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High End Luxury Cars

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  • you need to do a little more research!

    the LX470 is a Land Cruiser. VW does not

    have a rebadged version of the A8. it does

    however use the 4.2 litre engine in the Phaeton

    ...along with the W12.
  • hey guys,

     

    are Acura and Infiniti equal to Lexus?

    if yes how and if not...why not?
  • is this a "Luxury Brand"....rebadged Toyota's????

     

    Less than Audi being rebadged VW. At least the RWD system in LS is not found in any Toyota sold in the US (in Japan, all Lexus models are sold as Toyotas untill this year), whereas the AWD system in A8 is found in numerous lesser Audis and VW's.

     

    Considering that the most expensive convertibles from Audi share platforms with Golf (TT) and Passat (A4), and a reskinned Golf econobox (A3) is coming to the US soon to compete with the lowest Acura (RSX), there is precious little luxury marquee value left in Audi. MB has been coming down the same route with the C and A class crap cars, which now account for more than half of all MB's sold in Europe. Makes you wonder if the Germans are considering retaining only RR, Maybach and Bentley as "high end luxury marques." Perhaps the main-stream German brands, like VW, BMW and MB, will soon compete at Toyota brand level, which is actually moving up-market and leaving Scion to deal with the likes of Smart and Mini.
  • In vehicles like the LX470 and Land Cruiser, the most important part is the suspension. LX470 has air suspension, which gives very different vehicle characteristics from LC. Depending on your prefence, the two vehicles have very different advantages in ride quality on road vs. real boulder crawling capabilities. Whereas for the A8 vs. Phaeton comparison, the difference between the 4.2 and W12 is minimal in terms what the vehicles are designed to do; they are so similar that even the current VW/Audi boss admits the two simply cannibalize each other's meager sales.
  • Not yet. Why? Because:

    1. Roughly half of all Acura cars sold are RSX's, which while bigger and better built than A3, A-class and upcoming 1-series, is substantially less luxurious than any volume Lexus. At the other end, RL had been languishing for over half a decade. The new RL however may indeed move the Acura brand perception up a bit.

     

    2. Infiniti flagship Q has been in a identity funk for generations, and its sales are inconsequential compared to the I's and G's. The G35 however is moving the bottom up.
  • yeah....$11000.00 more for an air suspension.

    the Phaeton is made of steel...the A8 aluminum. in my book that makes them pretty different. the W12 makes 450HP...to the 4.2's 335HP!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "Come now, does anyone really believe that whatever price difference there is between the A8 and LS, that that price difference accounts for the LS selling 5.4 TIMES as many units (U.S., cy2004)?

     

    Nope, no one said that price is the sole factor, only that is but one factor in sales, especially with the S-Class and 7-Series. The A8 especially the swb model is much closer to the LS430 in price than either the S or 7-Series. Of course there are many other factors as to why the A8 doesn't sell compared to the LS430 or even S-Class and 7-Series. Audi's rep isn't in the same league as Mercedes, BMW or Lexus at this level of the market in most buyers minds and then there is Audi's bad reliability rep, which was never good in the first place, and I think a lot of people really get scared when they hear that the A8 is made of aluminum, and lastly I've heard this myself countless times at Audi dealer, autoshows and such...."for that money I may as well get the Benz".

     

    M
  • finally some help!!!
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    "It's a 50-50 lease/buy relationship. Where I live it's more like 80-20 in favor of lease but I've read it's 50-50 many times as a whole in the US. As for the A8 - there are people that wouldn't take the car if you put a 40% discount on one. You can count me as one. I'm not sure I'd take it if you gave it to me because it would cost me 44% in taxes. I have no desire whatsoever for an A8, trust me on that one. Just watch A8 sales plummet in the next two years. The car has no staying power. Within 3 or 4 years it's not easy to resell an S-class or an A8 because demand is so low for used ones. Even MB diehards don't trust the electronics and long-term ownership of the cars particularly after 3 years. The E and S threads are loaded with comments like that.

     

    None of this past your 50/50 example has anything to do with price and sales, which was my point. If there is 50/50 buy/lease rate in the U.S. then that 50 percent that buyers may or may not be deterred by the price difference, thats my point. Especially considering the LS430 doesn't sticker or sell at the S-Class and 7-Series' base price.

     

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    We'll just have to agree to disagree about which year Mercedes turned the styling corner because to my eyes the 2000 S-Class was the beginning of the sleered Mercedes-Benz not the 1996 E-Class. Yes they changed the lights, but the rest of the body was pure upright Mercedes styling via Bruno.

     

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Why are you guys debating the S8? The S8 was supposed to have a bumpy ride it was tuner version of the A8 and had fantastic handling to go with that bumpy ride. Apple and Oranges. Lexus owners won't see the point of tuner cars until Lexus does them. Then all of a sudden they will become relevant....500hp hybrids and such.

     

    M
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Too much heat here !

     

    Denali- you should heed your own advice and stay away from the PC for a 24-48h period, before the spouse gets other ideas about you

     

    :)
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Especially considering the LS430 doesn't sticker or sell at the S-Class and 7-Series' base price

     

    I'm sure Len can correct you on this, but methinks you miss the point. Except for the S500, the A8, 745, LS430, S430 all lease roughly within same range (give-or-take a couple hundred bucks), with either low interest rates (MB/BMW) or higher residuals (LS). Meaning: even a higher stickered A8 leases for less than the lower priced LS430. So who cares about what the cars stickered at ? What are they selling/leasing for ?

     

    Now, a car that should be in this discourse is the Phaeton. Nice car. Beautifully appointed. I sat in one at the SD auto show last month. What a car ! Its a shame its badged as a VW, otherwise it should do extremely better than the A8. But sadly, I hear its on its way out. What a loss to the buying public who never really got to find out how good this car could be....
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That is just my point exactly with the S-Class and 7-Series, they aren't selling for the price of a LS430 either. Again, not everyone leases, why is that so hard to accept. Leasing isn't always relevant to everyone, and according to Lenn's post he found that it was a 50/50 lease/buy rate in the U.S. so your point is moot when it comes to what these lease for when it comes to some buyers. People buying with cash or financing aren't getting a S430, S500 or 745i/Li for 63K which is what the average LS430 sells for. Now if you or Lenn has proof of the LS430 in Ultra or Custom Ultra or whatever it is trim as the main seller at 71K then I'd like to read about it. Forget the A8, it wasn't part of my point.

     

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    One thing I'm reading here that could be debated forever is who does a better job at seperating their luxury cars from their more pedestrian offerings, Toyota/Lexus or VW/Audi.

     

    I'd say it depends on the model, and on that basis I'd say Audi/VW does a better job just by a hair. There is distinct difference in style between a VW and an Audi whereas in the case of Toyotas like the Solara (in its styling) and the Avalon (interior) they are no different from similarly priced Lexuses imo. The Solara in particular apes the styling of the supposed to be exclusive Lexus SC430, a no no for a cars of different brands. This new Avalon which has a 2006 GS buyer pausing on the Luxury Performance Sedans board, is another example. Look at its interior. In all fairness the new 2006 Passat with its 280hp VR6 engine would give a many Audi A4 buyers pause too I'd imagine. So to me overall Toyota and VW are more or less in the same boat here.

     

    However, to suggest that BMW and Mercedes are doing the same thing as VW and Toyota simply isn't true, they're MBs and BMWs no matter where they are sold or whatever configuration they are in. Now if the A-Class, 1-Series or A3 don't meet your (mine either) definition of a luxury car so be it, but to suggest that BMW and Mercedes are no longer luxury car brands because of these products is absurd. The 1-Series and A-Class aren't coming here anyway, at least for now.

     

    Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Lexus are all luxury brands to me. How they rank after that is open to debate.

     

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Now this is what a car in the Buick Lucerne's price class should look like:

     

    image

     

    image

     

    image

     

    Designman I need your opinion on this one too, which I think is a stunner. The new 2006 Passat, the car VW desperately needs here right now. Strangely enough though, the Buick and VW's butts do favor.

     

    image

     

    M
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    First of all anyone who is says Audi is not luxury automobile company doesn't know squat about automobiles. That is the most ignorant comment I have ever heard. Aside from many opinions posted here by Lexus fans thinking they actually know anything about other brands...like the guy asking whether Audi had heated seats. Not only do you get heated seats in an Audi, but you get a dual DVD rear entertainment center with a refrigerator on the Audi A8L to boot. Get real with some of these ridiculous comments regarding Audi! Get the facts before you spew biased BS! First of all, a "True" luxury or premier automobile maker is determined by their presence on the world stage, not their existence in one market of the world. That said, Audi, not to mention BMW and Mercedes-Benz outsell Lexus at least 4 to 1 worldwide. In Europe a Lexus is viewed as the "Schweinmobile" or the "pig car" because of its design. Europeans who buy Lexus usually cannot afford an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz. It is third choice to Europeans, if a choice at all with those sales numbers. Lexus has strived for a long time to establish itself in Europe with no success as Europeans require driving dynamics in their cars and a world heritage. The comment that Lexus will take over Europe is really out of touch. Lexus hopes to hit 40,000 units by 2010 according those great Toyota gods of yours. Lexus managed 20,000 in sales in Western Europe for 2004 vs. 560,000 for Audi alone. Yes, Audi sells less in the US, but at least they sold 80,000 units to Lexus 280,000 or so in NA, and this is a bigger market than Europe (not by much though) I will refrain from comparing an LS to A8L,7-Series, or S-Class as true auto enthusiasts know the difference easily. Also, Lexus lacks any true motor sport heritage, a very important aspect to a true marquee. I mean one could write books on Audi's motor sport prowess and heritage, yet alone to add BMW and Mercedes-Benz to the mix. Audi was winning endurance rallies in 1912 already, not to mention dominance of the current Le Mans, SCCA, DTM, and the list goes on. Lexus may be reliable (though, there has been some interesting recalls on the LS recently), it seems that is what Lexus fans can only talk about - how reliable their Lexus is. The Germans are quite reliable as well. Lexus people would like everyone to believe that the German UberKlasse (Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz) are breaking down all the time or something. That is simply Lexus BS! I have owned 8 Audis, including three A8Ls, and the only thing I ever did is change oil. I have driven your precious little LS and if anyone thinks that it compares to an A8L, then I have some nice swamp land to sell you. Lexus is defintely a great poser on the world stage. Hey, it doesn't even exist in Japan, its own hometown. What really sets the German UberKlasse apart from Lexus is the passion of its owners. We have car clubs the world over dedicated to our marquees. We run our cars on tracks. Try an Audi S4 or Audi RS6 or a BMW M3 or BMW M5 sometime if you want to know what REAL driving is about. We know our marquees were built for driving and handling. We push them like no senior citizen pushs his Lexus to the Senior Citizen Center. Our cars have to take much more abuse than any Lexus or other Japanese poser. I would love to run one of your IS things around a track, but then I am not sure it could handle it. Plus I love my Quattro! You can sell more cars in the US (only), and claim whatever you want, but you will never understand what makes a true premium luxury marquee. It is much more than just leather seats and some stupid pollen filter. That does not make a marquee. Audi, BMW, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz are true marquees based on the inate qualities that they possess. Someday Lexus might have that, but you have to do better on the world stage and actually try to compete head to head on the racetrack. I give credit to poor little Cadillac that tried so hard to take on the mighty Audi RS6s last year in the SCCA Championships. At least they understand what it takes to be a true marquee. So go sell more Lexus'- who honestly cares.
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    Audi A6 is "World Car of the Year"

     

    International panel of journalists reaches its verdict

     

    Feb 16, 2005

     

    source: Audi AG

     

      A panel of judges made up of 48 renowned motoring journalists has reached its verdict: the inaugural title of "World Car of the Year" has been awarded to the Audi A6. In taking this honour, the sporty business saloon left its 35 rivals from all categories trailing in its dust. The award ceremony is to be held on the evening of 16th February as part of the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto.

     

    The panel members represented all of the major car markets and many of the leading motoring publications from around the world. They rated the 36 candidates based both on objective criteria, such as product characteristics, and on their emotional charisma: the "wow" factor is clearly just as important an evaluation criteria as safety & environment or value for money.

     

    The "World Car of the Year" award is just the latest in a whole string of accolades which the latest Audi A6 has already captured in its debut year in the motoring arena: other titles include the "Auto Trophy" from Auto Zeitung, "Auto1" from Auto Bild, the "Golden Steering Wheel" presented by the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, "The Best Cars / Luxury Category" as voted by auto motor und sport readers as well as the "Yellow Angel" presented by the German motoring association ADAC, to name but just a few of the prestigious awards won in Germany alone. Such credits have justifiably earned the Audi A6 its mantle as one of the most successful instant hits of all time, with both the press and public alike.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    That was a mouthfull, but speaking of the DTM there is one very special Mercedes-Benz that Mercedes itself doesn't want everyone to know about. It won the DTM in 2003, the CLK DTM AMG:

     

    image

     

    image

     

    image

     

    Unlike the Mercedes SLR McLaren which tops out at 205 mph because of friction etc. the CLK DTM AMG is electronically limited to 199 mph as to not step on the SLR's toes. There were only 100 of these made for about 260K which is also much less than the SLR, all have been spoken for and none are certified for sale in the U.S. Most magazines have called this the best Mercedes-Benz currently made, by far.

     

    M
  • reality2reality2 Posts: 303
    All A8L W12s allocated to the US have been presold and now require a waiting list. So, save the BS comments about abberations. The A8L will continue to thrive. In Europe for 2004, the new A8L outsold the 7-Series. Just because American buyers don't buy it large numbers (thank goodness - wouldn't want to be like a Lexus)doesn't mean it is not a great automobile. As they say sheep wiil be sheep. So go to your local Lexus dealer.
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