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High End Luxury Cars

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  • Merc.

    Since this board is about the LS and the S...and not the E or station wagons or suvs.....It seems the LS is the safest or the High End Luxury Marques.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    in getting into the "which one is safer" endless argument again. No one is going to see it any differently than they did the last time.

    Please move on.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Let's find something else to arg.., er discuss, something we didn't just beat way way into the ground recently.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Rumor mill from Autoweek and others continue to speculate on an LS600h or an LS500GT. Both of which will churn out 600hp. Even a hi-po V8-powered IS500 (400hp) that will go against the new M3 (407hp). Rumors for sure, but what is the world coming to with this HP war going on ? Imagine an LS with 600hp ???? That just doesn't ring possible, but who knows ???

    Oh BTW, the 4.6L 2007 LS460 is now pegged at 350bhp, while the LS500 (lwb) is rumored at 400bhp.
  • vwguildvwguild Posts: 1,620
    I am certainly glad that gas is so cheap... ;)
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Vwguild makes an interesting point here. I don't see the point of Lexus building such a car with gas prices being what they are..Of course anyone shelling out $65K+ for an LS isn't going to be bothered, but it hardly seems like a move Lexus would normally make. It would be better to use the hybrid drivetrain to achieve a "Sporty" HP rating.. I don't see the point of these HP wars. My 92 LS has 250 HP and is fast enough for me.

    I had the opportunity to drive a Volvo S60 R AWD the other day. I know this isn't a "high end" marque, but I think I am starting to understand the BMW/MB side of things here. It was a very spirited driving experience and the car rode like it was on rails. Very impressive. It was a different experience alltogether from my LS430. After driving that car, I feel even more strongly our attempts at arguing which car is better is pointless. It's clear to me each manufacturer caters to a different personality set. It all depends on your buying criteria really.

    I finally got a chance to drive my new LS430 since my wife wanted the snow tires taken off. (As some of you know, my wife stole my car while I was in the UK on business) The ride with the 18" tires isn't bad. I noted it was noiser than the 17"s on my old car. But it does seem to have crisper handling. Of course I probably won't drive it fast enough to really appreciate the benefits of the wider wheels. I was tempted to get the Smart Key system switched out so I could have my car all to myself. I've been driving my old 92 LS which has been a real treat. I'm wondering what it will take to get my car back.

    Merc,
    No real surprise on the safety results. MB's are built like tank, pure and simple. The S Class had a real solid feel to it when I saw it in person. I don't think safety has been compromised by their recent quality issues. MB's problems seem to be primarily Electronics related, and not construction. I was surprised the E did as well as the S-Class. I've been thinking alot about the E320 CDI with the fuel prices what they are. Will they offer that with 4Matic? I always wondered why we don't see more Diesel variants of high end cars here. I saw enough of them in London.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "I had the opportunity to drive a Volvo S60 R AWD the other day. I know this isn't a "high end" marque, but I think I am starting to understand the BMW/MB side of things here. It was a very spirited driving experience and the car rode like it was on rails. Very impressive. It was a different experience alltogether from my LS430. After driving that car, I feel even more strongly our attempts at arguing which car is better is pointless. It's clear to me each manufacturer caters to a different personality set. It all depends on your buying criteria really."

    Ahh..very interesting. Just think that was just a "Volvo", wait until you try AMG Mercedes-Benz or a Motorsport BMW. A whole different world from anything from Japan.

    "I've been thinking alot about the E320 CDI with the fuel prices what they are. Will they offer that with 4Matic? I always wondered why we don't see more Diesel variants of high end cars here. I saw enough of them in London."

    Well diesel has a dirty name here to the uninformed. They're still stuck on what went on in the 1980s so diesels are a tough sell to people who aren't current on modern diesel's many advances. Secondly the U.S. diesel fuel supply is too "dirty" with sulfur for the current diesels to really be effective. This is scheduled to change around Aug-Sept 2006 when clean diesel is supposed to be the law. This is also why the current E320 CDI still uses the old I6 instead of Mercedes' new V6 diesel. BMW has recently announced that they will import diesels here for 2007 and Mercedes has also stated that the new M-Class will be available with a diesel for the 2007 model year. BMW in particular has a killer diesel in the form of the 535d....I6/272hp, lots of torque and nearly 545i gasoline V8 performance while getting way better mileage than the much weaker gasoline I6 530i. Mercedes can't offer the current E320 CDI in 4Matic because the I6 engine and 4Matic hardware won't fit, but for 2007 the new V6 diesel engine Mercedes just unveiled (224hp/376lb-ft) will be in the 2007 E320CDI with 4Matic being available because the V6 is much more compact. Mercedes also has a new 4.0L V8 (314hp) diesel which I'm sure will come here with the next S-Class and maybe even in the E, M, and R Classes as well. I forgot but I think I've seen where the R-Class will get a diesel also for 2007. The diesel combinations are endless once the fuel supply is cleaned up and these motors can pass Caili (and the like) emision standards.

    M
  • footiefootie Posts: 636
    There's a good article in the Autoinsider section of the Detroit News about the fact that major DCX shareholders Deutschbank and Kuwait Investment Corp have been approached by private equity firms to buy out their shares so that DCX can be broken up.

    MB might have to figure out how to survive on its own without Chrysler keeping it afloat financially. Deutschbank won't like this because they know that they'll have to bail MB out.

    Ah, wishful thinking.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I think it is kind of sad that the 320CDI hasn't gotten more attention in the US. I think it is not just the 80s "dirty" reputation, but also how the press has treated it...meaning that they haven't given it and modern diesel generally the coverage they deserve. Hybrid just seems "newer" and therefore makes a more "interesting" "story". The buying public imho really is influenced by media hype.
  • sv7887sv7887 Posts: 351
    Hi All,
    Merc, thanks for your information on the diesels. I think the E320 CDI deserves more attention. I'm really interested in a 4Matic/Diesel combo. It would be great in the New England weather and easy on the fuel. My neighbor has a VW Passat Wagon diesel that gets nearly 50 MPG. My LS430 gets about 18 MPG around town. I think MB would do well by bringing a S Class diesel to the US. A lot of my friends swear by diesel. It's a shame the press hasn't given them more attention. Hybrids may be new, but I wonder what issues will crop up with them in the long term. At least Diesel has been tried and tested.

    The Volvo was an interesting experience. I've never been in a M series BMW or an AMG MB. Sounds like a lot of fun. It would be nice for a toy car. Up here in MA, I don't think you could use one of those as a daily driver. Then again, I doubt those cars are meant for the daily commute. I'm beginning to see the point, that a car purchase doesn't always have to "make sense". (In terms of JDP, CR, etc)

    SV
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Gas hybrid is a much easier transition than diesel. It's change without effort or breaking habit..In effect it's change without change. That type of transition will win 99 out of a 100 times. Diesel is frought with political and undecided regulatory issues that may be different on a state by state basis when these issues are finally decided. The amount of buyers needed to drive a change to diesel will always be lacking unless the foundation is rock solid. Even if that foundation gets there someday you are then dealing with a change of habit and custom. IMO the end game was decided long before the media got involved. Diesel is, and will continue to be destined the "Apple" of the automotive world in the US.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think you'll see much more about diesels once BMW, MB, Audi and VW have all made sure that the U.S. diesel fuel supply is cleaned up and their latest and greatest can pass emissions.

    The E320CDI exceeded it sales goal last year by a 1000 units, not sure what its doing this year. I do see them every now and then on the road, but its the old I6 engine block so its just a placeholder until the 2007 model year. Then you'll see the latest tech from all three German luxury makers and VW. Mercedes in particular has a diesel available or proposed in every bodystyle of every model they make, even the SL, SLK and CLK. Ditto for BMW. Here is a nice writeup on all of Mercedes' diesel happenings:

    http://www.germancarfans.com/news.cfm/newsid/2050303.010/mercedes/1.html

    Of particular note are the SLK320 CDI and SL400 CDI. They outperform the "petrol" (love that word) versions in every way.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I think you'll see an S-Class diesel here for sure sometime after the big launch of the new model. The rumor mill says (this week) that there will be a 268hp S350, 340hp S450, 410hp S550, 500hp S600, and a 630hp S65 AMG. The S63, which takes the place of the S55 is totally up in the air and the guesstimates vary wildly. I can see the new 314hp S400 CDI coming here too.

    "I'm beginning to see the point, that a car purchase doesn't always have to "make sense". (In terms of JDP, CR, etc)"

    Great day in the morning....as I live and breathe! The most startling thing I've read on this board in years!

    The Volvo S60R is a neat car for sure. The AMG and M cars are the pinnacle of this type, have been for years. One is the ultimate for on road work and the other superior at the track, but both with luxury of their respective brands. Every other luxury car maker in the world now wants a tuning arm or has plans to start one because of them. Mercedes, unlike BMW is determined to have an AMG version of everything they sell compared to just C and E-Class vehicles during previous years. Can you image what this new 500hp V10 M5 must drive like? Just watching it on Auto, Motor und Sport TV is shocking enough. The MB dealer here has 2 SL65 AMGs ready to go. These are 604hp cars! I've driven the current SL500 twice now and didn't want for more power so I can only imagine what doubling the SL500's hp must feel like. You should try and AMG model out, we'll start you out with an E55 or S55...lol. You like Jaguars right? Check out the XJR, it's a British express.

    M
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I would get a diesel in a heartbeat over a hybrid. Firstly, there probably won't be that much more of a premium, if at all given that diesel engines are commonplace. Secondly, without a shadow of a doubt they will last longer than gas engines. Third, even if the price of diesel if higher than premium, it is offset by the savings in mpg and the lack of sophisticated electronics. Which means a vehicle must less likely to need repair over the long haul.
  • sxgsxg Posts: 24
    #8991 of 8992 Re: Diesel [sv7887] by merc1 Apr 17, 2005 (5:31 pm)

    The Volvo S60R is a neat car for sure. The AMG and M cars are the pinnacle of this type, have been for years.
    ----------------
    In my humble opinion, there is no pinnacle. Both BMW and Mercedes are undubitably the pioneers of this concept, but eventually what matters most is what matters to the buyer most. After considering many cars, I decided to go with a Volvo S60R for the following reasons: its is an AWD unlike the M's or AMG's (as far as I know), the seats are superbly comfortable and contoured to the back (unlike the torture-rack Porsche seats I currently experience...without mentioning their many other design and profit-making fallacies) and finally, the price is substantially lower than that of either the BMW's or the Mercedes. For many of those who seek to be identified by the brand they wear, go with M or AMG. BMW designs stink and Mercedes quality is like Hyudai of the past. I wouldn't be surprised if Hyundai fares better in quality now. The S60R, in contrast, is a technological marvel, and has better safety ratings (with four doors, awd, manual tranny, and a user specified suspension setting). I never thought much of Volvos in the past, but they earned my respect with the S60R. Final thought for the day...why would anyone want to drive to performance car that does not have a manual transmission? Is it: a) a matter of convenience or really b) can't drive a manual transmission and have to go through life making flimsy excuses?

    Ha, ha....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I agree that you have to buy what suits you, but Volvo isn't even in the same league with Mercedes' AMG and BMW's Motorsport vehicles. Sure they don't offer awd which makes cars like the S60R and Audi S4 more appealing in some places around the country but for the person who shops past the entry level Volvo has nothing to even begin to compare with AMG and Motorsport.

    When it comes to offering the widest choice of models and performance options Mercedes' AMG and BMW's Motorsport are head and shoulders above everyone else, with only Jaguar and Audi coming close. Volvo's one hard core model doesn't change this.

    M
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    "When it comes to offering the widest choice of models and performance options Mercedes' AMG and BMW's Motorsport are head and shoulders above everyone else, with only Jaguar and Audi coming close. "

    Choice of models sure but neither have (as many ways to spend your money or) as many performance options as Porsche.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Starting to see a lot of the new cars on the road and liking them more and more everytime I see one. They must be selling well. Best color I've seen so far is the cypress pearl and the one I saw today (in cypress) had some sportclad extras that made me do a triple-take. Car was stunning.and an absolute eye-catcher and in a heartbeast I wished I was driving it rather than my GX470. The guy shot by me on the Garden State pkwy and I was breezing at 75mph at the time. Great car.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Among the luxury car makers is what I meant.

    What do you consider peformance options? More models? Different suspensions?

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Len:

    After my test drive of the new GS300 back in early March, I am amazed that I have yet to see a single one on the roads of status-conscious San Diego. OTOH, I have seen plenty of the new CLS500 and new 645i, even a trickle of the M45 on the roads, but no new GS. Strange....

    Yea, the new GS is a beautiful car. And so is the new IS. Lexus is certainly doing something right in the styling dept. Cannot wait for the new LS.

    And talking of the new LS, a Japanese colleague of mine visiting the office here in the US confirmed that Lexus will release the LS460 in MY2007 and an LS600h in MY2008. That is as good as gold, and you can take that to the bank..... I am just giddy. A LWB LS600h with a V12-like performance and a V6 fuel efficiency, that should be outstanding. What will MB/BMW have to compete ? I guess the S600/760iL maybe ???
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    OAC - That car will make those and the others including the Audi V12 and VW V12 (do they even sell Phaetons anymore, I never see any ads anywhere and I never see the car on the road) look like dinosaurs and it'll be 15%-25% cheaper to boot. Latest and greatest technology in a sportier look from the worlds most reliable auto maker at a heavy discount. Pretty easy to see the conclusion of the story. MB and BMW have to go hybrid and start making news about it pretty soon. Otherwise Lexus will run away with the race.

    I'm more interested honestly in the hybrid version of the LS460 gas engine. That supposedly comes out just after the LS460 at an 8-10K premium price but as a loaded car with simply a SWB or LWB option. You realize of course that they will also - inevitably - make a limited SC version of that 600H engine. But it is the 460 hybrid that will be key as it will power the big SUV's as well. Make sure you have some ample breathing room between purchase and the debut of this next LS in gas and hybrid forms. There is going to be a lot of demand and this is is going to be a lot worse than it was in 2001. I hope late March 2007 - my time frame - is sufficient.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I thought the LS600h combined a 4.6 liter gas engine with hybrid tech, giving 6-liter equivalent performance.

    If there is going to be a lower-priced LS hybrid, it might be based on a V6, as in the GS450h.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    No - there is going to be a $100K+ LS hybrid that rivals a V12 gas engine. I thought that was the 600H but now that I remermber that car will have the GT initials for distinction. There are 2 hybrids and one gas engine in this next model round. It is the V12 like car that is scheduled for 2008.
  • 00boxsters00boxsters Posts: 202
    As I said, not models since Porsche is limited, fortunately. (I do not include the TEN! different variations of just the 911 model listed on their website) By performance options I mean ceramic brakes, larger tire/wheel packages, suspensions, engines (S), some aero effects and even seats/steering wheels.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    By my calculations (need to confirm this tho'), methinks the 600h is based on a 5L V8 hybrid, which is the hybrid variant of a proposed LS500 GT/AWD. I doubt that Lexus will ever put a 450h hybrid engine in their top of the line LS, that is designed for the GS/SC or maybe IS. But the key distinction is the 500 "GT" which has AWD standard (SWB/LWB trims), and the 600h which is simply a hybrid-engined car in a LWB model only.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    OAC - The LS and GS4 will have a hybrid mated to the regular gas engine and it will produce the extra power to push into the 400's. They won't make such an engine only for the GS, and that engine in an IS would steel too much thunder from a higher priced SC or other exotic coupe. I doubt the IS ever gets a V8 or V8 hybrid. I think the reason you don't get a GS430 hybrid anytime soon is because it has to wait for the LS.

    I'm still thinking about that GS in cypress I saw yesterday. I saw one in black today and it looked real good but the cypress with sport extras was a knockout. The GS seems to look its best in the medium color tones. I'd love to see one in flint mica.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    But the GS450h comes out MY2007, which is based on the 3.5L V6 in the IS350/Avalon/GS350 (Japan). The power rating has not been announced, but I expect it to exceed 340hp, since the naturally aspirated 3.5L V6 in the IS350 will churn out 300+hp. The IS is now rumored (confirmed by the influential "Best Car Magazine" in Japan) to get a 400hp 5L V8 badged as an IS500, to go against the C55 and M3.

    Sortie anticipée par "Best Car" pour l'été 2006. La voiture est parait-il développée avec le souci d'un impact minimal sur l'environnement. C'est cela, oui. Enfin, Lexus, la filiale de Toyota, à peine entrée dans le club très fermé des constructeurs de prestige, entend asseoir sa position en mettant une claque aux membres historiques: une IS500 équipée d'un V8 de 5l et 400 cv avec pour cible la M3 et la C55 AMG.

    source: http://www.leblogauto.com/toyota/

    For the LS, Lexus has indicated they'll put a hybrid motor based on a V8 engine. That would mean that the LS600h is based on the 4.6L V8 in the base 2007 LS460. But seeing that the entry-level IS may get a 5L V8 engine, Lexus may also bring out an LS500 "GT"/AWD. BTW, the GS will also get the 4.6L but not the 600h. Whatever would happen to the 4.3L motor in the current GS430/LS430 ???

    By my estimate I see

    LS460 (base)
    LS500 "GT" (LWB/SWB) ???
    LS600h (LWB only)

    Is this what you hear or different ?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Per my source the names - save the LS460 were not yet determined, but based on lenscap the LS600H is now added so let me say it goes this way:

    LS460 - base car - 350HP and possibly optioned as a LWB car as well. But this car will mainly be the equivalent of todays custom lux $64K car priced around $66K. Whether or not they allow a dressed down premium only version of this with just the sunroof and memory features (or whatever is in todays $58K car) is up in the air.

    LS600H ( I like LS460H better as a name because I think of it as the hybrid option) - This will be pretty loaded car and range from the $72K range in SWB to as high as low 80's in a LWB ultra model.

    LSGT - This is your super V12 equivalent car that should arrive in 2008 as a LWB only car with everything standard including some things simply not available in the other model variants.

    The GS will come iin hybrid in both the GS3 and GS4 but the latter will wait until the LS gets the hybrid.

    If I were Lexus I'd bring the hybrid to the current LS in 2006 to keep the sales hot. Otherwise they will fall as many will defer buying to the 2007 car and then you also get some fight against, as well as steel some thunder from the new S-class - which will have a 6 month leadtime. But I also think MB reliability has tempered the enthusiasm the S would have normally had and I also think that new S will not be as good looking as the current car. As well I think MB is making a big mistake going back to the mammoth size of the old S-class car and putting in that i-drive equivalent technology. That is going to be a car that turns off the better half of many families - in my opinion.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Think I may have an answer as to why the new GS is not more prevalent... and I frame my observation on my personal perspective as a 6'4" retired Rugger. The rear seat was uninhabitable for me. No way my legs could get into the footwell and my head brushed the roof lining. Had to sit "side saddle".

    It's as if it was a 7/8 scale model! When people look for a 4-door, they at least want to get their friends/business associates in the back seat. Another issue might be the utility and accessibility of the trunk design for those who play golf, etc.

    That said, I was totally impressed with the build quality and cabin layout/materials. Kinda put-off by the touch screen... no lover of my favorite marque's iDrive either. Will say that the new GS430 was totally appealing save for the interior dimensions - kinda leaves us larger "athletic" guys out of the picture. LS would be the only car from Lexus I'd be comfortable in.
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