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High End Luxury Cars

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  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    How is it not a innovation? I think it is a innovation but a very very small innovation. It's definately not a innovation on the scale of let's say, Hybrid Synergy Drive, but nonetheless it is a innovation.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Point taken Max. I can't argue with that. It's just that I tend to think of innovation as breakthroughs, but there are indeed different levels.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,679
    designman,

    A famous person in the automotive area who drives a bus and whom we both know has already dealt with this.

    His statement:

    "The golden years are gone - we have reached the 2nd plateau"

    Ralph Kramden.
    Brookllyn. USA
  • ron36330ron36330 Posts: 69
    The FIRST with turning headlights was the TUCKER in 1948. The center headlight turned with the wheels. I post here this as I believe the TUCKER was a luxury car of it's time.
    Ron
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well thats why I tried to stay out of it because BMW and MB had the things in Europe before Lexus did here, but then again Lexus could have had them in Japan so it really is moot, basically they all "had it" for 2004 is how I see it.

    M
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Right, except that BMW I believe had them in 2003 for the US market, but I can't find any sources to back up that statement. I remember when they were announced, BMW rightly claimed no other manufacturer had them for sale in the US.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    BMW had self-leveling headlamps for MY 2003. The swivel up and down. Not sure which models have them or when they first appeared. My 03 530 has them. Still trying to figure out what good they are.

    Ljflx... in the words of the great Pierre Francoise Dellabrioschi... La PL-U-U-ME dellacroix se si bon vichysoise si bon SHEESE!!!
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    No talking about pivoting, not self-leveling, which were available earlier.
  • gteach26gteach26 Posts: 576
    on my '05 LS430 and I'd be hard pressed to admit that I notice any improvement in lighting conditions while turning at night. If those lights are moving when I turn I can't tell.

    If the marketing literature wouldn't have mentioned that the car had the feature I wouldn't even know I had it.

    The feature sure does make for nice commercials though.
  • aggie76aggie76 Posts: 265
    I can sure notice them with my '04 LS430 and they do help me. Of course I am out in what is more of a rural area with lots of two lane roads which I do run on at night for kids events in local towns so I do get a fair amount of night driving in without any city lights around. I drove my spouse's '01 MDX recently and besides not having Xenon's on it doesn't have the adaptive lights and absolutely noticed the difference in lighting on curves.

    Worth the money IMHO.
  • As stated before, the A8 and the Phaeton have relatively little in common. The A8 is all aluminum - including space frame. The Phaeton is all steel and it pays for this in its very high curb weight. Therefore, there is no platform sharing. The engines are both the highly thought of 4.2 (Edmunds top ten).
    Their market targets are also different with Phaeton targetting the luxo market and A8 more but sport sedan market.
    We all know by now that there are very few out there who are willing to spend ~$70K for a car (no matter how well built) that has a large VW crest on the grill and trunk.
  • Pivoting headlights are not new now matter who announced them "first". The Tucker had a pivoting headlight. The 49/50 Fords had an option for a pivoting headlight. Besides, they are both probably made by one supplier anyway.
  • I believe that Xenon's have to be "self leveling" in Europe. My 2000 A6 4.2 had the self leveling headlights.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    There is a world of difference between pivoting lights on a Tucker and pivoting lights today. First, the tucker only had one pivoting light and it was a simple mechanical device. Today's are far more advanced and as you may have noticed both headlights don't move totally in sync with one another.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,679
    That's funny because all you have to do is look at the two cars and they are incredibly similar. Not for one second do I think there isn't plenty of sharing going on in both cars or that the underpinnings are not the same. One tweaked sport, one more soft ride, one aluminim. one steel. Otherwise they are the same car as far as I'm concerned. Hard to believe VW invented a totally different car and then decided it should look just like an A8. Sorry - don't buy it and never will. But if they did do as you say - they'd be even more nuts than I already think they are.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Is a really nice-looking car, ill-conceived tho'. Badged as a Bentley, that car would sell quite well, IMO. But a VW ???? I kinda wondered what market research report gave VW the impression that the market is ready for a luxury VW at $85K+ (W12) ? And when an exec so much as insinuated such, he was quickly shown the door. I talked to a Phaeton sales guy at the SD auto show in January, and he pretty much lamented the lack of market attention or care for the car. Reason why its demise is not that far behind. But that car is a real beauty ! Very well done by VW.

    Well, fond farewell to the Phaeton, could've, would've, should've.... but won't be here much longer. Alas... for what could've been.....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I'm fully aware of the differences between the two cars, but the do share a lot more than you think. Everything I've seen suggest they are indeed on the same platform, but not just a re-badge of each other. Doesn't really matter in the end anyway because a 70K VW is a mistake, though it is an impressive car itself, but it is without cause in a VW showroom.

    M
  • bobp7bobp7 Posts: 41
    1st off - the platforms of the a8 and phaeton are very different. the chassis of the phaeton is the same as the bently continental. and if you look at details such as the trunk, interior switch gear, controls, etc, they are phaeton, phaeton , phaeton. those of us who drive this car feel we have obtained a true automotive bargain. i'm not saying it is for everybody, but as i've said elsewhere, short of not being a canyon runner, this car is more than pleasing! there are countless toys that all work. i prefer the vw infotainment center interface to that offered by bmw and mb.
    after i played tennis a couple months ago and was sick with the flu i took in some heat and massage on the way home - the seats have won awards from a german orthopedic group as the most comfortable and supportive seats in the marketplace. for those of you who think the lexus levinson system is the best, well, maybe it was at one time but not anymore. see the la car site as 1 example of an independent test of audio systems - the blaupunkt produced phaeton system was #1! and i cant tell you how hard it was to get my 2 teenagers out of the back seat after the 4 hour drive since they each had tons of room, their own (2)hvac controls, bun warmers, ventilated seats and massagers and privacy blinds! many of these features are available on other cars but they are also on the luxury vw. the other cars do not have the "indirect" ventilation system - i can no longer stand to see vents in other luxury cars - much more attractive to see wood which only reveals the vents when they are needed to adjust the temperature, then once the desired temperature is reached, the wood covers up the vents again.
    the phaeton is an amazing car and those who tend to knock it don't drive one. if anything is responsible for the slow sales it is vw's failure to promote it properly. most people i know can afford it and aren't concerned with the label. if you are concerned with that, get a different car!
    so far as the dealerships are concerned it is sooo true that lexus and infiniti have set the bar way above the german's, any of them. as a former infiniti, bmw and mb owner i can tell you with certainty that fancy surroundings don't make a car more reliable or get it serviced better.
    i also believe that if there was way better promotion of the phaeton and sales were higher, the dealerships would be forced to improve to meet the market expectations; that said, my sales and service experiences have been first rate.
  • Bobp

    Your Phaeton sounds awesome...It sounds like it has all the toys and then some...I will look look foreward to driving one...

    Is your fully loaded and could you tell us how much it cost or how much a fully loaded one costs...

    Thanks.
  • terry79terry79 Posts: 27
    Despite the styling miscues and the questionable
    relilablity of the previous 7 series you have to
    be a little impressed at the 06 745. This is what
    the 2002 should have looked liked. I believe Bangle got the message. Standing still this car,
    with that big footprint, makes the LS430
    look a little anemic. The LS is a fine automobile
    and there could even be one in my future(I
    currently own a 98 740i). If the reliability
    of the new seven(electronics) improves it will be hard not to take a serious look for my next ride.
    If you've ever driven any of the high end BMW's
    or MB it's hard to give up that Connection to the
    road and feel that Lexus just can't deliver.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,679
    Here we go again. Let's please pass on another set of dumb fighting posts here. No one wins, and everyone loses because we all end up saying real dumb things that are very far removed from the truth. I'm certainly not wasting time or posting efforts on this ridiculous subject anymore. It's time to let the silly German vs. Japanese luxury put downs come to a necessary end.

    terry79 - nice try, but we've all been there, done that. Others may want to continue a winless war, but not me.
  • terry79terry79 Posts: 27
    That should read 750i. I thought you could express
    an opinion on this board.Nothing more,nothing less. They're all fine automobiles. And maybe in
    a few years when I get past performance driving
    I'll cock back in a LS, crank up the ML, and be
    pampered.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You seem to be taking my post about the Phaeton the wrong way. I like the car a lot, I just don't buy that it is a totally different platform than the A8. Just because it shares a lot with a Bentley (not sure I'd like that if I were a Bentley owner) doesn't mean it doesn't also share with the A8. Either way it really isn't worth debating because I like the A8 and the Phaeton. I didn't question whether or not you got a great car and/or a bargain. I've studied the car a many times and I'm fully aware of most of its neat engineering features.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I can't believe it. One of my wishes has come true!

    Mercedes-Benz has just decided to sell a S350 Sedan here for the final run of the current S-Class! Very interesting move.

    You know what this means right? They're getting buyers ready for the next-generation S350 as the entry level S-Class.

    http://www.mbusa.com/brand/container.jsp?/models/main.jsp&modelCode=S350V

    I can't believe it! It is a short wheelbase model though. The S65 AMG has also been released too.

    The 2007 S-Class will include a 268hp S350, a 325hp S450 and 380hp S550, according to this most recent discorvery about the current S350 and the rumor mill about the new V8s.

    Not since 1993 has Mercedes done a one-year engine/bodystyle model in the U.S.

    I wonder if this will prompt BMW to send us a 740i and Jaguar an XJ8 with the smaller 3.5L V8? Maybe an Audi A8 3.7L V8?

    M
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    i feel their is a market for a swb S that MB
    has not been chasing in the US. in the swb the V6 should be enough to allow the vehicle to perform equal or better than the 4.3L V8. the new engines really put MB on top in the HP battles. in the end there will probably be 5 different engines, rwd or awd, and 2 wheel bases to choose from. definately not a one size fits all approach.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I'm reading something very curious on MB sites right now. They're speculating that the new DOHC direct injection V8s won't be ready at launch so the first two S-Class models will be the S350 with the new generation V6 that made its debut in the SLK350, and the S550 that will use a modified version of the current naturally aspirated AMG 5.5L V8 from the CLK/SLK/C55 models, tuned to 380hp. This will be the first model year production it seems according to various MB sites. Then in for MY2007 in Europe and sometime early 2007 in the U.S. a next generation 4.5L 325-340hp V8 will appear in the S450 and then a re-engined S550 with a 400+ hp 5.5L V8 both with all the tricks, direct injection, dohc/32v etc. will appear for the 2008 model year. Interesting. I've seen this theory tossed around before. This makes some sense considering they're selling the S350 again in the U.S. All will be revealed come Sept.

    M
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    Pass the smelling salts! I feel faint.

    I can't believe that Mercedes would stoop to offer a V6 for this luxury class. Everybody knows how awful it is to have a luxury car without a V8. That's why the RL has been beat up so long by so many.

    What could MB be thinking? Are they opening the door for Acura or was it the other way round.

    Maybe the ridiculous price they ask for the S class is the real problem, multiplied by the Euro's strength against the Dollar.
  • bobp7bobp7 Posts: 41
    merc1:
    sorry if i misunderstood your post. i just feel the very fine execution of the phaeton tends to get mixed up with the totally bungled vw marketing and dealer network.
    i don't have time right now but i will try to get back to you with some info on the differences between what i have been informed are, different platforms. i originally thought they were the same too.
    bobp7
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    That got me thinking, so I did my own comparo between the S350 and RL and can't figure out where the S's extra length and wheelbase went.

    The inside compartments are virtually identical in volume and leg/head room. The cars are the same width, yet the S is 5 or so inches longer in length and wheelbase. They weigh the same.

    Since the RL is SHAWD there's a power train down the middle like the Benz, so it's not the FWD layout is it?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,679
    Did BMW have a 6cyl 7-series at any time when MB had the S-320? I don't remember. Was MB the only large sedan with 6cyl? I also don't remember how well that S-320 sold either or what reasons they gave for discontinuing it here. But discontinuity drives me nuts. The six cyl S dies and comes back. The A8's SWB dies and comes back. The S8 hibernates and comes back. All those things would malke me afraid to buy those cars. Leasing is different as the Mfr. bears the risk.
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