean highs, real imaging, and accurate, unexaggerated bass. Even the ML system seems to have a mild suckout that requires a midrange boost.

    There are so many fine, European stereo companies at the high end that it should be easy to get one to design an appropriate system. Perhaps Linn or Naim could be approached?

    People with Goldmund turntables, Naim CD players, and JM Labs Utopias or Quad electrostatics, should have something better to listen to than stereo designed by mass market players?
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Maybe I'm getting old, but it's really hard for me to distinguish between the stock Pioneer and ML...In my '02 LS the ML wasn't anything special. The '05 ML seems to be better. What music is appropriate to showcase the quality of a stereo? Someone handed me a soundtrack to Once Upon a Time in America and it sounded fantastic on the ML.

    Any Suggestions?
    SV
  • this isn't scientific or anything but i like to listen to fusion jazz the first time i try out a new system. on XM it is the channel "water colors" # 71. for my ears it reveals if the system is to my liking.
  • Why would you change the subject...I didn't think we were talking about cars falling apart..

    Did anyone SAY that the A8 fell apart..ANYONE on this board?

    I will say again...The lexus LS is not perfect but it is more perfect then the A8 (at least mechanically) Not to mention it is faster, quicker off the line and probably has more luxury and safety features...and a fully loaded LS costs less...

    That said A-8 is a very attractive machine with an outstanding interior, and the 4 Wheel Drive is a definate plus in Snow country.
  • one thing we will never no is if the A8 can spin it's wheels. the Awd will prevent this. as for the Lexus LS i don't know if it could actually have so much power going to the rear wheels so as to lose traction at start. also keep in mind that the stability programs will also step in and limit wheel spin at launch.

    when it comes to which vehicle is safer in this class of cars it is ridiculous to keep pointing at the Audi as being less safe simply because of its aluminum construction. unless you know something specific to automobile safety as it relates to steel or aluminum construction you are merely stating opinion. tensile strength may seem like an argument but when an automobile is engineered from the ground up the most important aspect is the design of the safety cage...the man made aspect of the equation. also you keep stating accidents with fire. any accident that is that severe would place occupants of either a steel or aluminum vehicle in peril.

    i visited Lexus web site. i was surprised to see that the LS430 did not have rear seat side airbags. also it does not have a suspension that lowers at speed....ie 70mph.
  • my guess is that it all comes down to costs and the ability of a manufacturer to actually deliver quality sound inside an automobile cabin.
  • part of what makes any vehicle safe is not just the amount of safety features added to the vehicle in case of an accident(air bags) but the safety features that help prevent an accident ie. vehicles stability control systems, anti lock brakes and AWD. AWD offers a much more stable vehicle not just in snowy conditions but also on wet roads. it helps prevent an accident before one even occurs.
  • hi guys,

    here is some information from Audi USA's website. it seems reasonable but i am no
    expert.

    20+ years of quattro®
    Why quattro all-wheel drive? Simple. Audi's legendary system optimizes traction and lateral grip while minimizing the effects of drive forces on chassis balance. A little physics shows why. There are two forces at work on each tire. Longitudinal force is caused by acceleration or deceleration. Lateral force affects the car during cornering or in crosswinds. The decisive factor is the total force, the sum of both forces at work on each individual tire, because this determines the vehicle 's remaining safety reserves. The total maximum force must always be greater than available traction, the maximum force the wheels can transfer onto the road surface. If it is less, the tires lose contact with the road, and the car goes into a skid.

    When all four wheels are driven, each wheel needs to transfer only 25 percent of the power to the road, instead of 50 percent as in the case of front-or rear-wheel drive. Each wheel can therefore handle greater lateral force before reaching its traction limit. In turn, this makes the car safer and more fun to drive.

    The quattro system found on every new Audi is our fourth generation. Audi not only pioneered all-wheel drive for passenger cars, we keep making it better. And while others are just now discovering the benefits of four driven wheels, competitive systems haven't yet stood the test of time. In the world of all-wheel drive systems, there's quattro. And not quite.
  • jvcnjvcn Posts: 50
    It depends on what you're looking for in a stereo.

    The thing that knocked me out the first time I heard an ML in a 2002 LS430 was that on a well-recorded acoustic jazz CD [Mapleshade recordings are good for this] you got a real sense of imaging and a soundstage when driving down the road. The sound of the horns was accurate and you could hear the bass player plucking the strings. Most car cds have no dynamic range. They can only handle loud and LOUD because the car environment is so noisy. With a Lexus in cruise mode on the freeway, it's possible to get some of the benefits of a well-recorded disc.

    On the Nakamichi system in my LS400, I've almost given up listening to classical because the soft sounds are drowned out and there's no ambience or imaging. Everything sounds flat although pleasant enough.

    The music should not sound like it's all around you. If there's a singer, he/she should come from a fixed location in space, and the accompanists should seem to be floating in their proper places.

    Above all, acoustic instruments should not blend in with electronic instruments.

    Once you get the system right for "simple" music, then any music -- whether orchestral or pop or rock just "locks" into place.

    If you've never heard a high end home stereo, I recommend you do so. That will give you a benchmark for what a good car stereo should aim for.
  • jvcnjvcn Posts: 50
    Yes, but given the price of an S class or 7 series, and the fact that richer Europeans may be more likely to care about classical music and jazz than Americans, I would think that there would be a natural market for a high-end car system in the MBs, BMWs, Audis, or even Volvo for that matter.

    Cause let me tell you, high-end home systems in Europe can be very, very fine.
  • I have a 4wd Suburu and find it makes little difference on wet roads...but living in Seattle we have experience on wet roads...I will choose the LS in the rain just because it is more comfortable...In the rare Seattle snow I would definately take the Suburu.

    I believe all LS all have a stability control systems...MY 01 does..
  • My 01 Ultra has Side curtin airbags in the front and back.

    It has VSC..with Brake Assist and Traction Control.

    The air suspension system can be switched from Soft to Sport... at highway speed the suspension lowers the car automatically for better airodynamics and control...If I drive Aggresively the System automatically Stiffens. THE CAR CAN ALSO BE RAISE (I THINK UP TO 3 INCHES FOR better clearence in Snow or on bumpy roads)

    P.S my 92 Cadillac Allante had an air suspension system that automatically lowered the car at 70..

    ONCE AGAIN...I HAVE MADE NO JUDGEMENTS AS TO WHICH CAR IS SAFER.
  • michael,
    i couldn't find that information on the Lexus website. i'll go back and check again. the curtain airbag is different than
    a side air bag. is the air suspension an option or standard?
  • My O1 is an ULTRA..So you should probably ck THE Ultra option.
  • i found it.
    4 different settings.
  • pablo_lpablo_l Posts: 491
    Interesting article in Business Week.

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_09/b3922126_mz017- .htm

    AM interesting data point is that, without SUVs, Lexus would rank 5th in sales in the USA. They claimed SUV sales were slowing down, in general, which was news to me.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Merc, how can you like the 300C and not the GS? Among other things, the mug on the 300C looks like a badly carved Halloween pumpkin. And the baggy, puffy headlamps look like they have conjunctivitis."

    I guess because the 300C is much more agressive in its detailing along with the personel carrier look that says mafia or something like that. The GS just looks like some kind of humpback whale to me, or a disfigured version of the previous car.

    I agree about VW too, though they could have done better on the Jetta, imo.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Merc, I've seen the A-Class in person here in London..It just looks like a tin can to me..What are they accomplishing by going so down market? Isn't this what they bought Chrysler for? From a business perspective it would make more sense to concentrate on the Neon to penetrate this segment rather than dilute the MB brand name. Mercedes should concentrate on their E and above models and delegate the rest to Chrysler..I just think Chrysler has more experience building the cheaper cars, while MB has the decided advantage in the upmarket products."

    Well in Europe they Chrylser part won't work and the A-Class isn't coming here anyway. They've had the A-Class since 1997, before the merger.

    I don't think they'll bring a S320CDI here because it will be a V6 model and MB and all the rest of the Euro crowd has given up on a 6-cylinder versions of their top-line cars because they wouldn't be too competitive at the prices they'd have to charge for them. The S400CDI is a V6 with 260hp in the current S-Class, but for new S-Class the engine is to be revamped to develop 314hp according to most MB spy sites.

    You can forget a stripped MB, BMW or Lexus in the U.S. Americans definition of a "luxury" car won't allow it.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "The same can be said of Chevy, Ford and Dodge, with their Corvette, 550hp GT and Viper."

    This couldn't be more wrong. Chevy, Ford and Dodge don't make nearly as many variants of their cars from no hp to 500hp. Secondly where can I get a Corvette, Viper or GT with no hp in a "pedestrian" version. These cars are specialty models for their repsective makers and don't share squat with Cobalts, Neons and Mustangs that they sell beside. An E-Class is just that wheter it is a E240 or a E55 AMG.

    Pure nonesense to even suggest the relationship is the same.

    "Your assessment is probably incorrect. Lexus sells around 3300 LS430 and LX470 alone each month; add almost all of the 2800 or so GX470 which are usually priced over $50k when popular options are added; the a small per centage of fully loaded RX330's, which has a huge base number to work with, like 9-10k units, even if only 10% of them are fully loaded, that's another 1k units. Add another 700-1k units for SC430. We have what, 7-8k Lexus units sold in the US being over $50k, estimated very conservatively, before even counting any GS model at all. MB only sells 12-13k cars in the US a month. There is simply no way more than half of them are over $50k. MB has a lot of models, but precious little unit sales among its high end models. That also explains why MB quality has gone down the toilet: what little engineering budget there is has to be spread thin.

    Again, prove me otherwise. On a yearly basis who sells more cars over 50K was the poster's question. I said Lexus, now if you think otherwise find Lexus' year end press release and add up all the cars they sell for over 50K. The RX330 isn't a 50K unless you just want to give Lexus some extra money, meaning it has to struggle to get there in MSRP, if possible and it certainly doesn't sell on average for that price.

    "MB only sells 12-13k cars in the US a month."

    You are kidding me right? 13K cars a month would be 156K units a year, not the 221K that they sold last year of the 218 in 2003 or the 210K in 2002. Wrong and grossly incorrect sales theories, look up the numbers. In Jan 2005 they sold the amount you're talking about due coming down off Dec 2004 in which they sold over 26K units for the month.

    Present the sales numbers for the SL, CL, S, G, V8 E-Class/CLK models and compare them to the Lexus LS, GS430, LX470, SC430 and tell me who sells more at 50K or above. You won't be able to spin the results in Lexus' favor. The RX330 isn't a 50K vehicle.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'll ask you just like I asked brightness, show the numbers. This stuff about Mercedes only selling 12-13K cars a month in the U.S is based on one month in 2005, Jan. Do you guys research any of this sales stuff before posting. This is simple math, MB can't sell 12-13K units a month and sell 210K+ units each year since 2002. Look up the numbers!

    "What MB has are niche cars (S600/SL/CLS/AMGs) not necessarily luxury cars, since these sell in so low numbers. The mainstream luxury car seller, at least in the US, is Lexus. The numbers bear it out, and numbers don't lie, or do they ?

    That is the most deperate spin I have ever read. You mean to tell me that when Lexus does this 125K sports car and a 100K hybrid version of the next LS it won't be a luxury car because they won't sell in large numbers? Now volume makes a luxury car, yet they're supposed to be exclusive items? Now we have a "mainstream" luxury seller because Lexus doesn't compete in the higher price brackets where Mercedes and BMW rule? This absolutely makes no sense at all.

    Why not break out which brand sells more beige, black or silver cars to determine which is the truly luxury seller? I mean this would be just about as logical as breaking out who is the "mainstream" seller. Who sells more cars with hi-performance tires or who sells more cars with 18 inch wheels or 19 inchers.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The claim was made about 150 posts ago that the A8 was "less safe" than the LS430 because of its aluminum make up.

    For all the fact finders present I still see nothing about the safety of the A8 or the LS430 one way or another, and certainly nothing about the A8 being "less safe" than the LS430.

    Yet there have been countless theories about metals and how they bend, react to heat and everything else, but nothing that proves the original claim. As usual there are those asking for anyone taking the side of the A8 prove the original poster wrong, yet the folks defending the A8 didn't make such a ridiculous claim about or any claims about the LS430's safety, yet A8 supporters are supposed to do all the "proving" when origanal claim was made by a LS430 supporter? The claim was made against the A8 so there is where the burden proof lies.

    Going once, going twice.......proof of the A8 being less safe than LS430 because it has aluminum sheetmetal and a aluminun structure.

    That there is no such data is the reason why no crash test scores or anything else pertaining to or backing this claim has been shown.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I meant to say in that earlier post that the S400CDI is a V8, not a V6.

    M
  • ctsangctsang Posts: 237
    If MB is so safe, why did Princess Diana die? I bet she would survive if she were in a Lexus.
  • good morning merc1,

    i did quite a bit of searching about this non- sense of which automobile is safer. the previous A8 was the only luxury sedan to receive 5 stars for the driver and passenger. the current version has yet to be tested.

    much was made about the ignition temperature of the aluminum skin. one poster on another site made the point that there are plenty of items to burn well before the aluminum would on an A8. sounds reasonable to me.

    also when it comes to safety....all of the active and passive safety systems on the A8 make it at the very least equal to any other automobile in this class.

    in your post about sales numbers..... Lexus's numbers sink even lower if you remove the re badged Land Cruiser. like i mentioned many many posts ago...the LS, GS, IS, and SC are the
    only true Lexus specific designs. these are the numbers that should be counted. and i know this pisses a lot of people off. my point is not to knock the quality of the cars they design and sell but to merely compare it to the strength and breadth of the MB's lineup. at this point in time there is no comparison between the two brands in what they offer the high end buying customer.
  • pablo 1...the link is not working.
    i tried to pull up an article on businessweek but
    you have to be a member to do so. maybe you could copy/paste it.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah I'm trying to grasp the point of the A8L being less safe than a steel bodied car too, but yet there is no evidence to support this. If this were truly the case then the Jaguar XJ and Acura NSX would be "less safe" also, using this theory about aluminum.

    The only way for anyone to know which is safer is to see how the VW Phaeton does versus the A8 in crash testing, of which neither has been tested yet. You know since they are the same car and all to everyone.

    M
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