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High End Luxury Cars

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  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Maybe you should read it a third time this time more slowly...I do not possess the writing skills to eloborate on the subjective, I`l leave that to Mr. Cincinatti, as he does it well...I might also say I don`t spell very well, but I`l keep trying..Tony
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    So the Legacy is an AWD Camry? I dont buy that at all. The Legacy is something of a "tweener", its not really in the same class as Accord or Camry, nor is it up in near-lux with IS350 and TL. The Rav4 and Forester and the Tribeca and Highlander are already in the same class. I dont recall Subaru having any plans to kill off either of these vehicles because of Toyota competition. The Legacy with a bit more muscle could be Toyota's answer to the MazdaSpeed6 and Altima SE-R. The Camry, AWD or not, could never compete with those cars.
  • The Europeans certainly knows something that we dont(A4 beats BMW3 sales and A6 sales is tied in top spot with BMW5 sales).

    The overwhelming majority of Audi's sold are FWD; FWD is considered blasphemous around here ;-)
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    In Europe you can even buy a FWD Jag X-type. Not that anyone has, but the point is you can :)
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    There's always the risk to say something that might be misunderstood. I apologize if you have misunderstood my post. Your writing skills are just fine. I enjoyed reading it many times.

    Let me clarify this a bit more: The point I was making was that I have been trying to identify what would be a "unique-to Audi" or "identifiable-to-Audi" reason that would motivate you or someone else to buy that particular car. In post 12166, that reason was indicated as AWD, which was described by the purchaser as a unique feature of the Audi, at the time of purchase. Let's be clear that you are not being asked to justify your purchase. It's OK to buy a car for ANY or NO reason! It happens all the time. But often there IS a common-thread reason that people will buy a particular car. That's what this is about.

    So, again, the real question is whether or not there was a clearly identifiable reason that you and other Audi purchasers have in common that becomes the motivating factor for the purchases.

    For example, BMW buyers very often buy BMWs for the drivetrain and performance, and the vehicle has a well-known reputation as well as widely-accepted preconceptions regarding this attribute.

    The Audi has a well-known reputation for ???, and what would be the widely-accepted preconceptions about the vehicle?

    Those "Audi" attributes may very well be there, but are they well-known? And what exactly are they, if they ever were to become well-known? What positively identifies an Audi?

    So . . . after all this, I still think that Audi (regardless of its greatness or lack thereof) needs to catch a serious dose of "brand recognition" . . . and to go a little further . . . to be successful, it would need to be based on some particularly special, unique, and recognizable "AUDI attribute(s)".

    That's still my perspective.

    TagMan
  • emaussemauss Posts: 151
    My first Audi was a 1976 Silver Fox (special addition Fox). It was very similar to the VW Seracco (sp?), but with fuel injection rather than carbs. I was surprised when I went to the dealer and learned it was within my price range.

    At the time I had consider Audi to be a high-end German car that was (and is) something a little special and unique.(...and I still do...)

    I guess the sales department wishes it weren't *so* unique!

    I am now patiently waiting for my A8L to show up at the dealer.

    To many of us with old-time sports car background (Austin Healey, MG, Triumph, etc) I think Audi has always had a good and important name. The attention to detail and interior space that Audi has demonstrated in recent years is one other thing that sets them apart from some other manufacturers. They had evolved into an even better car manufacturer than they had been.

    (e)
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    My take on Audi is they were known for being bargain priced German luxury compared to Mercedes and BMW. This along with AWD and some different technology (like Aluminum construction) were their calling cards.

    Audi being part of the VW Group has had to live with the stigma of being just a glorified VW - to some people. They were back in the day with certain models, but this has long since changed. However this perception always kept them grouped in with second tier European brands like Saab, Volvo and Saab, not with the starlets Mercedes and BMW.

    Now since BMW offers awd on some models and Mercedes-Benz offers awd on every sedan and wagon they make, Audi is losing that advantage to a degree. Secondly they aren't exactly all that cheap anymore, but there is still some room between certain Audi models and upper BMW and especially certain Mercedes models, plus you're more likely to get a bigger deal on a Audi still, again depending on what model we're talking about.

    Audi's dealer network has been a big problem. Now in my area every Audi dealer except one is a brand new ultra-modern facilty, and a lot of them are placed on or near "dealers row" with MB/BMW/Jag/Lexus etc. Another problem was that they didn't have enough dealers. Back in the day when Mercedes only offered AWD on the E-Class (say like in the day of the W124 E-Class) and BMW didn't offer it at all, Audi didn't have enough dealers to really exploit that in the areas of the country in which it would have made a difference, like in the Northeast. Upon a recent trip to Minnesota it was interesting to see that every Mercedes sedan was of the 4Matic variety. In a market like that Audi should clean up, but I don't think I saw more than one or two A4s there the entire time.

    What I think identifies and Audi today is design, both inside and out, technology (all-aluminum construction, FSI) and just being the alternative to the old-guard German makes like BMW and again, especially Mercedes. They also have a long history (for those who care to know) and they've practically owned certain racing venues in recent years.

    They don't have a absolute lock on direct-injecton or aluminum construction now though, so I guess for now they'll have differentiate themselves through design and a price advantage (compared to MB/BMW in some cases). I personally think a lot more people would buy an Audi if they knew about them. Audi needs to offer brochures on their website like everyone else and just get that Audi name out there more.

    Also, I see a lot more growth potential for Audi than either MB or BMW in this country. As gas prices start to inch upwards again I'm reminded that Audi is very, very late to the SUV party, as nice as the Q7 appears to be, the launch will likely be blunted somewhat by a general turn away from SUVs. Mercedes will likely face the same thing with this new "GL-Class" also, and I bet BMW is no longer considering that "X7" that has been rumored for years.

    That said, and as everyone knows I love Audis, always have. I like them because of their design uniqueness compared to Mercedes and BMW, they're such slick, tasteful, edgy cars IMO. For me there was nothing in the mid-size class as elegant and tasteful inside and out as the previous generation A6 during those years, not even the W210 E-Class. I almost feel the same way about the current A8, but I haven't seen the new S in person yet.

    Audi does still enjoy a small nichce to themselves among their German competitors, awd performance models. Mercedes only made a handful of previous generation E55 4Matics for the German market and BMW has said NO to awd for any Motorsport model so the S and RS cars are unique from that prespective. The S4 Cabriolet is a wonderful, go-anywhere during any season car.

    M
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    There is no apology necessary, I just find it frustrating to try and describe a subjective issue such as a car...Over the years I fortunately have owned a variety of cars--some lemmons, and other superb machines--That experience has imbeded in me `senses` everything from smell to feel to touch and many more...Those have been the overiding decision makers ...Just me personally, I find the Mercedes a bit less than taught, the BMW a little shy on the refinements(interior) Lexus just so so(and a little not real) All are fine cars...Why I said at the end of my post that a person would do themselves a favor to test drive an Audi---what I was suggesting was that they themselves would then be able to (through their senses) experience it...If you were to search way back in the a6 posting, and find Markcincinatti and where he got his new a6, that is enthusiasm... For me only Porsche awakens those old memories...I also don`t think any of the above luxury cars really are that much different, but I really like my a8, and far more than I am able to express---it`s in the feeling-- I would like to chllenge you to give yourself a test and mentally try and describe why you are attracted to a person....There may be no single answer...I think Audi has a good way to go on the marketing front..A good and diverse dealer group is a must then the adversising...They are on the way Tony
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Majority of Audis are FWD in Euroland .

    You can find BMW 518s and MB C180s in Euroland

    You cant get new BMW M5s with a manual tranny in Euroland

    Euroland, the land of enthusiast cars but with few enthusiast drivers.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Secondly they aren't exactly all that cheap anymore,

    No Audis are not cheap at all.

    The A3 3.2 sells for the same price as a BMW325xi in Canada.

    OUCH!!!
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    For me there was nothing in the mid-size class as elegant and tasteful inside and out as the previous generation A6 during those years, not even the W210 E-Class. I almost feel the same way about the current A8, but I haven't seen the new S in person yet.

    Merc, when I see a car in photo, 99% of the time it’s what I see in person. The only visual element I find somewhat deceptive is scale, but it has little consequence on the ultimate impression. Do actually think seeing the S in person is going to sway what you see in photos?
  • blkhemiblkhemi Posts: 1,717
    ......... is an Audi? Evidently so called enthusiast aren't exactly that at all. If someone is a Euro-car lover, then for sure they'll remember that Audi is the champ in Rally competition sports events and Audi's quattro system is hands down without peer, yes this means X-drive Bimmers and 4Matic Mercs. And for mainstream cars, the Audi interior from a $30K A4 to my $120K A8L W-12 is best in class. The technology that Audi puts in its cars is unmatched. Take for instance the DSG tranny that is light years ahead of even the best(Poooooooorsche) manumatic. It has time and time again scored higher than the BMW SMG and even Ferrari's F1 tranny for ease of use and relialbility.

    What is an Audi? For sure that is a joke and not reality. Audi may not be a household name in comparison to the everyday usual BMW and Mercedes, even for that matter Lexus, it is a car that has the latest technology to compete with even the best luxo cars.

    Don't get me wrong, I love Mercedes. But their quality of late is not deserving of the three-pointed star. Having just owned a S600, S65, and a G-Wagen55 that I'm looking to load off onto someone, the cars are just plan dated. Maybe '07 will be the year Merc and Buick.....er.......Lexus gets it right.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Euroland also gets some great diesel alternatives. Interestingly, they are starting to show up more significantly on our shores. I believe MB will lead in the high-end group with the "R" and "M" and new "GL" all coming in with diesel options, as well as the existing "E". The one that excites me is that I have heard that the all-new "S" will be available with a diesel in '08. I'm going to be patient for that IF, IF, IF, I like the new "S" when I look it over in February.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    What is an Audi? For sure that is a joke and not reality

    I think you've misunderstood. The point is more about which attributes of an Audi are PERCEPTUALLY known to folks in general. When one thinks of "Audi", what does it bring to mind to most folks? About "brand recognition". It was not intended to be a test of knowledge . . . but rather to get some good perspectives, which it did . . . great and intriguing viewpoints IMO.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Do actually think seeing the S in person is going to sway what you see in photos?

    No not really, but I've always reserved final judgement until I'm standing beside the car. With the S I like it a lot, but I've got to see those rear-wheel arches. In some pics they're way too big and others they're not so big.

    M
  • I'm not at all against FWD; in fact, one of my cars is a FWD, in fact the make was one of the pioneers of FWD. It is a very efficient system for lands that see snow often (like in Europe, and much of north America north of the Mason-Dixon line). OTOH, the many who pay attention to HELM for snob appeal seem to consider FWD heretical, even if their own daily drivers are FWD's.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    image

    Every time I like a concept, in NEVER happens. This thing is pretty cool with some smooth and subtle lines. So what does it mean? I'm not so sure we will really see it. By the way, this is where Mercedes should be. But they chose the friggin' Nissan Pathfinder look instead. Tough noogies on them!

    By the way, with regard to the geniuses in the press who say it looks like a BMW particularly the 5-series, keep this in mind… that butt and profile has the ES genes, there is no doubt about it. Correct me if I’m wrong but the ES was out two years before the E60 5-series.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    A majority buy a Legacy or other Subaru vehicles because of their reasonably priced AWD offerings. I do think a reasonably priced AWD Camry will compete with Subaru.

    And what is likely to happen if there is a AWD Camry? Will Honda, Nissan and even Hyundai allow lost sales to a AWD Camry. Wont they be motivated to offer their own versions of a AWD Accord, AWD Altima and a AWD Sonata to compete with a AWD Camry.

    And if most marques offer reasonable priced AWD cars then what would be the advantage of owning a Legacy. A boxer engine? I dont think so. Most people do not buy a SUbaru because of their boxer engines.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    After painfully squinting my eyes and getting a second opinion about my eyeglasses RX I cant see any resemblance whatsoever between a Lexus ES and a BMW 5.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Keep up the good work while I go on a Christmas vacation to be with family until January 3rd. Unless I can get to a computer that's not being used for video games, I'll have a lot to catch up on when I get back. You gentlemen do keep it interesting, and I can't tell you how much I enjoy your posts. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of it. All of you have a great holiday, if I don't chat with you until next year!! '06 is going to be great . . . I can feel it.
    TagMan
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    Designman - I have it on my pretty good authority that the real car will be 95-99% of what you see. Supposedly a slight tweak of the headlights and the grill but that's it. I think the rear is a combo of ES and GS. There is one picture I've seen - and it's the worst one in that light blue color - that gives it a bit of a 5-series look, mainly because of the tail lights. But this car is not disjointed looking like the 5-series and to me looks massive and graceful at the same time. As well if you look closely at the RX and ES you'll note that both incorporated some concepts of the L-finesse styling long before the GS and IS came out.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    …I cant see any resemblance whatsoever between a Lexus ES and a BMW 5.

    Dewey, I agree, but there is irony because LF-Sh bears resemblance to both ES and 5

    There is one picture I've seen - and it's the worst one in that light blue color - that gives it a bit of a 5-series look, mainly because of the tail lights. But this car is not disjointed looking like the 5-series and to me looks massive and graceful at the same time.

    Ljflx… yes, I agree somewhat, but not on account of the taillights. The forms in profile are similar but the LF-Sh is graceful as you say. Those front three-quarter angles showing the bonnet, fenders, lamps and grille as shown above are spectacular in my opinion. There is a lot of harmony. The 5 is discordant and stubby, the contours and lines of the LF-Sh are elegant and flowing… like the flow in the dynaflow… heh, heh ;-)

    Supposedly a slight tweak of the headlights and the grill but that's it.

    Figures. It's the front end that has the personality and they'll probably mess with it.

    Stay tuned, pix coming up…
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    Designman - the grille tweak is supposedly on the gas car, not on the hybrid. The stance and look of the front is supposedly what you'll see on the car. From what I was told the bulb treatrment in the headlights is what will change, not the styling of them. They seem to know they have a winning style with this car.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    image

    The quality of these photos isn’t particularly good, but we need to look at the cars at the same angle to compare properly.

    The following are what I don’t about the BMW:

    1 – Shape of the lamps at both ends.
    2 – The kink in the C-column
    3 – The snubby kitty-cat nose
    4 – Every element begs for attention, working independently, fighting each other

    Some things I like about the LF-Sh in addition to what I mentioned in previous post:

    1 – Kink in the C-column
    2 – Doorhandles
    3 – Surface contours all around… Intriguing swales and knolls.
    4 – No single element begs for attention, they work together.

    By the way, yes, the LF-Sh is stark in profile but I find the contours of the side expanse as interesting as a rolling sea. And once it starts to rotate into three-quarter views, that’s where the music starts. As a music composer uses melody, contrast, harmony and rhythm to color his work, I find this design to have much variety and fine transition between elements.

    image

    Here go your Toyota/Lexus genes. The shape of those lamps yield the same impression IMO.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    see the typically conservative LS customer base going for that re-styling.
    I believe it will send more of those folks to MB, IMO.
    We'll see.

    Keeping the musical analogies alive, this new LS looks distinctly cacophonous to me.
    I'll keep my Bangle-inspired 5 series.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    "Every element begs for attention, working independently, fighting each other"

    Great line re the 5-series. I parked next to one a few days ago and looked at it very closely. Individually there are some beautiful styling parts of the car. But they fight each other rather than work with each other and it ends up looking like an ueven solved jigsaw puzzle, albeit with beautiful components. A simple case of too many cooks in the kitchen. Bring on the chef of the future.

    Hpowders - I doubt that new LS loses a customer because of its style change. I'll also bet it gains plenty of euro buyers.
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    Quite a few people in my community drive the LS, and a few drive the S class.
    I know these are very conservative people.
    I can't speak for Europeans or the country as a whole, but if the LS styling looks a little too "brash", I can see some of these Lexus folks switching to the S.
    Of course, this a megatrend does not make and I could also be wrong.

    One thing I do know. Judging from the complete lack of ingenuity in the 5 series cup-holder design, I can safely extrapolate that somewhere in the future, it will inevitably be Lexus and not BMW who will be able to proudly claim for its vehicles that in addition to everything else that they do so well, they will indeed be able to core a apple.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    You know, all of these years Lexus fans have been asking, when are we gonna get great styling, when is my ship gonna come in? Well, here it is, the Queen Mary!

    ;-)
  • jjacurajjacura Posts: 808
    Nice job on the posts.

    I look forward to seeing the car in person.

    Designman....as a side note I wanted to ask you a couple of questions through e-mail but don't want to publish my e-mail address in the forum. Maybe our host can help me out. Is that all right with you?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    "see the typically conservative LS customer base going for that re-styling.
    I believe it will send more of those folks to MB, IMO."

    I'm one of those typically conservative LS drivers, who may be all over this re-styling - IF it's as good in the metal as it looks, and IF the interior is equally appealing and functional.
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