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High End Luxury Cars

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  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Lexus simply did not update the two in subsequent years, partly because it focused effort on RX, ES and LS,

    So now you are reaching into the magical Lexus "bag of excuses". How ridiculous can you get? Let's see now, after my second child was born, I might have used the "Lexus magic excuse" and stopped taking care of my first kid for a while, or is it that after a while I can stop taking care of the second kid to focus back on the first? All of this is absurdity at its best.

    So . . . you now suggest that Toyota/Lexus can't focus on too many things at once!!

    I'm not buying any of this baloney.

    TagMan
  • brightness04brightness04 Posts: 3,151
    Well, Lexus really did not update the GS or IS much at all until the whole new generations most recently. That much is not in dispute.

    Lexus/Toyota facing staff shortage is also common knowledge . . . in fact one of the concerns some industry insiders have is that the company not being able to fill the positions with organic growth may result in hiring ex-whatever failing competitors' former employees.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Lexus designs in the '97-01 years just werent that great. People tend to harp on Acura for its late '90s blandness, but Lexus is just as guilty. They finally broke out of it in '04 with the RX330, and everything they've done since has been good to excellent. I'm holding out hope that they'll make the SC sexy again.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Are you suggesting that when the minivan market diminished that the manufacturers should stop making a great minivan? Ridiculous to suggest that just because the SUV market is slowing that the market is dead somehow.

    Two things mixed in here. The minivan market is by far NOT diminished or dead... It is doing quite well, but not for the R. The SUV market OTOH is another story. It is not dead but slowing, as you correctly noted.

    The ugly R has NOTHING to do with the GL. Any suggestion that it does is idiocy.

    Whoever suggested as such, Tagman ? And why the bitterness ? Glad to see you agree the R is ugly... your words...

    Listen to me clearly here. The SUV will NEVER die! There will ALWAYS be an adequate market for SUV's

    Yes, sir. I am all ears... The GL is poised to resurrect the SUV market. Thanks to MB's superstar truck. The answer to what many of us SUV lovers have been waiting for...

    The GL is poised to do very well. It will be the one to beat. There will always be sales of Suburbans, although less than before, and the GL will be the ULTRA alternative.

    The new GL will be the truck to beat, and will be the alternative to the Burb ? {Trying to clean my contacts just to be sure I am reading u right} .... Someone needs to check the pipe u are smoking, lol. MB wants to compete against GM in SUVs ??? In 2006 ??? Good luck to them in this race for #1 "ULTRA alternative" to 'Burb. BTW, would the GL go up against the likes of the LX470, GX470, Escallade, Navigator, etc... ?

    Sheesh !

    Meanwhile, I am looking forward to news about the 2007 LS460 and other juicy stuff from Detroit. I am staying tuned to the NAIAS, and hoping we learn more about the S and the LS, as they battle for supremacy in the HELM market.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    OAC - it's awful. Did you think funeral car when you saw it? I've seen one on the road so far and it looked liked it should be the lead car in a funeral procession.

    Which is worse styled ? An MB R-wagon or a Pontiac Aztek-wagon ??? I'd vote 50-50 .... But you are correct Len, a better description for the R may be a hearse ! 'nuff said.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Well considering Mercedes the oldest carmaker around and new segments don't come along that often I'd say they've done pretty well to inpsire the creation of whole brands of synthetic cars with a copycat flagship to go along with it. Mercedes has proven itself time and time again over the years. Question is what segment has Lexus conqured? Lexus is the biggest wannabe in the automotive world, now switching their envy from Mercedes to BMW. I don't see anyone lining up to build a GS,LS,IS or ES. I do see Lexus trying to build a 3-Series, 5-Series, S-Class (in the past come 2007). I do see Jaguar, Porsche, and VW linig up to build a CLS competitor, not a GS competitor or a LS competitor. All Lexus has conqured is quality and reliability surveys (important enough) and the SUV/high-end-sedan segment IF you want simply look at sales. Other than that they are are the ultimate following machine because the IS,GS,ES haven't conqured squat.

    Merc1: You must have been writing this on your way out to Detroit, eh ? So much venom against Lexus..... Obviously, you habor a deep resentment towards Lexus' success over your vaunted German brand. That's OK... All the put-downs about Lexus isn't stopping its match towards increased market share, be it against MB or BMW.

    Talking of copying, I wonder how many German auto companies would love to have the TPS in their factories, eh ???? Maybe no one thinks the TPS is such a great system, eh ??? Who would have thunk it that Lexus could make such quality cars ? No one is copying Lexus' customer service, build quality, reliable automobiles, seamless integration of electronics, 8-speed tranny, hybrid synergy system, TPS, etc. Totally unimportant in the car business, eh ? Alrighty.... let's move on...

    Lexus having proven itself a worthy and dangerous competitor to MB, now turns its sight on BMW. Let's see how well Lexus does against BMW. Infiniti already puts a chink in the Bimmer's armor, and a combined Japanese assault on BMW may do more damage over time. I guess time will tell...

    Enjoy your trip to Detroit. Go well. Let's hear from you at your earliest convenience. We will surely have lots to talk about in days, weeks, months to come.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Actually, the ES sort of did conquer its segment, and now basically rules a class of one. It killed the I35, and also killed the old RL and forced the TL to morph into a sports sedan, so that it would no longer compete directly with the ES. No one is lining up to build an ES (other than perhaps Buick) because no one can touch it (see: Buick LaCrosse).
  • hpowdershpowders Posts: 4,269
    I believe I have seen 3 M's on the road since its restyling.
    Plenty of 5's though.

    Looks like a microscopic chink in BMW's armor.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    oac, good morning. Bitterness? . . . none at all! Sorry if it came off that way to you.

    You pointed out that it was MY words that said the R is ugly. YES, absolutely. You will appreciate that I have made no point of defending the R just because it is a Mercedes. I do not like the R's exterior styling, and do not believe in this vehicle. At this point, I am quite firm on this and will not waffle just because it's a Benz.

    The C-Coupe (not a H.E.L.M. vehicle in its own right) is another example of an ugly mistake by Mercedes, and it will not see the light of day after this last production run. I do give MB credit for making such a bold effort on the R as far as defining the segment (even if by the process of elimination!! :D ) but I do wonder sometimes what was was going on in those board meetings.

    As far as the "burb" reference I made, I can see I did not get my point across. My reference to the Suburban was meant to use that vehicle to represent the category itself. I guess in my mind, the Expedition, Escalade, Navigator, Denali XL, LX470, are all part of the "burb" category, but in an upscale fashion of course, and the "burb" is simply the original "icon" for the "three-row large SUV's".

    The GL, IMHO, will have a good shot at being the top dog in this category.

    Yes, I am also anxious to learn more about the NAIAS featured vehicles. As I mentioned earlier, I am predicting success for the new S-Class, as well as the new LS. The differences between Mercedes and Lexus are more distinctive than ever, and I believe that will be positive for Mercedes (and Lexus, as well). I also think that Lexus is clearly chasing after BMW this time around, and as a result the real battle for Lexus will be with BMW.

    All to be seen.

    TagMan
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    In my opinion, Lexus isn't chasing anyone. They are setting their own pace and everything else is a marketing image change. If you are intending to change your image you do it with marketing and press releases and you hype. I'm really surprised people mis-interpret a marketing spin and expect word for word truths in everything that is said. MB is trying the same marketing spin by saying quality issues are behind them. All both companies are saying to me is that one is moving in the direction of higher performance and the other is at work addressing the quality issues. Same with BMW - are it's cars really the "ultimate" in driving? - key word is ultimate meaning there is nothing higher. Sure.

    In the meantime here is a good story out of Business Week. Embedded in the article for Lexicans is a clear cut indicator that you will not see any i-drive derivatives in a Lexus. They see it as a complete distraction to the driver, as does Cadillac.

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_03/b3967001.htm?campaign_id=nws_- insdr_jan6&link_position=link1
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    In my opinion, Lexus isn't chasing anyone. They are setting their own pace and everything else is a marketing image change. If you are intending to change your image you do it with marketing and press releases and you hype.

    Do you believe that Lexus needs to change their image? Personally, I would never recommend to Lexus that they use "hype", as you put it. I am not clear as to your position here, but let me say this. Lexus has their own new models to shape their image. This is their BIGGEST weapon, particularly since they already have a positive "reputation" (as opposed to "image"). The Lexus "image" IS GOING TO SHIFT closer to BMW. This will be based upon their very own model line-up, not marketing hype. One good look at the designs of their newest vehicles tells all. As I said before, the Bimmers were already out there, and NOW you see the latest from Lexus showing HUGE similarities. It is OBVIOUS that they did not by some mere coincidence come up with such similar design lines.

    In addidion, it is not by coincidence that the auto mags are already comping the Lexus vehicles against the Bimmers.

    In my opinion, Lexus designers are snipers with powerful scopes. This time around they have BMW in the crosshairs.

    TagMan
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    You see similarities in Lexus and BMW designs??
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    The Lexus "image" IS GOING TO SHIFT closer to BMW. This will be based upon their very own model line-up, not marketing hype. One good look at the designs of their newest vehicles tells all. As I said before, the Bimmers were already out there, and NOW you see the latest from Lexus showing HUGE similarities. It is OBVIOUS that they did not by some mere coincidence come up with such similar design lines.

    I’d like to know what you are talking about. The LF-Sh bears a slight resemblance to the ES which preceded the 5 and was out at the same time as the 7. Both the ES and Camry are slab-sided so they weren’t copying BMW.

    The new BMWs show so much copying that it’s ridiculous. For example, the concave shoulder on the 5 is a ripoff of the Lincoln LS. The Bangle butts come from Chrylser, Honda, Mazdas of years ago.

    The rear of the LF-Sh not only resembles the ES but also the Mazda Millenia. The front stands on its own. BMWs are about a lot of scar-tissue surfacing, aka flame surfacing. There is no flame surfacing on new Lexuses.

    Lexus is clearly trying to hitchhike onto 3-series dominance but they are not doing it with styling. Rather it is a performance appeal solely via horsepower. Let me know if you see LS advertising going after the 7-series with flames coming out of the road like they did with the IS. It ain’t gonna happen. Is there enough of a 7-series market share for them to go after it? Lexus is coming into its own niche with the LS, some 17 years after being the Ultimate Following Machine. Heh, heh, that was great Merc. I’m surprised you didn’t use that sooner. Or maybe you have?

    The question is, will the new LS up the ante with handling like Mercedes did with the S. It says no here. In that regard it will be a little better than a Town Car. And it will need more than 20-inch wheels to do it. 7-series buyers want nothing to do with an LS. It’s like trying to mate cats and dogs.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Embedded in the article for Lexicans is a clear cut indicator that you will not see any i-drive derivatives in a Lexus. They see it as a complete distraction to the driver, as does Cadillac.

    Good move. I like the Lexus touch screen. The Germans were always behind everyone with ergonomics. iDrive only perpetuates this. But if I can put up with the multiple stabs at BMW buttons and Tic-Tac Porsche buttons, I can put up with anything. That stuff is secondary to most German-performance-car buyers. It would be interesting to know how many 3-series buyers are going with iDrive vs no iDrive.

    Ljflx... get back to that TV screen and keep an eye on your Giants. Tiki is awesome. So is Shockey... tough as nails.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    Designman - I hate to admit ths but I'm a Jet fan first (thanks to Namath) and a Giants fan second. The Jets are the biggest and most mis-managed disaster in major city team sports history.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    ljflx, you are pulling my leg. Go to the BMW website and go to the 5-series gallery. View the vehicle from the side. Then view the same side shot of the "new" LS from Lexus. I suppose it is just a coincedence that the all "new" LS can be overlayed on top of the BMW and it is a near match. If I was a detective trying to solve a crime, I'd say we have our suspect. Amazing coincidence? This is just too obvious to be subject to debate, and I won't.

    One thing, let me say here. I won't align myself at the expense of truth with one "camp" or another. I won't place myself in the "Lexus camp" or the "Mercedes camp" or any other camp. I will not criticize or defend a brand just because of the brand. I've seen too much of that in my opinion. If it quacks like a duck, I'm calling it a duck.

    So, to answer your question, YES, but I have not seen these similarities until recently. I have said that Lexus designers are snipers with powerful scopes, and that they now have BMW in their crosshairs.

    Further, while these similarities are somewhat skin-deep, the consumer may ultimately think beyond that, depending upon upcoming marketing by Lexus. (And I am predicting a further assault on BMW here, too.)

    Just watch.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    You make the BMW designers out to be idiots that piece bits of other cars almost at random together in some sort of hap-hazard gene-splicing jig-saw puzzle to create a new car. Based upon your remarks, I would suggest that you should call Bangle . . . Dr. Frankenstein. :D
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Hmm, same here, I'm Gang Green first too. I don't know what made me think otherwise about you. Must be that corporate image ;-)

    A little story. In the famous Jet Super Bowl, a college buddy was a rabid Jet fan being from Queens. If I recall correctly the Jets were getting 16 points. I had casually mentioned that I thought it was a decent bet for the Colts. He said oh yeah? I'll tell you what, I'll take the Jets even. I bit. Who wouldn't? The rest is history. Lordy, that was 36 years ago :sick:
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    No Tagman - don't see it one bit. This is going to be a massive car that will look better the closer you are too it. Sorry. The 5 is a smallish car that looks its worst up close.

    In my mind Lexus still targets MB as its number 1 competitor. Just read this link to C&D. Not even a mention of BMW when talking about the specs of the car and note the Lexus speaker confirmation on the 8 speed. The whole spin on BMW with the GS and IS was a spin on improved performance - mainly GS. The LS needs no spin given its market position.

    http://automobilemag.com/auto_shows/naias_2006/0601_lexus_ls/
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The long wheelbase version of the new LS sounds interesting, but some of the comments on the Lexus forum are almost drunken in nature, comparing the back seat to riding on a private jet, for example, and also declaring the beginning of the end to the German car. All a bit extreme? Of course that is the Lexus forum, and wouldn't we expect that kind of self-stroking and mutual reinforcement? ;)

    I've already gone on record to say that I think the new LS is going to be successful, but I've got to say that you "Lexus guys" crack me up with your extremism.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    "comparing the back seat to riding on a private jet"

    That's in the Lexus press release.
  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    You make the BMW designers out to be idiots that piece bits of other cars almost at random together in some sort of hap-hazard gene-splicing jig-saw puzzle to create a new car.

    No, they’re not idiots. And I really don’t blame Bangle. Rather, it’s the owners, the Quandts. As a creative director and designer, I’ve seen charges by major decision makers to be different. It rarely works when you force it and focus only on being different, then approach deadlines which force your hand. It can be easy to be different. It is VERY hard to be different and better. Yes I do believe they have plenty of borrowed motifs, and that their styles are hardly different and definitely not better. Just my opinion.

    When the E60 5-series came around I predicted they would be giving them away at the end of the year. I was wrong. You could be right, so I encourage you to look into that crystal ball. But I still don’t like the new BMWs and believe they would have created considerably more demand had they been better.

    By the way, BMW is not the only culprit. I think most companies are groping to be leading edge and creative. In my opinion, most of them don’t succeed. And sales do not validate styling because cars are utilities first, then a potpourri of many other variable elements that influence buying decisions.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    You mentioned that "Lexus" press release, along with the "dream car" that you would let your wife drive so that you can be in the back seat? And also hoping for DirecTV ala JetBlue? Sounds a bit like Lexus la-la land. Yes the car sounds good, but you guys are getting dizzy.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    more balanced post.

    Sometimes they go out on a limb . . . sometimes to their death. But they get lots of criticism when its bad, and all the credit when its good. Thank goodness they keep taking some risks so that we get to enjoy the innovations that come our way.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    Did you read my post right?? I said one of these days one of the lux mfs would get a chip in the window like jetblue for sat TV. Second I wasn't even sure if they are referring to a 9" rear monitor as a home entertainment center in this Lexus. So I said that if it is one than one day I'd let my wife drive for once and I'd sit in the rear and take in a movie. Talk about stretching things. Geez.

    Finally I do view that car - with those interior appointments, that power and gas economy, those looks and the way I know it will be built, as a car that sounds like a dream car - in this lux family sedan segment.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    This is a great debate, mostly, except when it has degnerated into the very unnecessary personal comments that have cropped up over the last 24 hours or so.

    Please keep your comments directed to the vehicles and the marques and refrain from making comments and insinuations about other posters.

    It's not hard to do, really, and if you want to convince others of your point of view, including slams about other posters is not going to get the job done - trust me.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Don't get too serious. Your post was fine. Plenty of reason to get excited when a new car comes out. We can all get like kids in a candy store, and let's not deny it.

    BTW, good thing you're a Jets fan. Giants sure got clocked.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,678
    23-0 in a game that wasn't as close as that score. Well - it will allay the bad stories on the Jets and Edwards for awhile at least. I liked Herm - the man was a class act and a natural leader.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Being from California, I've had to endure the demise of the 49er's from the Montana/Young days to today's worthless mess. But, to confess, I'm actually a Raiders fan, and those Giants put the Raiders to shame over New Year's, when the Raiders could not move one yard past the Giants in 4 attempts. Oh well. Another year goes by.

    What do you think of the new LS front end? Too similar to other models? You know, Mercedes is supposedly at the end of similar-looking models that are only downsized-looking versions of the flagship. The new S-Class will put an end to that, and then a new C-Class will follow with more individual styling, and a new E-class with more individual styling. The CLS is unique already. But, I'm concerned about VERY similar design appearances developing between the Lexus models. What's your take on this?

    TagMan
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    LS460 4.6 liter, 380hp, 370lb-ft, mid-20s blended MPG

    750 4.8 liter, 360hp, 360lb-ft, 21 MPG blended

    S450 4.6 liter, 335hp, 339 lb-ft

    S550 5.5 liter, 382hp, 391 lb-ft, 20 MPG blended

    Let me be the first to say, any of these is more than enough for me personally...at this point, the stats basically offer bragging rights versus the german car fans and are of modest real-world utility to me, except maybe the mpg.
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