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High End Luxury Cars

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  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    The only Lexus that can credible compete with the BMW 3 series is the Lexus IS. Unfortunately with a modest 215 Hp, it just doesn't have the power to compete against the 3 series BMW. With the Bimmer you can get anywhere from 184 to 330 Hp. Also the IS doesn't have that ride and handling balance that BMW seems to have mastered. But Lexus is introducing a V8 option for the IS for MY 05. It will likely be called the IS400. With a 6 speed manual tranny available, it could lure a lot of potential 3 series buyers into Lexus dealers. If they can keep the price under 45Gs, it could be a sales winner.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Then they'll be in a bind with overlapping price ranges. Right now Lexus has a clear path: spend x dollars get y car. Plus would people really buy out of the gate a $45K IS. Maybe spend $2K more get the CTS-V. It'll be interesting.

    BMW isn't standing still either, with their rumored turbo option with 333 hp in the upcoming revamped 3-series.
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    Why are you comparing a truck engine in this forum?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Where did you get this info from? Lexus hasnt made a single comment about an '05 V8 for the IS, and the 4.0L was retired in '00. The statement Lexus has made is that the IS will NOT get a V8. As far as I know, the Millen IS430 was a concept that's not going to happen. Based on GS300\430 pricing, my guess (though I still think its not going to happen) would be a sticker somewhere around $40-43K.
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    I'm not comparing truck engines.

    I am pointing out that it is inappropriate for brightness04 to say

    (a) test drive X cars and form your own judgment, instead of relying on reviewers

    AND

    (b) bash Ward's selection of GM's 4.2L I6 without test-driving any cars powered by that engine.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Where did I bash GM's 4.2L I6?? I said having an engine in the Ward's top 10 is hardly something worhy of bragging for a major manufacturer, especially one as expensive as Mercedes; even the lowly Chevy has an entry there. Where did I bash GM's 4.2 I6?

    You forgot to add 2 sets of numbers: gearing and rear axel ratio.

    I said the MB 3.2 3-valve is behind time and under-powered; that's a position you and Merc1 seem to dispute. What do gearing and rear axel ratio have anything to do with that? You can make gearing and rear axel ratio choices to optimize for 0-60 (which makes 0-60 a bad measure for true performance), but as a consequence you have to compromise somewhere else due to the lack of power.

    BMW didn't under-rate the e39 M5 v8 according to this article. 394HP at the crank and typically 300 to 335HP at the wheels sounds more like overrating HP to me.

    Are you suggesting the BMW 4.9/5.0 V8 is comparable to the MB 3.2? What exactly does your point have to do with anything here?

    Never made much sense to me to compare chauffered cars to non-chauffered cars.

    Merc1 was the one who brought up the S class, which actually does historically symbolized MB. S class is marketed as a chauffered car; just check out the emphasis on rear seat comfort that went into the design and marketting. So you are more or less agreeing with me that the MB pedigree is about riding large in the backseat; so much for the sportiness claim ;-)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    All I can say is that you're lost when comparing the 48K+ E-Class to the 33K ES330 in any way, especially in sales because they're both mid-size cars. That is totally and utterly ridiculous and really says that you have no sense of the market. The RL is priced like the E-Class at 45K and this is at the very least more comparable in terms of sales.
     

    "Do you need reviews to tell you how to open a box of cereal and how to pour milk? Go test drive one against its competitions yourself. Even if you are too lazy to do that, the numbers should tell you the difference:

    You listing the stats for each car doesn't prove of say squat about how they drive, especially compared to a fwd tarted up Camry which you've foolishly tried to compare the E-Class with. You seem to be good at crunching numbers like other Lexi folk, but beyond that you seem lost. If don't care to understand the difference between fwd and rwd dynamics then that is your problem. Whats really amazing is that you'd give the hp/torque ratios for a car without a sporting weld in it's body, the ES330. The group that buys this car isn't concerned with even feeling the road much less actually drivin'.

    BTW, I've driven every car you've list except the new 530i. Been there and done that.

    If you think S-Classes are mainly chauffered then you're mistaken to say the least. The Maybach was just created and is meant for just that, and that has what to do with the 118 years beforehand when Mercedes was making their name? Mercedes are not about isolation now nor were they in the past. The S600 and Maybach are about the only Benz products you'll find Jeeves driving. The S55 AMG and regular S500/S430 surely aren't chaufrered.

    "Do you need reviews to tell you how to open a box of cereal and how to pour milk?" (had to post this one twice)

    Nope, but I need a credible review to back up your baseless theories about these cars. Even some within the Lexus camp don't buy this crap about the E320.

    Also, I find your explanation about Lexus' GS to be the biggest, fattest, excuse made on this board in about a year. Low production, this and that, face it the car is old and tired and has never sold well past 1998. Excuses, excuses. You mean to tell me they're redesigning it for it sell at the same rate?!?!. Please.

    Oh, and just because you think Mercedes' image was made by the S-Class doesn't make it so. Yes it is a very important car, their most important sedan as far as image/prestige/engineering goes, but the SL is also a Mercedes-Benz legend and a even bigger one than the S-Class. Poof there goes another one of your theories. Tell me the SL is about isolation. The E-Class dates back for a similar amount of time and has never been about "isolation" or the back seat.

    Nobody is saying Mercedes is sporty like BMW, but traditionally a Mercedes was only second to them in this aspect, until the Japanese (not Lexus) made their run on BMW and surpassed Mercedes in the sport department. AMG has been around since 1967 and is also part of the MB legend.

    A Mercedes was always a road-worthy car, and they never prided themselves on isolation like Cadillac, Linc and now Lexus.

    You seemed to be confused about isolation and comfort. A Mercedes has always been a fine compromise between comfort and dynamics like a Jaguar, not a rolling isolations chamber like Caddy and Linc (used to be) and Lexus' 38K Camry. Why don't you read up on the Maybach and S600 then post. These cars are not about total isolation, but simply a blend of comfort and roadability. They most definitely are about "driving pleasure", with 493hp and active suspension is more fun than the current LS430 will ever be.

    M
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    Because of MB's (especially the S) unrivaled popularity world-wide, MB has to make the car to cater to different type of markets.

    In the US, few S's are chaffeur driven. In Asia, many S's are chaffeur driven. So MB has to prioritize both driver comfort and rear passenger comfort.

    In any case, I definitely agree that the E and the ES are not in the same class. The GS and the E are much more comparable, in terms of drivetrain, engine choices, features, and purpose.

    GS sales were respectable until the past couple years. A solid 2000 to 2500 per month or so. Not as many as the E or the 5, but much better than the RL or M45 (well, M sales were doomed from the start, since it only offered a V8 and a design near the end of its cycle.)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    BMW has a new 630Ci coming and the details on the new M5 have been released. A monster that car is.

    Mercedes has just shown the CLS55 AMG.

    image

    image

    I think I like this...........

    What does the board think of the CLS? Designman, you especially.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The CLS is...interesting in its design. I dont think I really like the front end, and the back reminds me of an Infiniti J30. It is very sleek looking though.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Since I commented on CLS a while back (spy shots seemed accurate as I recall) I guess you're asking about the AMG touches? Have always liked them. In the case of the E and S, AMG almost seems to transform the cars due to their conservative natures, less so in the CL since it is more flamboyant to begin with. Mercedes does sport nicely, and their 5-spokes are spot on. These wheels are a little plain though. And the front is a little busy with the headlamps, grille and vents competing for attention… a lot of shape going on there… in striking contrast to the side view where the shapes are basic and spare.

    BTW, the new SLK is a major improvement IMO. Could not STAND the original. Harm Lagaay, design director of Porsche just retired and was replaced by Michael Mauer, head designer of the original SLK. As a designer, I can tell you unequivocally that there is no artist who can produce junk-free work, even the best of them. Heck, even Lennon/McCartney and Picasso spit out dubious stuff. I'm hoping we've seen the worst of Mauer with the SLK… Mike, be careful now, this is my brand you working on here. Don't go Bangle on me. Gotta believe Porsche is one place where this can't happen… serious knock on wood.

    Merc, think I've had somewhat of a catharsis with the 6-series and heaven knows I've hit it hard. Will explain at a later date. Have to think this through. No, this will not happen with 5 and Z4.

    "I'M walkin' here!!!"

    -Ratso Rizzo, from Midnight Cowboy

    ;-)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Another thought occurred to me. All current AMGs have swagger, especially the CL, which also has it without AMG. I don't see it with this CLS.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    Front is ok, but the side profile is very sleek and dynamic. Looks very sharp except for the "beak" at the front. Not as noticable from the front on view, but from the side it looks a little off. Love the C-pillar area. Very sharp looking.
  • motownusamotownusa Posts: 836
    Sorry, I put the cart before the horse. I guess I got a little carried away. The info. on the 05 IS was purely based on speculation on different automotive forums and I believe one of the major car mags; although I forgot whether it was C&D, R&T, or MT. Anyway, common sense dictates that Lexus needs a wider variety of powertrain just like the competition if they truly want to compete in the sports sedan market. The GS is a half baked cake that is neither a true luxury car like the LS nor a uncompromising sports sedan like the BMW 5 series. Personally, I don't think too many people will miss the car if Lexus decides to end production of the GS series.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
      That Mercedes looks impressive..Very nice sleek design. If the new S Class looks anything like that I'll be sorely tempted to shell out the extra $$$ and get one..When will we see a picture?
      
    I don't understand all this debate about the ES vs E Class..The Mercedes counterpart is the C-Class not the E.. Lexus presents this car as their entry model. There is nothing remotely exciting about that car. It does its job as an isolation chamber very well. .I think the Lexus counterpart to the E is the GS...I hope the upcoming GS is an substantial improvement over the last one..They had the right idea, but just need to make it more sporty.

    A sidebar..Is there really any difference between Premium Gasoline and "V-Power" which was recently released by Shell? It claims to contain more cleaning agents than standard gasoline..How often do these engines need a fuel treatment? I normally use Chevron Techron once a year since my driving is mostly City...

    SV
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    A newspaper reporter is looking for someone who bought a luxury car with lots of high-end gadgets and ended up either not programming most of it or having lots of problems getting it to work. Please respond to jfallon@edmunds.com by Thursday, July 8, 2004 by 5 p.m. Eastern and be sure to include your daytime phone number and a few words about your vehicle and gadgets.

    Thanks!
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director
    Edmunds.com
  • saugataksaugatak Posts: 488
    Where did I bash GM's 4.2L I6?? I said having an engine in the Ward's top 10 is hardly something worhy of bragging for a major manufacturer, especially one as expensive as Mercedes; even the lowly Chevy has an entry there. Where did I bash GM's 4.2 I6?

    I guess you're not aware that the "lowly Chevy" engine on Ward's Top 10 is GM's 4.2L I6. You say you didn't bash the 4.2L I6, but read your own words, especially the bolded part.

    I said the MB 3.2 3-valve is behind time and under-powered; that's a position you and Merc1 seem to dispute.

    Don't take it up with me or Merc, complain to Ward's Top 10 Engines.

    What do gearing and rear axel ratio have anything to do with that? You can make gearing and rear axel ratio choices to optimize for 0-60 (which makes 0-60 a bad measure for true performance), but as a consequence you have to compromise somewhere else due to the lack of power.

    You seem to have answered your own question. Sometimes the car with faster 0-60 is due to shorter gearing. I don't know the gearing or rear axel ratios of the MB vs. Camry. I was wondering if possibly the Camry had shorter gearing to account for its faster times.

    Are you suggesting the BMW 4.9/5.0 V8 is comparable to the MB 3.2? What exactly does your point have to do with anything here?

    YOU claimed that BMW underrates its engines. I just showed you ONE example, the 5.0L BMW e39 M5 v8, where BMW is clearly NOT underrating its engines.

    So you are more or less agreeing with me that the MB pedigree is about riding large in the backseat; so much for the sportiness claim ;-)

    I agree with you on some points (the ones I don't mention in posts), but not on this one. Doesn't the S-class have an AMG version? That is not a chauffered car IMO.

    Also, is there any point in comparing the Maybach to anything?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Thanks for the reply, as always interesting to hear from you about design. I personally thought the CLS was the ugliest thing Mercedes had ever thought up, but after seeing the AMG version I'm starting to like it. It does manage to keep some of the traditional Mercedes design traits with all those curves. I just need to see it in person.

    I'll be eagerly awaiting you to get back to me about the 6-Series. I got a chance to see one close up and personal over the holiday, I'm still no fan of that truck lid, but it is a looker otherwise.

    M
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    From what I've seen of the 6 in person, I'm not impressed from any angle. As I said before, I saw one parked next to a CL500 at the airport, and it was just no contest. You lose BMW. To a 5 year old car.

    Lexus has no plans to kill off the GS or IS at the moment. They are aware of the critics of the previous car, and it will hopefully turn up the sport factor a lot. Lexus is going to be offering more powertrains as well. The IS and GS will most likely share their next generation plants with the exception of hybrid power, which at the moment anyway the IS isnt supposed to get. Toyota will have two all new V6s, a 3.0L 242hp, and a 3.5L 280-300hp engine. The IS will most likely be offered as IS300 and IS350 in NA form, where as the GS is supposed to be the GS300 and GS350GT, where the 3.5L will get an electric boost to as much as 450-500hp.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I can't wait to see if all these hi-po hybrid cars really become reality. Should be very interesting.

    Lexusguy,

    Well you know what I think of this car:

    image

    Absolutely gorgeous, possibly the best looking Mercedes-Benz ever.

    The only BMW 2-door that truly pegs the style meter is this one:

    image

    image

    image

    ...the M3. They nailed it with this car. Classic BMW proportions.

    M
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