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High End Luxury Cars

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  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    400bhp motor in a 3,800Ib GS4xx ??? That will be fantastic ! It will appear that Lexus, while claiming not to be interested in an hp war, may actually be engaging in one. See the competition:

     

    545i: 4.4L = 325hp (3800 Ib curb weight), or 11.7 Ib/hp

    M45: 4.5L = 340bhp (3800Ib curb weight), or 11.1 Ib/hp

    E500: 5.0L = 302bhp (~4000Ib curb weight), or 13.2 Ib/hp, versus

    GS4xx: 4.6 ~ 400bhp (3800Ib est. curb weight) at 9.5 Ib/hp

     

    Outstanding weight-to-hp ratio for the GS should make it a hell of a car on a straightline. And if handling is improved (as expected), chances are it may even out-handle the Bimmer. That would be something, isn't it ?
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Designman:

     

    Acura sells its re-designed RL with a 300hp 3.5L V6. Honda/Acura managed to squeeze out additional 30hp from the previous 270hp output. That was outstanding, for a V6. How many V6 engines churn out 300hp ?

     

    A 2006 GS350 at 320hp is 100hp MORE than the current 220hp GS300. See the difference ? Especially seeing that this new 3.5L V6 will generate ~90hp/L. That is outstanding by any measure, and quite comparable to the 1ZZ Yamaha motor in the Matrix XRS (Celica as well) which generates 100 hp/L (from the 1.8L 180hp Celica).

     

    C'mon, you gotta give Lexus its due props for trying to bring out a product that will compete. I am sure BMW and MB are not taking these information lightly (at least I hope not).
  • Lots of cars can "outhandle" a BMW.. or even out-brake it.. and have higher skidpad ratings.. It is all about the feel and the feedback.. It isn't how fast you can go.. it is how confident you are in going fast..

     

    If they can't do it now, how is horsepower going to help?

     

    And it isn't just the Sportcross that doesn't sell... I doubt Lexus will sell even 5000 IS300 sedans this year...

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  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    With all the talk of the potential GS 350 (remember this is the first article that has mentioned a GS 350 as opposed to a GS 300), keep in mind the Lexus regional GM only told me the IS 350 would be around 320 hp. He never said anything about the GS. I believe the new Avalon's 3.5 V6 will have 270 hp, so it is only speculation that the GS will have 320 also.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    You're right many cars outhandle and/or outperform a BMW. But BMWs don't sell because they give confidence when going fast to most people (although some people do care). They sell simply because of the status of the BMW name.

     

    I look at the Acura TL and feel if that car can sell 5000-6000 units a month, the new IS should be just as successful.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    You are pretty far a-field if you think people buy BMWs because of the name and they don't buy Lexus because of the "name". BMW has earned their name and performance oriented reputation. Lexus and the rest of the the crowd has also worked hard to earn their place.

     

    I like the prognostications. Anyone know where the market is going?
  • You gotta be kidding with this comment! BMW is the most performance-centric mfgr in the world (outside of pure-play sports car companies such as Porsche/Ferrari/etc.).

     

    Not to say they have not made miscalculations with "solutions" to problems that don't exist - like iDrive. People that have achieved lofty goals in life often reward themselves with something that occupies a status level, whether it be a BMW, Rolex or, yes... a Lexus. Nothing wrong with this and thankfully, there are choices out there to consider when searching for that reward!

     

    COmpanies like BMW achieve their status level for one reason... it is earned over many years of delivering in excess of customer expectations. Their challenge is not losing these same customers with wrong-headed experiments with technology.

     

    If iDrive was the answer to a problem, it should have been offered in low-volume cars (645) as an option to gain feedback, IMO. But, when it comes to the art of "driving", there are few vehicle lines that perform from top to bottom like BMW.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The Lexus camp song in my last post is only banter. I give them a lot of credit. I am beholden to no brand. I like to see them all achieve as this is good for competition, and competition benefits us all. Those engine reports are real tasty and I’m serious about the IS. I also can’t wait for their hybrids and the next LS. I want all manufacturers to light fires under each other's butts.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    “Lots of cars can "outhandle" a BMW..”

     

    Wow! That’s a shocker coming from you. Were you just coming back from a holiday party on 5 martinis when you said that? ;-) I don’t care what the nitpickin’ details of tests say, no sedan outhandles BMWs. Audi is the closest. You know how much I criticize BMW, but the buck stops here. The steering, synergy of the drivetrain, the directional stability... tests don't measure this.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I think he meant there cars with higher slalom, skidpad and acceleration numbers. But no car comes close to the "oneness" with the road.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    With all that news - nothing on the LS. But you know that this blitz is all due to the worldwide intro of the brand. With the LS being the foundation car and the Lexus kingpin I would imagine that news will come last but also will be the biggest news of all and generate the greatest impact. It's obvious that Lexus is also bringing the V12 equivalent hybrid to its top two cars now - LS and GS (no doubt the SC or the next gen sports car gets it to and maybe even the big suvs) - another heightened positioning vs. the Europeans. This news also means that second gen battery that promotes the better fuel economy on the road is a sure bet for 2006/7 time period. Where the heck is MB in all this?? Better have a secret weapon of some kind or their days of leadership position in stature are numbered. Not only does Toyota have that $12bln a year in earnings and huge stockpile of cash to empower them but strategically they bet on hybrids while the europeans bet on i-drive and needless electronics. A double whammy.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    While I said many people buy BMWs because of the name, I agree with you that many people also buy Lexus because of the name. I did not mean to single out BMW, as the status factor is probably involved in most of the higher-end car purchases.

     

    And while I also agree BMW has earned its reputation for building the most driver-oriented cars, I believe this matters only to some people. There are many drivers, including some in my own family, who have purchased BMWs and are far from hard-core driving enthusiasts and would never know (or care) that a BMW handles any different than other cars.
  • Yeah.. what he says..

     

    A lot of cars can beat the "numbers", but they can't match the "feel".

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  • I doubt anyone buys any car for over $30K, and isn't somewhat swayed by status, reputation, etc..

     

    That isn't just cars.. pick any consumer item..

     

    Most of my posts above were relative to the 3-series and IS300...

     

    Like lenscap says.. many people aren't worried about driving dynamics, etc... The cars they choose don't really interest me, though..

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  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,661
    The stature line is true of all brands of any product line.

     

    I agree with lenscap's point though as I encounter plenty of slow BMW drivers who brake on curves I fly around. The thought that every BMW driver or even more than 50% of them is/are enthusiast(s) is pure myth carried to an extreme. But I would think for sure that BMW has the highest enthusiast percentage among major auto mfrs. (exclude Porsche as they are not a full line producer). I can't imagine that changing any time soon either. Personally I think BMW is more secure than MB, particularly in the American market.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Adrian Streather author of Porsche 911 Enthusiasts Companion says that Porsche enthusiasts make up a tiny percentage of Porsche buyers… something like 10 percent and that Porsche does not target them, rather the other ~90 percent. However, I’m not convinced the terms “enthusiast” and “badge buyer” can be clearly defined. I think there could be plenty of enthusiasts who are badge buyers and vica versa.

     

    However to say BMWs “sell simply because of the status of the BMW name” is inaccurate, and I maintain that people who think this way either know nothing about BMWs or do not appreciate their product benefits.
  • lenscaplenscap Posts: 854
    A list of very recent automotive trademark filings seems to provide further evidence of some upcoming Lexus models (IS250, IS350, GS350, GS460, GS450h, JX470, RX350):

     

    http://www.auto-report.net/index.html?tm200402.html
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "I agree with lenscap's point though as I encounter plenty of slow BMW drivers who brake on curves I fly around."

     

    I brake on curves especially with my precious cargo(family) in the car. The way one drives though has little to do with the reasons one bought the car.

     

    People may buy BMW for the name, but I believe they know what the name stands for, and, they don't have to drive like a testoserone-crazed teenage male to prove they know something about they way their BMW drives.
  • "they don't have to drive like a testoserone-crazed teenage male to prove they know something about they way their BMW drives."

     

    Nope..but, it sure is fun...

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  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Uhh...we don't? ;)
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