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High End Luxury Cars

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  • It's dead here... I just wanted to let anyone that cares know that on June 20th the new S class is to be revealed to the public.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    An automotive expert was on the air today. ljflx you may have heard of him, Ron Ananian (the car doctor). He was saying that hybrid batteries will have to be replaced after about 100K or about 3-5 years. Cost will be several thousands of dollars. Now, that's just his opinion, but based on the fact they are the same type of batteries used in cell phones I won't doubt it.

    That 8 year warranty the automakers give is smart. My guess it covers the battery replacement.

    How many of you would get another (or get one period) hybrid if you had to spend $4,000 on a new battery in 4 years?
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Why would a $4K battery (that will likely be about $1-2K once production ramps) deter someone from buying a car that is $8-20K less than the German counterparts. That price - even if it holds at $3 or 4K is hardly a deterrrent given that price difeerential. Many people will also need 6-7 years to get to 100K miles. Hey - I bought a DLP TV that needs a new $250 bulb every 3-4 years as well. I think the mistake you make is thinking people keep looking at this as a return on investment. It's not. It's next gen engines that keep the planet cleaner and lower dependency on the mid-east.

    Lastly do you think the Germans/Europeans are going to bet the ranch on diesel (or diesel hybrid where you then have the same battery replacement issue) vs.gas hybrid in the US? That is not a bet I'd make if I were them but God bless and good luck to them if they do. I'm afraid that what you are looking at here is VHS vs. Betamax all over again and diesel is the Betamax.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well believe it or not diesels will always be around, especially in Europe because the technology is proven. Now in the U.S. diesels will face an acceptance problem from those who are clueless about their many advancements since the 80's, when diesels weren't all that great. The real test will be late next year/early 2007 when the Germans start a diesel offensive based on the U.S. getting low-sulphur fuel.

    Autoweek is saying that Mercedes will do a gas/electric hybrid for the U.S. and Japan and a diesel/electric hybrid for Europe, sounds like the perfect solution to those caught up in the hybrid frenzy.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I just wanted to let anyone that cares know that on June 20th the new S class is to be revealed to the public.

    Gasp!

    M
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Well that's certainly one viewpoint. Another viewpoint is the expense of the consumables is not worth the savings. Sort of like having the manufacturers give a printer away and then charging $50 for the cartridge. To me the issue with the battery is a big issue and one that had me thinking long before I heard it on the air.

    Given the fact every cell phone battery I've had in the last few years starts to give way about a year after I bought it, I think the jury is out on the battery issue.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    That's what I would have expected.

    KD - the give a way the razor, charge for the blade marketing is a bad analogy here. The price of the battery is peanuts vs the price of the car and 100K miles is L/T usage not S/T. Also the car doesn't become inoperable w/o a battery. You still have a gas or diesel engine in there working full time.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,028
    Also the car doesn't become inoperable w/o a battery.

    If ithe Hybrid is based on the Toyota HSD system. No battery No go. The Honda will continue on without a battery. You just lose power assist.
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    > Now in the U.S. diesels will face an acceptance problem from those who are
    > clueless about their many advancements since the 80's, when diesels weren't all > that great

    The clueful know quite well that the European city air pollution is horrendous thanks to widespread diesel usage.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    "If ithe Hybrid is based on the Toyota HSD system. No battery No go. The Honda will continue on without a battery. You just lose power assist. "

    Sorry. Toyota's with HSD can still drive on just the gasoline engine if the batteries go dead.
  • As a Prius owner my understanding is the Batteries will cost approx $2000 to replace today and probably 1/2 that when my warrenty runs out...(about the same as a timing belt)

    I do not think this is a major issue...they are expected to go 100,000 mi....plus.

    I have never heard a figure as high as $4000....
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    I never did either but I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. I had heard the same $2K figure you noted. Like any technology - the cost will go down with mass production. And of course the batteries will will get better and better.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I guess it remains to be seen. The figure was quoted by an automotive expert who has a radio show in the tri-state area.

    All I know is that after several years in production, an original manufacturer replacement battery for my cell phone still costs $40. It would seem to me these batteries should sell for $2 on the street. (An original not a knock-off)

    That's why I wasn't surprised by the seemingly high figure.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    In all honesty I've never replaced a cell phone battery in 10+ years of cell phone ownership. The last couple of years I've changed phones every two years but I held my first phone for 5 years. And believe me I log a lot of cell phone hours. I've also never changed a cell phone battery for my wife either. Why would you even replace a battery when most phones are $50-100, barely more than the battery prices you are quoting. Even my V710 which is a phenomenal phone with a great speakerphone embedded in it is now down to $99. I'd bet a replacement battery is costly because it's not a common alternative people take. I also think it's a stretch to compare cell phone battery history to auto industry future engine developments. You are way too far out on a limb for me.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The cost of the phone is not the issue. It's the fact it's the same battery technology. My cell phone used to be good for a week between charges, now it's down to a day and sometimes less. The phones made these days are garbage with a half-life of a year, including the V710 (imho). So I like my phone that I have dropped on concrete, abused and it still works.

    Still, we are just trading opinions and one needs to see how these vehicles fair in the future.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,687
    Agree - but I've got the V710 11 months now and it's great. I'll see if it makes it to next August for my 2 year anniversary renewal. One thing for sure - buy a cell with an excellent speakerphone. You really don't need bluetooth, a headset or anything with the V710 because that speakerphone in it is so good.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The clueful know quite well that the European city air pollution is horrendous thanks to widespread diesel usage.

    Then they should also know that the U.S. isn't going to turn into Europe either and that diesels have been in use a lot longer there, and they're more than 40 percent of the market. Won't happen here.

    M
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I agree 100%. Next cell phone will have a great speakerphone.
  • gagrice:

    yesterday I disagreed with your comment that the Toyota prius would not continue to run when the batteries go down....I WAS WRONG...You were absolutely right the car GAS Engine will NOT run if the hybrid Batteries do not charge...It sounds like a design flaw to me.

    To make matters worse...My dealer did not know the answer to the orginal question. Even with Toyota...IT IS NOT ALL ROSES.
  • blckislandguyblckislandguy Posts: 1,150
    A couple of weeks ago I posted about the significant emphasis on status insecure people in a recent MB ad campaign for the E Series. The ads were replete with shallow references to how your best friends and neighbors would drool over you because you were in a MB. The ads had not references to tech specs, performance, 0-60 times, etc. Just crap about "driving people wild with envy" that would appeal to marginal people seeking acceptance. I thought the campaign was nuts.

    A couple of ads I saw this week in both print and TV were the exact opposite. They talked about the thousands of patents that MB holds, the great engineering, the 111 year long track record, etc. etc. In short, the ads pushed MB's unique selling propositions: technology and heritage. Great ads. Fantastic ads. Ads drawing on powerful themes with examples that no one else can match. Ads that speak to values held by successful people, not wannabes. Ads that most importantly made me think, "OK, I'd like to be associated with the real thing that MB represents. Maybe I should put an E Series on my shopping list".
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Did the ads highlight any particular Mercedes or just the brand overall?

    M
  • Merc:

    I also have seen the ads and they are very good...Kind of like the 70s and 80s ads with the concentration on Quality....

    No specific Model other then the cars in General lots of the older models were flashed. (not the SUV if I recall correctly)

    Talked about 100 plus years in the business and 10,000 plus Patents..Safety Features....Very Very good Ad. for Mercedes...
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    A reporter is interested in speaking with baby boomer women who have decided to indulge themselves by buying or leasing a luxurious or dream car. If you live in either Riverside County or San Bernardino County in Southern California and would be interested in speaking with this reporter, please send your name, daytime phone number and the car you purchased or leased to Pam Krebs, Edmunds.com PR, at pkrebs@edmunds.com by end of day Tuesday, June 21. Thank you

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    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
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  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Can be seen here...

    nexuslexus, "2007 Lexus LS" #327, 17 Jun 2005 5:42 pm

    This sketch has recently been confirmed as close to the real thing by an internal Toyota/Lexus designer.

    So what do you all think of this design ?
  • Much more dramatic and athletic looking then I had expected...I would need to see it in real life ...Where I suspect it will look a little more eligant.....

    It shows great promise for me....I like what I see...I would be concerned if it loses head room ..or trunk space which have been turnoffs for me on the Mercedes.
  • paldipaldi Posts: 210
    Here's the sketch...

    Looks like a cross between a Caddy and a Phaeton with that arrow nose and Caddy headlights..

    image
  • jananjanan Posts: 1
    You're comparing a very small sports car to a very large luxury limo and saying the limo's lackluster. thats like comparing an offshore powerboat to the QE2 for god sake. The fact that the Jag's got a huge 4l V8 does not mean they skimmed on the luxury unlike the M3 which is a sports car and would definitely not compare as a luxury car.
  • navigator89navigator89 Posts: 1,080
    Thanks for posting that sketch. The new LS looks great.

    The Lexus LS430, like most Lexus products has a nice interior, but it's exterior is painfully bland. The current LS still retains many of the styling cues that the LS400 had when it debuted in the early 90s.

    The new car looks really sleek, even though it carries the stretched back headlights from the previous car.

    Way to go Lexus! :)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Full Article

    Pics:

    image

    image

    image

    image

    image

    I'm still not sold on the design, especially those wheel arches and that BMW 7-Series look-a-like interior.

    Model range

    S 350:
    200 kW/272 hp

    S 500:
    285 kW/388 hp

    S 320 CDI:
    170 kW/231 hp (from first quarter 2006)

    S 600:
    380 kW/ 517 hp (from first quarter 2006)

    Overall there are some things I like and some I don't, namely those wheel arches (which are hid in darker colors) and the BMW 7-Series dashboard design. More design comments pending.........

    M
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