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High End Luxury Cars

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  • I think if I was a plastic model car company, I'd do a 'Mr. Potato Man' model SUV kit and call it Range Roofer. There you could stick parts from all kinds of SUVs together onto a boxy frame to get your own Range Roofer design.

    Like tinted rear glass from Presidential Cadillac limos, while the front windows are clear. Maybe you could glue on the 'mountain profile' GPS receiver antennae from BMW, use the wheels from JCWhitney, rear lights from 1992 Honda Accord, rear quarter panels from Acme Rip and Strip Car Recycling, upper tail gate wing from 1999 Lexus RX300, front grill from Parallelogram, headlights from Wandering-eye, Inc. and black-out trim from the Toyota Camry school of Art and Design.

    Plus, if you have the battery option, you can turn the model on and the electronics explode sometime overnight. If you have the wind-up option instead, you can just wind it up and nothing happens.

    Of course, the incredible leather interior in your kit is orderable in 72 non-reproducible colors at delivery, other options include a model stereo that still uses vacuum tubes for fidelity and a miniature compass/map backup kit for the the $4000 nav option.

    Try the model first. It's a good indicator of end user experience.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I liked that interior design the first time I saw it, when it was called the 745i.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Here is a good question for you: Out of the upcoming releases of the High end sedans, which one are you most excited about? (S-Class, 07 LS, etc)

    Of course the S-Class is what I'm most excited about, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't waiting to see what the new LS is going to be like also. Its the only car that will competing wheel to wheel with the S-Class for a while. The A8, 7-Series and XJ all have at least 3+ more years to go before they get redesigned and the European press is already calling the new S the best car in the world. I can't wait to see what our press here will say once the roadtests start showing up next 2 months or so.

    I saw an older Mercedes SL (90-03?) the other day. Talk about a timeless design.

    Ah yes....you are speaking of the R129 SL, produced from 1990-2002. That is my second favorite Benz of days gone by. There are 2 older Mercedes' that I'm going to have before my time is up. A R129 SL500 is one of them and the W124 E500 is the other. These two Mercedes' are like my favorites of all time. Out of their current models on the CLS and CL are as "special" to me.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I've grown quite fond of the new S too, but that rear wheel arch keeps it from being the most beautiful car I've ever seen. In Mercedesland their true beauty is defined by the current CL, SL and CLS. Then it is arguable where the new S and others place afterwards, imo of course. It looks like I'll have to wait until Detroit to see the new S since Mercedes didn't have a ride-n-drive event in my area this year. Last year this time I got to see the CLS at such an event, months before it went on sale in Jan 2005.

    Those wheel arches cry out for larger wheels, which is fine on most models, but some of the lesser European models are going to look undertired for sure. I don't like that.

    image

    image

    They all won't look this good.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I see an awful lot of the Carrera GT in those pics and in that sketch. This is all good with me since I think the Carrera GT is about as awesome car that can be bought today. Moreso than the SLR or Enzo, imo.

    I suspect flushing out the 997 lineup is more important in the near term than showing concepts. The GTS, RS, and Turbo have yet to make their debuts so I guess we'll be seeing those before any Panamera concepts.

    M
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    The car is true to the Carrera look even with the longer wheelbase and 4 doors.

    If the driving experience is intact you can ink another home run in the Porsche box score.

    One caveat: Porsche needs to remember that each additional inch of wheelbase adds to ground clearance problems. The car as pictured is a real 'concrete muncher'. :D
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Merc… Are you talking about the GT3 and RS for ALMS? To me the CGT has the Boxster styling genes. However, Porsches are Porsches so I guess we’re splitting hairs.

    I like the look of those bolt-studded wheels on the S but these low profile tires are getting out of hand as fashion. Jeez, they’re for racing on smooth race tracks… I can’t imagine anyone wanting a luxury barge with them. I don’t even like them on the sports cars unless, as I said, they’re for track. For driving, I like the 17s on the Boxster and 911. You can’t even get 17s anymore on a 911 and Boxster S. Even some track rats seem to prefer the 18s.

    By the way, I think I could like those fender flares on the MB S if only they blended them into the fenders with a nice wide-radius filet. It’s those hard edges that are really out of whack and jarring IMO. I think you will notice that the shots of the S that are most attractive are the ones where the lighting de-emphasizes the hard edges on the flares.

    Yes, I can’t wait for the new LS. I am also very curious to see how the IS will sell, especially since they are really marketing the power of the 350 in their advertising. And I think we could see next 7 a year before the 7-year life cycle. Ditto with the 5 unless there is a considerable face lift.

    Scott… we can ignore that ground clearance on the Panamera concepts… it looks in the league of the super cars such as Ferraris, Lambos and CGT… it just ain’t happening. As a matter of fact, I believe the final design will look considerably different. I think they released the sketch just to create some visual interest to accompany the announcement that they are officially proceeding with it.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    I’m thinking of a preliminary sketch of the BMW 6 that was shown around 2000 or 01. Anyone recall seeing it? You can see the DISTINCT resemblance to the production car. However they look really different via shifts in proportions. I have it buried somewhere… will dig it up if I can.

    I’m just rambling from one thought to another now, but another example of what subtle changes in proportion and angles mean can be seen in the Infiniti G coupe vs sedan. It never ceases to amaze me how similar yet incredibly different those two versions look to me.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I think thats why the G coupe has been so successful, its not just a G sedan with the rear doors chopped off.
  • Alissa:

    I think those flaired wheel wells are just plain UGLY...I think the 04 Mercedes S is far more beautiful.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    As you may denote on the top picture, the chrome and arches are possibly going to have a negative impact.....When I was about to get the bmw, I had to steel myself for the possible impolite person who would feel strongly about the bmw design...I concluded that `I could take it`, but I realy don`t think that is the way to design cars...I think that Lexus will follow their `family` look , and I further think it will be good for the purchaser as the resale values will stay strong.....This is such a huge business that if a company misses, the previous purchasers and finance companies are the real loosers...I am sure the Mercedes will drive wonderfully, and if they then get the problems under control they will dominate if the price is competative....Lexus for the first eight or nine years represented a good value...They made their mark that way, and I expect them to continue on that course.....In the mean time I personally am going to give Audi a try, until all this settles down.....Remember the prices are pegged for the first year or so, and Mercedes makes it tough to buy a car.....Tony
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "I think those flaired wheel wells are just plain UGLY...I think the 04 Mercedes S is far more beautiful."

    Ditto, mattox
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    I liked that interior design the first time I saw it, when it was called the 745i.

    I was gonna say the exact same thing! At first glance, I thought it was a BMW 7-Series.....

    Oh well.... Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. :D
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Kind of sad that MB is now imitating BMW - used to be the other way around. Anyway, I don't care for it as much as the old one.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I can't remember who it was who called the RX a "girlie car", but there is some data in today's WSJ about the RX400h, their source is JDP....it says that 62% of buyers are men.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    From those pix I can almost see PT cruiser influences on the car particularly on the wheel arches and on the front end. In pix I don't like that car at all. Current model is far more beautiful. Wheel arches to me look ugly, too SUV like and too much like the cheapest of all Chrysler cars. What the heck were they thinking??

    http://www.edmunds.com/new/2005/chrysler/ptcruiser/100466987/photogallery.html?pg_type=Wag- - on&imgsrc=%2Fpictures%2FVEHICLE%2F2005%2FChrysler%2F100466989%2F032161-T.jpg
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Good observation. Just what MB needed—American retro thrown into a club sandwich that already has Japanese and English influence. Throw the RX-8 in there too. I believe they are the ones who started this SUV-fender nonsense. Would be funny if Lexus decided to jump on the bandwagon and L-finessed it into the LS. I sure hope not. However, from all of the conceptual fanfare that we've seen from them up to this point, it would seem this will not be the case. As SV said, they have the Pokemon thing going. I cracked up when I read that.

    As Wale_bate said in another thread, all manufacturers are searching for the next big thing. He calls it "searching" but I think it's more like groping.

    http://www.mazdausa.com/MusaWeb/handleHomeFlash.action?vehicleCode=RX8&modelYear=2005
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    I hope Not for Lexus sake re the wheel arches. Those wheel arches are the worst thing I've ever seen on a lux car. I wonder if the wheel arches were a parting gift from Juergen.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well, the hybrid is the thing attracting guys, it's cool and new. It's still a Girlie Car.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Well I'm not crazy about the fender arches either. I will say that the ones on the front work better than the ones in the back imo. The one at the rear looks funny where it meets the rear door and it seem to be a little more swollen than the one in the front. Normally I'd say that anyone that fancies a LS430 has no room to talk about anything concerning styling (I mean none), and the PT cruisier refrence is a little ridiculous, but I'd be lying if I said that I don't have some concerns about the wheel arches. At least the ones in the rear, in my case. I have yet to see the car in person though so I'll reserve final judgement until then.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    "and the PT cruisier refrence is a little ridiculous"

    Sorry - I see PT cruiser like features on that S-class. It became quite noticable in the pictures you posted. In pix form the car has lost its beauty - in my opinion of course. They went for the massive bulky look on a redesign of a car that was initially designed to hide it's bulk and did so very very well. Makes no design planning sense at all to me and I think it was a poor and unchecked response to BMW going more massive. Maybe it'll be different seeing it firsthand but that's my read of the photos of the car. I'd be worried about what the future smaller versions of this design - on the C and E are going to look like - if I was an MB fan.
  • IF YOU ARE TOUGH ENOUGH , MAN ENOUGH, YOU CAN DRIVE ANYTHING YOU PLEASE...INCLUDING A SO CALLED GIRLIE CAR..
  • MERC

    While you may think the LS is bland...That is far better then UGLY...
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Makes no design planning sense at all to me and I think it was a poor and unchecked response to BMW going more massive.

    A poor response to BMW by going massive? Another wild theory I guess, that doesn't make any sense to me. BMW has nothing in the way of wheel arches for MB to look at and respond to in a "unchecked" manner that you speak of. You haven't even seen the car to know how massive it looks or anything. Everyone that has seen the car says it the same thing as before, it hides its bulk well, and I'd agree with that even looking at the pics. The wheel arches were added to give it some flair, which may or not have worked depending on who you ask.

    Lexus has great planning when it comes to design I guess? Too funny. Sorry, but there is no room to talk about Mercedes, even if they did muck up one car in your eyes because Lexus hasn't produced anything good looking or worth looking at with 4 doors in 15 years! They've done one ugly and/or bland design after another, thats poor "design planning" or just poor design period.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    My personal theory, which is pure conjecture, is that the wheel arches were added to better differentiate the new S from the old. Without the arches the designs are awfully similar, and previous generation owners wouldn't feel they were driving around something dated.

    Anyway I still like the overall look, at least in pics, despite the arches.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    My personal theory, which is pure conjecture, is that the wheel arches were added to better differentiate the new S from the old. Without the arches the designs are awfully similar, and previous generation owners wouldn't feel they were driving around something dated.

    Oh my. Time to find out who is using your handle. This is the same theory given on German car zone about the new S compared to the old S and the more I look at the two cars this seems valid. There isn't much difference between the old and new overall, without the wheel arches. The is especially the case with the front. The rear does adopt a Maybach look that is different from 2000-2006 model. Still though there isn't nearly as much change as say from 1999 to 2000 or from 1991 to 1992.

    M
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,683
    First of all I don't understand why Lexus even enters the discussion. It's a simple POV re this S-class design and has nothing to do with Lexus in any way. So trying to create a new series of flame posts re the two brands accomplishes nothing and is downright silly so I won't even go there.

    Secondly - it's my point of view that I think this is a (big) drop off in looks to the current car and not a good looking car at all. It's a mish mash of styling as far as I'm concerned (see designmans post also as he seems to agree) and those wheel arches alone cause the car to lose its grace and reveal its bulk. I qulalified it all by saying I can only go by the photos. I've also read some of the reviews on the styling and they hardly seem convincing at all. Some of them are starting to sound like the initial reviews of the new BMW design - "I don't like it that much but let me not insult a reknowned brand".

    Thirdly - they were deeply influenced by BMW to the point that they gave you a BMW interior. Enough said there.

    Lastly - it seems that no one who drives a Lexus can say anything bad about a Mercedes without it inflaming you - so I'll stop posting my opinion about the looks of this car or any of their new designs on this board with this post.

    One thing I have always wondered is that with all your love for MB, how come you never chose one - even a pre-owned one, which are dirt cheap where I live - for your needs. Obviously you saw better value elsewhere. If I loved a brand the way you do and admire everything they do I couldn't resist owning something they make - even if it were 4 or 5 years old. If I couldn't afford a new one I certainly would have bought a pre-owned one by now.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I for one enjoy hearing your opinion , so don`t stop....Merc has a lot better things to do with his money other than buy a used car....It woud not have anythig to do with his passion for Mercedes, any more than my getting another brand of car other than these expensive ones....Everyone has a chance somewhere in life to either make a mistake or not and then in time adjust to whatever they need to..I have been a supporter of Lexus from the beginnig and am going to try out an Audi until the dust settles, but believe me when I say if it is a mistake I will be the first one to know, and will take appropriate action.....Tony ps I `m not sure I like the Mercedes s , so I`l wait til I see it for final judgement....Personally I don`t like the mirrored headlights...
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    I too disliked the flares but the look is growing on me.....the dark colors make the arches less obvious.

    Give me another few months and I may even like the new S in silver!

    How about you, Merc1?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    First of all I don't understand why Lexus even enters the discussion. It's a simple POV re this S-class design and has nothing to do with Lexus in any way. So trying to create a new series of flame posts re the two brands accomplishes nothing and is downright silly so I won't even go there.

    My point is not to start another debate about Lexus and Mercedes, its just that I don't see how anyone who fancies any type of Lexus (regarding styling) or LS430 by saying it has a "classic look" can talk about styling. IMO of course anyone that thinks a LS430 has a "classic" look simply doesn't really have a handle on what good looking styling is. It would be like me slamming an Japanese luxury brand for reliability when Mercedes is lacking that area. I wouldn't have any room to talk.

    Thirdly - they were deeply influenced by BMW to the point that they gave you a BMW interior. Enough said there.

    Actually there is nothing being said in that because the wheel arches and overall look of the car have nothing to do with the interior looking like a BMW. There are no BMW cues on the exterior of the new S. The interior yes, not even I can deny that, but the exterior is Mercedes/Maybach with some out of here wheel arches thrown in.

    Lastly - it seems that no one who drives a Lexus can say anything bad about a Mercedes without it inflaming you - so I'll stop posting my opinion about the looks of this car or any of their new designs on this board with this post.

    No true, witness Lexusguy. Its the left-field stuff (which is usually posted here) I take exception to. My thing is that I find it unbelievable to knock Mercedes for something your fav can't ever get right. Then there are the far out theories about who influenced who when there is no evidence to support it - when it comes to the S' wheel arches. I mean really how could some wheel arches be the influence of BMW? They don't look like anything on any BMW in production or proposed.

    I don't want you to stop posting your opinion on styling, I just won't debate it with you because we won't ever agree there. No need to stop posting, because we've been disagreeing since 2001! Or as Colin Powell said about the U.S. and France, "we've been in marriage counseling for 200 years". ;)

    One thing I have always wondered is that with all your love for MB, how come you never chose one - even a pre-owned one, which are dirt cheap where I live - for your needs. Obviously you saw better value elsewhere. If I loved a brand the way you do and admire everything they do I couldn't resist owning something they make - even if it were 4 or 5 years old. If I couldn't afford a new one I certainly would have bought a pre-owned one by now.

    I think we've had that conversation before. Other things are more important to me than having a Mercedes-Benz, believe it or not. 1997 (the last time I bought a car) was a different time for me personally than 2005 or 2006 is. When I get ready to get a new car it will be a Mercedes or Audi. Sorry if the timeframe doesn't jive with what you think is right. Also, if I haven't mentioned this before I've never been crazy about every single car Mercedes has made in the past.

    M
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