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High End Luxury Cars

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  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I was talking about the XJ8 here, and a lot of that stuff is not available

    Gotcha. You were referring to the BASIC version. A fully-loaded Vanden Plas or Portfolio is chock-full of most of the latest and greatest. BTW, the voice command is merely dealer "activated", and can be "trained" so that the Jaguar voice system "learns" the driver's voice (actually TWO totally different driver's voices), and this reduces the number of misinterpretations commonly associated with voice command systems.
  • ron_mron_m Posts: 188
    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 ?


    There was an article published in an issue of AutoBeat Daily this week stating that Lexus recently received "Top Honors" for brand image amongst a large group of "America's wealthy". I can't recall the exact name of the company that conducted the survey, but I saved the e-mail attachment of AutoBeat Daily in PDF file format at the office. I'll have to go back and read the article again. But the survey wasn't conducted by Lexus themselves. ;)

    Also according to AutoBeat Daily, Lexus ranks no. 1 in brand loyalty/customer retention as well as both initial quality and downstream reliability. With that said, I still feel as though Mercedes-Benz and BMW both produce much, much better-looking cars and SUVs than Lexus. Even though I drive a Lexus most of the time, I will openly admit that I didn't purchase the car for its looks. If styling had been my number one priority in a vehicle purchase I certainly wouldn't have chosen a Lexus product. I made initial build quality and downstream reliability my top priorities. Next time I may feel differently and just buy something that blows me away from a styling standpoint.

    Ron M.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    I have seen many stories on how more and more large wealth has moved to Lexus and is waiting for a $100K S600 like car from them. Lexus has seen them too and undoubtedly has done extensive market research, which is why you are seeing the new strategies and cars that will rise to $100-150K in the near term. As Tagman said - they know this market inside out. I have no doubt about Lexus holding their own on price with anyone and those that do are in for a shock. But if you have a lower cost to build you use that to your advantage on pricing and they continue to have a huge edge on the Germans in build cost. On top of all that the new LS has great styling and surpasses many if not all of the German cars - IMO. So that plus more variety, a lot of buzz over the hybrid (and I see the celebrity crowd running to that car) and its historical benchmarks on quality and reliability are going to lure a lot of buyers that didn't consider the car before.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Surveys, stories..etc. What celebrity crowd are you talking about? I haven't seen a Lexus (or Audi for that matter) anywhere near the crowd the prefers Mercedes/BMW/Bentley etc. You seem to think a brand like Mercedes is made by their sedans only.

    I don't deny for a moment that Lexus is gaining in status and wealth of their buyers but one sedan isn't going to put them over Mercedes in the status game. Mercedes has many other models that not even BMW can match when it comes to status etc. Mercedes' position isn't held/made on sedans alone.

    Why do you think consumers care about build cost? No one cares about that to the point of thinking about what a car company's profits are. Totally irrelevent to a buyer. All buyers care about is the price of the vehicle not why it is cheaper or how that came to be.

    M
  • JRock:

    The LS430 is rated at 0-60 in 5.9 sec.
  • Merc.

    My LS 430 Ultra (01) has an on off switch for the Stability Control.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    What celebrity crowd are you talking about?

    merc1,
    I think ljflx was referring to the celebrity appreciation (or infatuation, depending upon how you look at it) with HYBRID cars as opposed to Lexus cars. So, the point as I understood it was, once you combine the HYBRID technology to an upstream vehicle like the new LS, it is likely (due to the HYBRID technology) to become a celebrity hit. I do agree with that, as the Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid are "cool" with that crowd (that "crowd" do indeed tend to be environmentalists, trend setters, liberals, progressive thinkers, etc.). The hybrids are "green" and the celebrities love them. And, of course, with that crowd price is not as much a factor.

    BTW, I do TOTALLY agree with you about the "status" of the Mercedes. I have consistently indicated my position on this.

    TagMan
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I still want to know who this celebrity crowd is? The LS hybrid will be a hit no doubt, but with the celeb crowd? Who is that?

    M
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    dare I say, in part, those "Southern California" folks? I hate to use the "H" word.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    On top of all that the new LS has great styling and surpasses many if not all of the German cars - IMO.

    ljflx,
    Even though you are a "Lexus guy", I often agree with (or at least appreciate) your perspective on some things, but while I agree that the LS has great styling, I do not agree that it surpasses many if not all of the German cars. I can't go that far out on a limb.

    TagMan
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    Merc - why do you have such a hard time accepting change? Besides, I said the LS hybrid will be a hit with the celebrity crowd. I said nothing about MB falling apart as a result of it. You implied that and I don't know why or how. I think we all know the meaning of celebrity so I'm not wating my tome on that one.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    Tagman - I don't like the new S and I most certainly don't like the 7-series. There's not much left in the class. I loved the A8 until they put that open mouth grotesque grill on it. Styling is up to each individuals tastes anyway.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Because that is usually the slant your mesgs come from, Lexus surprassing Mercedes, even if you don't outright say it. If you didn't mean it that way this time then ok, but thats usually the slant it comes from.

    Secondly, yeah we all know what the meaning of "celebrity" is, but I asked which celebrity "crowd" you were referring to. Big difference. They aren't all the same.

    M
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    I think we all know the meaning of celebrity so I'm not wating my tome on that one.

    Allow me to translate for you, Merc. "Wating my tome" is Hollywood-talk for "wasting my time." I know new celeb-speak doesn't get out to Illinois too quickly. :shades:
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Tagman - I don't like the new S

    Holy smokes! The new S-Class is freakin' GORGEOUS! Give me a break, here. There are going to be a lot of trade-ins going on later this year for both the new LS and the new S. I'm not a big 7-series fan, but I admire the car. And, I do actually believe the Lexus LS is nice, but the price MUST be right to do well, IMO. And, for whatever personal reason, I've always just loved the Jaguar XJ, especially the newest generation aluminum Vanden Plas & Portfolio.

    This new S-CLass is one of the most beautiful Mercedes Benz ever built, IMO, inside and out! And, as I have said all along, it will sell well. No doubt about it.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    I asked which celebrity "crowd" you were referring to. Big difference. They aren't all the same.

    Well, if we were talking about "sports celebrities", we'd all be referring to the "DUB" styling conversions, wouldn't we? ;)

    You are right. BIG difference.

    TagMan
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    FWIW, BMW sells more of the "Li" vs "i" at a rate of 2.5-to-1...

    Wow, that's an interesting statistic and says a lot about why Lexus would want to have a LWB model. Are the numbers similar for the Audi A8 vs. A8L?

    Thanks to all of you for helping me see the light. I now understand the the LWB is perfect for a chauffeur-driven celebrity real estate executive who sits in a baby seat and needs frequent massages. ;)

    I guess it's all part of the American psyche that says "more is better". I am still enough of an urbanite to think that 4" more in length cuts me out of that many more parallel parking spots, and can only add to the limitations on drivability (although obviously these manufacturers are using a lot of technology to make up for the size - apparently with much success). If I really needed that space I certainly would be willing to pay for it (for example, if I and my kids were all 6'4" plus).

    I can tell you one thing for sure: if I end up with an LS in the future, I won't be getting the passenger side-only footrest option; there is no way I am going to listen to my teenagers arguing over who is going to sit on that side!
  • Tagman:

    My LS is an 01 ultra here are some of the features that a Jag may or may not have.

    1)Automatic, Fold in, heated, outside outside mirrors, with puddle lights.

    2) Reclining rear seats..

    3)The Mark Levenson sound system.. I think acknowledged by most to be as good as there is..11 speakers (The new one is even better I understand)

    4) On/Off switch for the Stability Control

    5) Auto On/Off Wipers and head Lights

    6) Switch for the Rear Sun Screen (which automatically reclines when you put the car in reverse)...Plus rear Side window sun Screens, Even has a small visor over the rearview mirror that you can flip down to block the sun when it comes in over that mirror.

    7) Power Head rests and a switch that can put the rear seats and head reasts back into their normal position after someone one has used them.

    8) Seat controls on the left side of the passanger seat so the driver can adjust it for Grandma or the Kids or any passanger who doesn't know how to fiddle with the adjustments on the right side by the door.

    9) Through the dash CD changer for 6 CDs

    10) Brake Assist, and Traction control and ABS

    11) Through the Seat Heating and COOLING front and Back. Note:

    12 Power Door and Trunk Closers (all 4 doors)

    13 Dynamic Cruse Control..Awesome feature Automatically slows you down or speeds you up by locking onto the car in front of you. You set the max speed you want to drive at and the distance you want to follow the car in front at.

    14 Water Repellent Side, Front and rear Windows

    15 A switch to go from Standard suspension to Sport suspension. Also an Air suspension in the Ultra that thghtens itself up during emergency maneuvers or during aggressive driving. At hwy Speed it will drop the car about an inch for better Wind Resistance. There is also a switch that will raise the car 3" if needed to drive in snow.

    16 The Nav system uses only one disk for all 50 states and Canada. It is very ultra easy to use...Can use the Touch screen or voice activation.

    17 Rear seats each have their own controls for recline, Heat, warm, massage, Head rests up or down, there are common Radio controls.

    18 Auto leveling HID head lamps.

    19 An upper and lower lumbar support control

    20 The Bottom seat cussion can be extended for more thigh support.

    21 Power Telecoping and Tilt Steering wheel.

    22 Parking assist that identifies objects withing 3 ft. in back and side of car Shows on the Nav screen and using a bar graph shows how far away you are from the object. (the new LS has back up camera's)

    23 State of the art double air filtration system.

    I am sure there is more that I am forgetting and I am sure many of these feature are also on the Jag...
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    Simple answer: for tall passengers. Rule of thumb for 500-1000 mile comfort after years travelling with tall sons:

    37"-38" rear leg room: OK on long trips for passengers 5'8" to 5'10" tall.

    39"-40" rear leg room: comfortable long term for passengers 5'11" to 6'0" tall.

    41"+ rear leg room: a must for all day comfort if passengers are 6'1" or taller. 42"-43" is better for passengers in the 6'2" to 6'5" range.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Why do you think consumers care about build cost? No one cares about that to the point of thinking about what a car company's profits are. Totally irrelevent to a buyer. All buyers care about is the price of the vehicle not why it is cheaper or how that came to be.

    Merc1: Much as you put Len to task about defining the "celeb crowd" he refers to, I'd ask you the same question here. Can you describe the typical consumer/buyer of HELM to us, based on your vast knowledge of these buyers as you so eloquently spoke in the quote above ? I am especially curious about why you think a HELM buyer does not care about why a car is cheaper or how that came to be ???
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Simple answer: for tall passengers.

    Yep, this makes perfect sense to me. But for your numbers to be meaningful, it also would depend on how tall the people in front are and therefore how far back they put the front seats. My LS is rated at 37.6", and I am 5'11" and felt perfectly comfortable in the back. But if the front seats were all the way back, I bet it would be tight for me.

    Hey, I'm going to save me a few bucks and start to limit my friends and business associates to 5'10" - then I can get by with a SWB!
  • scott1256scott1256 Posts: 531
    Shorter drivers make a difference. The numbers I gave were with tall drivers (>6').

    If my 5'3" wife drives it opens up lots of back seat room.
  • garyh1garyh1 Posts: 386
    Merc and Oac, you guys are both missing Len's point and starting to veer off into the old bickering stuff again. All Len was saying was that Lexus has some flexibility in how it wants to price its new cars, since their cost to produce them is lower than MB's. Lexus can set a lower price to get more sales if it wants to AND STILL MAKE A PROFIT, or push the price higher and make a HIGHER PROFIT PER UNIT even if unit sales are lower. MB simply doesn't have the option to lower its price as much and still make a profit.

    This has nothing to do with the old bickering about whether car buyers know or care about Toyota's better profits than MB's, etc. Please let's not go there again (at least not unnecessarily, when it's not even relevant).
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    michael,
    I think it would be safe to say that ALL the HELM's have MOST of the features you indicated, and some have even more. The newer models typically now boast Bluetooth, voice command, touch-screen navigation, satellite radio, rear multimedia entertainment, etc. The point is that they are all lavishly equipped, more or less, from a feature standpoint.

    Driving characteristics are UNIQUE, however, as are the profound differences in STYLING. Some of the driving characteristics can be statistically measured, such as accelleration, braking, slalom, etc., but even with those measurements it is impossible to objectively analyze the "feel" of a vehicle. The "feel" of a vehicle is purely subjective as are the different preferences for "style".

    TagMan
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    Gary - Thank you.
  • ljflxljflx Posts: 4,682
    Tagman - don't like it from the pix I saw. Maybe in person it'll be different but in the pix I saw it's not a beautiful car to me at all. It's a matter of taste I guess. I don't doubt for a second that it will do well though.
  • oacoac Posts: 1,594
    Gary, believe me I do understand the point Len made very clearly, but wanted to see if Merc1 understands it as well, hence my question. But you are right... best to leave that alone before it becomes a [non-permissible content removed]-for-tat.

    When one considers geo-political events ahead with Iran, China and the US, as these apply to oil and gasoline, the concept of hybrids and diesels become even more important. Toyota has demonstrated their forward-thinking strategy here and have set the tone. A LWB, hybrid lux sedan doing 30MPG like that projected for the LS600H, in a new sleek design, will be enormously popular among many crowds, not just celebs. I know quite a few people interested in the Prius, and these are not environmentalists or green people. They are simply concerned about cost of gasoline. Personally, I am no *greeny*, but want value for my money. If hybrids bridge the gap to H2-powered, or cell-powered cars of the future, I'm all for it.

    That said, the LS600H will be a strong competitor against the S600/760Li; and the LS460L will compete even more against the S550. My feel is that the new LS will outpace the new S sedans in sales by even larger margins, in a year from now.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Merc and Oac, you guys are both missing Len's point and starting to veer off into the old bickering stuff again. All Len was saying was that Lexus has some flexibility in how it wants to price its new cars, since their cost to produce them is lower than MB's. Lexus can set a lower price to get more sales if it wants to AND STILL MAKE A PROFIT, or push the price higher and make a HIGHER PROFIT PER UNIT even if unit sales are lower. MB simply doesn't have the option to lower its price as much and still make a profit.

    And again what does anyone care about this? We know this, we've been known this for years and years when it comes to Toyota and their production costs, skills etc., but what difference does it make to anyone who doesn't live for pointing it out day in and day out? This is very old news and I don't think any suggested that it somehow changed with the new S and LS.

    This is nothing but the old buyers-care-about-profits type stuff which is irrelevant. What person would feel good about thinking they're making a car company rich when they buy one of their cars? The whole point is irrelevant. It isn't like Lexus is the only company that makes a profit here.

    M
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,744
    What cracks me up:

    On forums about Civics, G6's, etc., I see the "my car is better than your car" posts and arguments all over the place. People get emotional about their opinions; don't like it when others disagree.

    Then I come to high-end forum, where presumably most posters are of substantial means if they drive one of these cars. Heck, you're probably almost all high-end professionals.

    Yet we're all still arguing like the teenagers driving their first cars!

    What does that say about us? I'm not sure, I just find it funny.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    Human nature. It doesn't matter who's talking or what we're talking about. If it was a bunch of people talking about PCs, it would be "I've got more MHz than you". And there would be the same unwillingness on the part of individuals to ever admit that they are wrong.
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