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High End Luxury Cars

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  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    > from what i've seen on the road the 6 cylinder GS's seem to dominate. same
    > goes for the E class and the 5 series. imo it's almost always about price.

    Price is indeed extremely important. That's why comparing at a set price point is more important than comparing based on equipment. The comparison is for mid-level sporty luxury sedans. BMW and Merc price their V8 mid-size offering at price levels closer to the Q and LS than to the V8 M and GS.
  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    Let's suppose new 5 or E comes out, sales of 3 and 5 or C and S promptly drop at least 15%. Everybody would scratch his head and scream cannibalization. Check it out, that's what happens to LS/ES sales since GS came out. I posted April stats clearly showing that.

    ES is FWD should have nothing to do with it. Because it's Lexus main competitor in the entry luxury segment, due to IS being a non-factor. And to Lexus owners, Lexus quietness and reliability are foremost, not RWD/FWDness.

    Bringing up where in the cycle the models are doesn't explain anything. G35, reportedly in the last year of its cycle, actually is peaking after M comes out.
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I agree (with what I think you are saying). When I suggested cannibalization, I wasn't suggesting that most Edmunds readers cross-shop the ES and LS with the GS. However, I believe that there is a large population of buyers (and non-Edmunds-readers...Gasp!) out there who either want a Lexus because of either: its reliability, luxury, and quietness; its prestige, or (most likely); a combination of the first two. So this group of buyers with their minds set on a Lexus walks into the dealership with a budget. They may have plenty for an ES but not enough for an LS, or they have barely enough for an LS, but a GS is slightly more reasonable.

    Sorry, I don't have stats or articles to back this up. This is just a hunch.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    I think it's only a slight indication of what will be sitting on showroom floors a year from now, but not enough to make a final judgment on. The overall design can still be affected positively or negatively by the details, and maybe even different colors. We shall see...
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    If you've convinced yourself that is the case (and would be in the other scenarios as well) then go on believing it. Just don't try and sell it to wall street or any business pro - thet'll give it zero crecedence. You could e-mail a wall street analyst who covers Toyota and get his/her opinion of course.
  • rl81rl81 Posts: 53
    Dear Warriors of the Religion of the Rising Sun...and...Dear Warriors of the Religion of Walhalla

    this is such an entertaining forum to read becuase everyone tried to argue the impossible and there is no way to give even an inch of unterstanding to the other side. Come on give it an inch!!! Only an inch!!! I don't know why you guys don't have anything better to do (but hey, don't listen to me...I don't want to ruin my entertainment)

    Anyways let me fix some gaps in your history: BMW in the 50's and 60's
    '51...The six-cylinder 501, called the "Baroque Angel", makes its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. :surprise:
    '54..."Luxury cruiser" from the ISAR River: prototype of the BMW 502 Baur convertible with a new V8 light-alloy engine. :surprise:
    '56...the Isetta was introduced... :)
    '59...they were considering a merger with Daimler Benz...kinda funny... :D
    '61...A new class of car: the 1500, BMW's first sporty family sedan
    '64...BMW flexes racing muscles: Hubert Hahne wins the German Circuit Championship in an 1800ti, taking 27 out of 28 races.
    '65...No more airplane engines for now: BMW's engine plant in Allach, founded in 1955, is sold.
    '68...the BMW 1600 convertible is produced in limited numbers and quickly becomes an collector's item.
    And by the way...the BMW logo has more resemblance with the bavarian flag...I know the story with the rotor...

    image

    Toyota in the 50's and 60's
    '47...Toyota released the 1-Iiter engine, small Model, SA Sedan in 1947 (looks like a bug rip-off to me :lemon: )
    '53...Toyota came out with a 1,500cc model - the Toyopet Super. This Series featured increased power of 20hp, representing an exceptional improvement in performance. :surprise:
    '55...The Toyopet Crown RS was released in 1955. From the beginning, the RS was designed as a family car.
    '55...The Crown Deluxe Model RSD came equipped with a radio, heater, electric clock, tinted windows, whitewall tires, fog lights and other amenities, making it Japan's first domestically produced prestige car. ;)
    '57...American branch of Toyota and introduced the Crown. Since it lacked power and maneuverability at high speed running, it was hard to be accepted into American market. :cry:
    '60...Cedric became famous for its 71ps G-type engine, which gave a maximum speed of 130 km/hr. :shades:
    '1967...Century...It weighed more than 1.7 tons, had a high-performance, 2.9-Iiter V8 engine and was capable of reaching speeds of 170km/hr.

    What does this mean? The two companies had different paths in their past...nothing more, nothing less...I'll let you fight over it, now...
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    Tony, great post. IMHO this was the way life was say up to the early '60s. Then a lot of us went off to VN, came home to start businesses (that thrived because of the new Interstate System!), and here we are today.

    I still think that, assuming the lifestyle and income, a used Arnage for 90K would be preferable to a new S Class. Neither one would be driven during ice and snow conditions but at the end of three years with the Bentley you would have something more than an S Class coming off lease to be auctioned off to wannabe real estate developers. Stroudman, what say you?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The GS has beaten the 5 and M in some comparos, and not in others. I don't see why you continue to rail against Lexus for "missing the mark". If the GS lost in most or all comparos, that would be another thing. But it didn't work out that way, did it?

    All I'm saying is that when sporting qualities are the topic of the review the GS430 doesn't make the cut. Of course it would beat the 5-Series if the reviewers are looking more for luxury, that has been my point all along. Edmunds and Automobile comparos back up that position. However it is also clear that in the Road and Track review what they were looking for, Sport. In the Car & Driver review also, but they tested a 530i, not the true GS430 competitor, the 545i.

    Again I'll ask, where did Lexus promise that the GS would out-handle a 5? This seems to be your criteria for being a proper luxury sport sedan (where you tend to downplay acceleration, for example)...though apparently not every autorag reviewer shares your exact priorities.

    I have to ask if you've read any of the press releases concerning the GS and/or Clements statements. I'm am far from the only one stating that this was said. I don't have time to go back an read every Lexus press release and/or statement the Lexus chief made. I'm sure you could find them, if you wanted to. Also, Lexus didn't state that they the GS would specifically outhandle the 5, but they did state that they were aim for the 5-Series in general, which means a sports sedan. It would be different if they said E-Class or A6, but they said 5-Series more than once. Please don't put words in my post about me saying that they stated the GS would specifically "outhandle" the 5-Series.

    I'm not sure where you got it from that I down played acceleration, never downplayed acceleration. I stated that it doesn't automatically equal a winner in a comparo. Of course its important, but the fastest car doesn't always win either.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    What do you think of the fender flares and overall design pictured here?

    Good question. Personally I'm not sure what to think anymore. There are other boards that show much greater detail pictures and some of the have those fender flares and some don't. Those flares are more appropiate on the new M-Class, but on the S-Class...no way! There is quite a ruckus on other boards about the new S and its every changing appearance. Also, I posted some more pics here -> Here.

    Very detailed I think. I can see the typcial Mercedes big sedan shape, but the trunklid is another point of concern as are those fender flares. There has never been a more anticipated Mercedes in the Benz community.

    M
  • docnukemdocnukem Posts: 485
    I don't think mariner7 or I think that Lexus sales are going to suffer. I believe that Lexus will continue to do well and probably sell more cars this year than last. My point is that the increase in sales of the GS might (just might) eat into some of the sales of the LS and ES. That is, even if their numbers go up, could the ES and LS sales have gone up further if the GS wasn't redone? It is, after all, a hypothetical question which nobody will be able to answer unless you unleash a horde of statisticians on Lexus showrooms. I believe Lexus would frown on that.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    When I was a kid, my family had a cressida. Nice car, but if you compared it to a 300E, xjs, or even a cadillac of the same model year, there is no comparison.

    We must have come up during "similar" years. That 300E you mention was a member of the greatest E-Class of all time the W124. The W210 didn't measure up imo. Now the current E I feel a lot better about, but well see how it does over its run compared to the W124. Mercedes still hasn't made a car like the W124 "E500". Well, maybe the CLS is as special. It certainly looks the part.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    That's interesting with the fender flares, there being as you said some pics with and some without. IMHO the flares are over the top and maybe are a bit of MB misdirection. Maybe its all a big MB plot to throw off the Lexus designers who want nothing more than to copy the next S! They'll be laughing if the S doesn't have them but the next LS does, hehheh.

    ...hey Pat where did the cute little car face icons go?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    they did state that they were aim for the 5-Series in general

    I can buy that. But...let's accept that Lexus named the 5 as its "target" with the GS. If some comparo editors find the 5 superior, based on their own criteria (which as you suggest would presumably lean toward sport) and others find the GS superior based on their own criteria (presumably leaning toward luxury), doesn't it mean that Lexus has missed the target in the eyes of some, but hit it in the eyes of others? I'd call that a draw. How do we know whether by targeting the 5, Lexus was aiming more for the C&D editors' criteria than the Automobile editors'? We don't and they may not even think that way. My conjecture would be more that they aimed to have more sales success against the 5...i.e., to be able to steal some of its customer base. That doesn't necessarily mean beating it in every possible metric (which isn't possible anyway, as for instance there will be tradeoffs between sport and luxury)...it only means making it good enough in enough areas to be competitive with a part of their customer base.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    Merc - I don't like that car from those pics, but who knows. Even if you had the real crystal clear pictures of the final version - a car like that has to be seen in the flesh to really be judged. The beauty of the current S is that it flows perfectly from end to end. The only thing I disliked was the old grill size on the 2000-2002 versions (too mousy for a car that big) but the re-fresh fixed that. But this - if it's the car - loses the graceful fluidity of the current car based on those pictures.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Not to hurt anyone`s feelings, but I think the English(RR Bentley) German S and BMW 7 and Lexus LS are what I consider to be the luxury cars...As I mentioned from the old days our driving habits have changed so much that the titans RR Bentley do not represent what they were originally designed for..The Armage is a beautiful, unique auto, and I would think it to be a better value....Until It Broke--, or worse....Today with the Interstate we drive from point A to B, and then a bit about town...For me knowing someone is around that can come and assist me if I need it is what I consider luxury to be...For a passionate collector ( I guess where some of us came from) I would desire all of the above mentioned autos, but when I was there I couldn`t afford even one, and now I find it more difficult to justify one....What a shame...That is one of the reasons you passionate posters give me some pleasure, as you are on the same road as me Tony PS It is bad enough getting a speeding ticket....Just think how embarasssssing it would be if you were in a RR .
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The fenders in the Autospies shot look like they could be masking. They're not apparent in the first series of pics Merc posted which also have different stuffing beneath the mask skin. I'll tell you one thing that is pretty clear to me though and I've said this before—it looks like the RL. There are worse looking cars. But if it comes out with ML/Mazda fenders it will be pilloried, bank on it. It works on the ML but, heaven help us, not on a serious luxury car.

    Oac…I also can't wait to see the 2007 Holy Grail ;-)
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Come around more often. Your idyllic picnic post was a hit. We need more of that to temper this place.

    ;-)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    ...let's accept that Lexus named the 5 as its "target" with the GS. If some comparo editors find the 5 superior, based on their own criteria (which as you suggest would presumably lean toward sport) and others find the GS superior based on their own criteria (presumably leaning toward luxury), doesn't it mean that Lexus has missed the target in the eyes of some, but hit it in the eyes of others?

    This is exactly what I've said all along. Sports sedan target missed, luxury sedan as always Lexus hits the mark. Seriously go back and read what I'd said at the beginning of this. This tradeoff is why Edmunds and Automobile put the GS in the top 3 or at the top, and it is why a publication looking for sport (R&T) ranked it last. My other point is that we know Lexus could build a luxury car, but this was according to Lexus not an E-Class fighter, but a 5-Series fighter. That to me says sport is a little higher up on the priority list this time around. Its the same thing they're doing with the new IS this fall.

    This has nothing to do with sales we could go on about that for days as to why it sells and whatever else. I'm speaking purely about the cars themselves. We know its going to sell either way.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I don't like the car in those pics either at this point, but that same thing happened with the 1996 E-Class which looked truly awful in spy photos, but turned out the just the opposite. There will be day in August in which the real thing will be shown in pics and then the actual debut at the IAA in Frankfurt.

    M
  • denaliinpadenaliinpa Posts: 169
    what is amazing about the spy pics of the upcoming S is that autobild had computerized photos more than 2 years ago that looked like the photos with the fender flares. i doubt the production version will have such a pronounced flare in the fender but i believe it will be similar to the revamped 7 series(especially the rear fender). i also believe the trunk line will not be RL like in appearance. similar but with the typical MB "luggage" look.

    as for comparing 6''s and 8's. i still feel it should be apples to apples. price point is a factor but in the end most people want to the playing field level and a true winner chosen.

    like stroudman my parents had a cressida when i was growing up. nice car...kind of like the current Avalon...but i never see one in my garage! for me it's teutonic all the way.

    as for the hybrid's future. the costs out weigh the benefits at the moment. if you do most of your driving in city traffic then the equation is a little more positive. just because other automakers are looking into developing hybrids doesn't automatically make the hybrid case a success. only time will tell.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    according to Lexus not an E-Class fighter, but a 5-Series fighter. That to me says sport is a little higher up on the priority list this time around

    A fair statement, I think. And my perception is that the reviews view this edition as more sporting than the 1998 edition.

    Sports sedan target missed

    Not sure about that, some see it differently. Automobile magazine on the driving qualities of the 545: "The V-8 is wickedly strong, and the engine seems able to unleash a thunderclap of power at any rpm. The trouble is that it's hard to get a handle on it. The effort of the variable-ratio active steering goes light once you move the steering off center, and the chassis floats just as the front end heels over. Gillies says, "It feels as if BMW is using all this steering technology to enhance the driving experience without realizing it often isolates you from feeling what's going on with the chassis and tires.""

    Same article about the GS430: "the GS proves to be the easiest car to drive quickly, especially since it weighs only 3860 pounds. Lerner says, "It takes no time at all to get up and go, and once it's going, it keeps scooting along with seemingly unlimited verve." Gillies adds, "The engine is amazing, with wonderful refinement and midrange power, while the transmission shifts so unobtrusively it could apply for a job as a butler."..."The GS should finally get Lexus the respect it deserves," says Lerner, "because it competes with the European marques in terms of emotion, élan, and prestige.""

    Other reviews differ of course, but I don't think it's fair to say for the GS that the luxury sports sedan target was flat out missed, more like "not as sporting as the 5-series in the eyes of some reviewers".
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Even the C&D comparo, which you cite as being more sporting-oriented, isn't all that favorable to the 5 (leaving out the engine choice):

    "the manumatic six-speed in our test car...resisted our inputs with pigheaded obduracy, particularly on the tight Streets of Willow road course, where it would simply ignore requests. Other times it would shift without being asked."
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    The emotorcons are still here. There seem to be some instances where some folks' preference to display them unchecks itself. Go to your preference settings (upper left) and you should be able to turn them back on. The software folks are looking at this.
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    For what it sounds like Tony's purposes would be, the Arnage would be ideal. A true touring car whose value has plateaued a bit, unlike the S which if bought new, would drop substantially. And Tony, if someone's going to drive you around, even better. You can enjoy the ride and take in the sights, without worrying that some chatty teenager on a cellphone will run into you while you're trying to smell the roses.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    You had been skeptical of payback times with the hybrids and to followup on that, I think that once the realworld pricing falls...i.e., the premium over invoice falls toward what it is with the RX330, the RX400h will be imminently reasonable as a economic proposition...and the buyer gets better performance to boot.

    Edmunds did a review here
    http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/Comparos/articleId=105527
    and it says in part: "The Lexus RX 400h commands an $11,000 premium over a base RX 330 but comes with almost every possible feature. Put all of it's features on a regular RX and the leap to the hybrid is about $3,000. Add in your tax credit and the difference is just a grand....buying a hybrid or diesel SUV could be a good financial move. Based on the mileage we got [breakeven is] about six years in the RX 400h. That might sound like a long time if you're planning to lease one, but add in the $2,000 hybrid tax credit available in 2005, you'd break even after about two years."
  • stroudmanstroudman Posts: 192
    As long as you can financially, and philosophically, handle the freight on a fully loaded RX, then it sounds like a great product. The only thing I can compare it to personally is my diesel product, and most, not all but most, of the folks in the market for them want as stripped-down a vehicle as they can get. I don't believe the lexus crowd is the same way, however.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I'm curious to know what you're seeing from CDI prospects...do they tend to be cross shopping against conventional ICE cars like the E350, or is more the RX400h?
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Did you get your emotorcons back? Was the problem what I posted earlier?
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I looked at my preferences and indeed the box was mysteriously unchecked. I have now checked it off and yes they seem to be back, I just haven't had a need to add an icon to a post.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Okay, just wanted to make sure that it was a known problem rather than something new. Just fyi, the box controls only whether you see them, not whether they would show up for someone else in a post of yours. So if you had typed a smiley while it was off, you would have seen just the characters but others would have seen the emotorcon. Thanks for letting me know.
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