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High End Luxury Cars

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  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    It seems that Edmunds loves the new S-Class:

    image

    Article

    Also, Autolies has some gorgeous pics of the new S at a Phoenix AZ launch party.

    Autospies Pics

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    It does sound good, I hadn't read anything so detailed before.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Impressive, it sounds as though it makes short work of the A8 in terms of handling, thats unusual for a Benz. I really dont like those 800,000 identical silver buttons though, nor am I a fan of Mercedes' new steering wheel design. Not quite as bad as this one, which I think was the worst Benz wheel ever, but close.

    image
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I noticed that autospies had only the S550, S600, S65, and 4matic in their cy2006 timeline. When will a 450 appear? Will they sell a 350 here? Diesels?
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    A few observations:

    1. Technology: WOW. Sounds like they once again have achieved making a large car drive better than anyone believes it should. Seats and stereo sound amazing. But is there still no easy big dial to increase the volume of the radio? I love those 2 big rotary dials on my LS that let me (or my less tech-oriented spouse next to me) kick up the volume or slide up a few MHz to another station without having to think which button or combination of buttons I need to press. AND NOTE THE FOLLOWING: "Dynamic control invasive if the car begins to oversteer. And the system cannot be disabled." I wonder if germancarfans will knock this the way they knock the Lexus cars for this.

    2. Styling: I can't wait to see it in person to judge for myself. The wheel flares and trunk bulge still turn me off in the pics, especially in the light colors where the shadows exaggerate the design elements. Maybe I could live with it in real life? I'd hate to have to rule the car out just on a design, like I have had to do with the A8 based on its just too, too ugly nose. NOTE TO GERMANCARFANS: NOT MUCH WOOD ON THE DASH, BUT THERE IS ON THE STEERING WHEEL! Oh no, MB goes Lexus just where I dislike it the most....

    3. Reliability: Can you imagine trying to maintain this car once the warranty is over- even if MB's past problems are resolved? Scary....

    4. Pricing: Starting at $86K, and then adding $18K more in options! Ow. I don't suppose there will be a well-equipped S430 version for a lot less than that? But I guess MSRP (and to a lesser extent, long-term reliability)doesn't matter if you can lease it for no money down, $499/month for 36 months. ;)

    Any way you cut it, it's sure going to be interesting to compare the new S and the new LS!

    And Merc1, ditto everyone else's comments on a great and comprehensive report on the Detroit show! :D
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    no money down, $499/month for 36 months

    Where do I sign? ;)
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    I did read Edmund's review of the S550. It was glowing mostly... I concur that this car will make a HUGE impact on the HELM sector when it gets released (within weeks, I suppose). For such a big and large car to corner flat is amazing. I love the cool non-shifter "shifter". Now that is a really cool feature I'd love on any car. 80mph and barely nudging 2K rpm ? Nice. But 6.1s to 60, with 382HP and 5.5L sounds slow, or am I imagining things wrongly ? Doesn't the 278HP LS430 do 0-60 in under 6s already ???

    Overall, the technology in that car is impressive, the ride equally impressive, about the biggest complaint for me is the price - $86 to 104K ??? Ouch !!! That is serious money to shell out, lease or purchase. Maybe the lease rate will be generous and you can get one leased for under $1200/month... The car will be hot, and should do very well in the market.

    Good job, MB..
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    This is according to someone else, who got it from his dealer. Personally, I think the dealer is talking out of his [non-permissible content removed], but here goes:

    "LS460 Base $64,900 (fully loaded $85,000)
    LS460L Supposedly only comes fully loaded - $89,900
    LS600hL $115,000 (only comes fully loaded)

    He said Lexus is trying to reduce the number of packages available to make it easier for them to produce.

    Also, he said the new LS600hL will have 140hp more than the LS460. So, that equates to about 520hp. It will get 35MPG in town. 460L will get about 20-21 in town.

    LS460L and 600hL will have AWD standard."
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    "But 6.1s to 60, with 382HP and 5.5L sounds slow, or am I imagining things wrongly ? Doesn't the 278HP LS430 do 0-60 in under 6s already ???"

    Edmunds gets the lowest 0-60 times for all cars, probably because they don't torque brake. For example, the got 6.1s for the IS350.

    C&D got 5.3s 0-60 for the S550 in their recent test.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I noticed that autospies had only the S550, S600, S65, and 4matic in their cy2006 timeline. When will a 450 appear? Will they sell a 350 here? Diesels?

    I asked all these question to MB reps in Detroit. I was told by one person that there will be no S450 and that there will be by another. The first rep came over during our conversation and said that there will be NO S450. Doesn't make sense to me. They both agreed that the new S320 CDI will be sold here sometime in 2007. The S450 and S63 AMG remain a mystery at this point. There is no way Mercedes developed a new 4.6L V8 for just the GL450.

    M
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    According to Forbes:

    "The first of the new models to go on sale in the U.S. will be the S550, expected in February, followed by the S450 and S600 in April 2006."
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    A few things. Mercedes' stability control can be throttled back/turned down, but not off. Lexus doesn't offer a switch of any kind on the models the press complains about. Secondly the S-Class isn't a sports sedan like the GS or IS. They need an on/off switch more than the S-Class does IMO.

    Mercedes offering wooden steering wheels is nothing new. They've offered this option on certain models since the 1992 600SEL.

    M
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Yeah that is what everyone has said, but the S450 has yet to be shown at either L.A. or Detroit like the S600 has been. Maybe it will just show up at the dealers in April, but something tells me not.

    M
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    I think you're right, the dealer was talking out of his [non-permissible content removed].

    Lexus does like to keep the number of variants down, but only 4 trims total between the 3 cars? My guess is more like 6. Plus the prices seem too high, I think a loaded 600hL will be under 100k.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Check the autospies article here. Looks to me like it came from a press or analyst briefing, so my guess is it is accurate for cy2006.
  • rayngrayng Posts: 70
    Which car will emerge as the winner in this battle between the flagships? As the LS approaches S territory in both size, price, and features, will the LS prevail? Or will the safety-features and panache of the S sink the LS? I can't help but think this is a watershed year for the LS and the Lexus brand. I think respectable sales performance and media reviews will be crucial to the Lexus brand's future. But if the LS tanks due to higher prices and media pans, the Lexus brand (and residual values) will suffer. Will Lexus be the the next Infiniti if the LS fails?

    For 100 large, what would you buy? S, LS, or ?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    A little more supportive information . . . my local dealer had also told me that the S450 will indeed follow the S550 later in the Spring, and that a diesel version likely will be offered in the next model year, and that it (the diesel) MIGHT be cleaned up enough for California and other currently restricted markets.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Well if they don't introduce the S450 this calendar year, it would mean the car rags would have to test the LS460 against the S550, not the S450, in any comparo.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    For 100 large, what would you buy? S, LS, or ?

    Well . . . earlier in the month I predicted success for the new S-Class, and expressed only one reservation . . . the price, after adding all options.

    So . . . to answer your question, I would without hesitation choose the Mercedes S-Class over the Lexus, unless there was a MAJOR price difference. By major, I mean all features as close to equal as possible and the retail price being 25 percent cheaper for the Lexus. At that level, I might consider it. MAYBE. At similar price levels for comparable vehicles, I would personally NEVER choose a Lexus over a Mercedes. But that's just my personal and honest preference. I know some will disgree.

    Heck, I also believe that history and hindsight will show that the current gorgeous (and more reliable) Jaguar XJ Vanden Plas can be purchased at a bargain price right at this very moment (due to obvious issues at Jaguar).

    TagMan
  • Yes, the XJ is priced right. A used one is even a better deal. Less than 40K for a gently used '04 is a steal. But the pricing I don't think is due to any issues at Jaguar because it has been consistently lower than the competition.

    Clearly sales are off because of the hangover effect of the old reliability issues, no AWD, lingering vestiges of the feeling that it is not uber enough of a sedan for a Fortune 500 CEO (Accordingly, all CEO wannabes who run say the local lumberyard chain in Peoria are going to lust over only an S Class), and some bad marketing by Jag.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    For the price of a new XJ, you can buy two XJs at 2-3 years old. Its not the lack of AWD thats hurting Jag. They arent exactly known for that, and the X-type pretty much proves that Jag buyers have no interest in AWD.

    I think its mostly Jaguar's horrendous quality issues in the late '80s and early '90s before Ford stepped that are the cause of the terrible residuals. That, and the lousy sales and press about the X and S certainly arent doing anything to help the brand.

    The XJ is a very competent driver, but when it comes to fancy features, it cant even measure up to the current gen LS and the Germans, and cant hold a candle to the LS460 and S550. In the full-size lux class, fancy features count almost as much as the actual act of moving down the road, and the Jag just cant hack it in that area. The interior designers also majorly dropped the ball, and it looks too much like the old car.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Which car will emerge as the winner in this battle between the flagships? As the LS approaches S territory in both size, price, and features, will the LS prevail? Or will the safety-features and panache of the S sink the LS? I can't help but think this is a watershed year for the LS and the Lexus brand. I think respectable sales performance and media reviews will be crucial to the Lexus brand's future. But if the LS tanks due to higher prices and media pans, the Lexus brand (and residual values) will suffer. Will Lexus be the the next Infiniti if the LS fails?

    For 100 large, what would you buy? S, LS, or ?


    With $100 large, which car to buy ?? Good question. For one, at $100K, MB will need the S600 to compete against a 500HP (est), 30MPG (est), LWB, hybrid-AWD super lux sedan in the LS600h. Even then, the LS would be cheaper than the S600 by at least $10K. At that price, name brand is a HUGE factor, giving MB a leg up, but Lexus is no longer chop-liver in this space. They have shown a determination to go for the high-end of the market, and we'll see how the new LS variants turn out. Early reviews are all good. But no one has tested the car yet, so its all premature. But I'd wager a tough battle ahead for BMW and MB going against the new LS models. For my money, if I have $100K to splurg on a lux sedan, it will be the LS600H, no doubt about that. The S is a great car and all, but Lexus is just a tiny weenie bit better, IMO.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    I think you will be amazed at how many people will choose the new Lexus LS over the new MB S with narrow price differences. With that said - I doubt the LS460L is priced in one package at $90K. Why bother with option packlages if all your going to sell is a fully optioned car. As well Lexus said loud and clear that it would maintain a lower price profile. Remember it's cost to build is much lower than MB's. If they priced out the same Lexus is making an absolute killer profit on the car - far higher to MB's unit profit. It isn't about absolute price - it's about absolute profits. If your build costs are lower and you're still rising you use price to your advantage. That's business 101. I'd say the $65K is right and it tops out at $83-84k fully loaded for the LS460L and $72-73K for the SWB. Many LWB cars will be optioned out in the $78-79K range IMO. The hybrid is likely to have one option package and I'd say this car starts out in the high 80's and tops out just under or just over $100K. They won't be able to build enough of them.

    Lexus strategy from what I've been told is 30-70 SWB to LWB in year one, 50-50 in year two and 65-35 LWB over SWB in year three.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Lexus strategy from what I've been told is 30-70 SWB to LWB in year one, 50-50 in year two and 65-35 LWB over SWB in year three.

    I'm sorry, I'm still having trouble figuring out why I would need the LWB version of the LS. To me, it is only relevant to the chauffeur-driven executive. As it is now, the back seat of the LS has plenty of leg room for normal adults. Heck, this is why I wanted out of my E-class.

    Who the heck are you carrying in back that needs to have a leg rest, etc.? I love my kids and my business partners, but not enough to treat them like potentates.

    I don't want a land yacht. All I want is an AWD version the size of the current model. It's plenty big enough already. Just make it look better, fill it with cool toys that work, and perhaps drive just a touch better - and then sell it for just under $60K out the door (more if you want the rear seat area gussied up). 65% LWB? Why would 2/3rds of buyers want that?
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    The XJ is a very competent driver, but when it comes to fancy features, it cant even measure up to the current gen LS and the Germans, and cant hold a candle to the LS460 and S550. In the full-size lux class, fancy features count almost as much as the actual act of moving down the road, and the Jag just cant hack it in that area.

    Ok, just exactly which fancy features are you talking about, because the current all-aluminum XJ Vanden Plas has an enormous list of ALL the usual amenities, as well as the more recently fashionable ones such as wireless Bluetooth technology, touch-screen navigation, voice-command system, high-end surround sound audio w/ subwoofer, independent climate control, rear-passenger dedicated multimedia and DVD including individual video monitors, and more.

    So . . . "can't hack it"? What features are you talking about? Just curious.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    I'm sorry, I'm still having trouble figuring out why I would need the LWB version of the LS. To me, it is only relevant to the chauffeur-driven executive. As it is now, the back seat of the LS has plenty of leg room for normal adults. Heck, this is why I wanted out of my E-class.

    Who the heck are you carrying in back that needs to have a leg rest, etc.? I love my kids and my business partners, but not enough to treat them like potentates.


    Some upscale real estate agents have the 750Li and specifically want the L so their clients have extra room in the backseat. Business executives that are always entertaining clients are common owners....

    It might sound crazy to you, but if you've ever ridden in the back of an "i" vs an "Li", you'd be impressed with the comfort. In addition to that, you can only get the articulated and ventilated seats with the Li.

    When you're talking $80k, what's an extra $4k? ;)
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,675
    Gary - the competition is 80% 202-204" cars. I see the LWB as a car for pros and people who are chaffeuured. But I am sure it will have a few things on it that the SWB will lack and that will draw in the SWB crowd. As well the extra space is great for families that still have car seats in the back - particularly babies that need to be lifted out. I think there will be a big market for the LWB.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    FWIW, BMW sells more of the "Li" vs "i" at a rate of 2.5-to-1...
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I was talking about the XJ8 here, and a lot of that stuff is not available on the J8. The voice command system is a dealer add-on, and isnt nearly as robust as the competitions. Also, the Alpine stereo doesnt come close to the systems used in the Lexus and Benz. C&D rated the XJ dead last in features, when compared to the old S and old Lexus, as well as the 7, A8, and Phaeton.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I'm still having trouble figuring out why I would need the LWB version of the LS.

    Who the heck are you carrying in back that needs to have a leg rest, etc.? I love my kids and my business partners, but not enough to treat them like potentates.

    Why would 2/3rds of buyers want that?

    garyh1,
    It sounds like you don't get it . . . at least not yet. The Li, the LS460L, the XJ L & XJ Vanden Plas, and the S-Class all offer (or soon to offer) what MANY of the high end buyers want in a LUXURY car . . . and that is very simply PLENTY of rear-passenger legroom (not just ample legroom). Additionally, a long wheelbase, by it's very nature, tends to offer very smooth ride characteristics. If you haven't been a rear passenger in any of these long wheelbase models, then you owe it to yourself to try it. It really is a more comfortable and INDULGING experience. This is why Lexus will offer the LS460L version. While Lexus is not my first pick, primarily due to my personal styling preferences, I know and respect their genius at what they do. Believe me here . . . you can TRUST that Lexus understands the long wheelbase marketplace very well.

    TagMan
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